Many dog owners have a crate they buy when they adopt their dog. Crates can be used to keep pets safe while home alone or as a handy way to port them to vet visits or while traveling. While dog cages come in many sizes and materials with some of them bordering on being fashionable, most crate options are crafted from wire, plastic, and metal combinations.
While it might seem to be a no-brainer to give dogs as much free space in their crates as possible, this is actually a rather bad idea—predominantly for safety reasons. Those using crating for house training are likely to find that an oversized cage gives canines a place to use the bathroom and still go lie down, which negates the idea of training.
With this in mind, let’s dig into how to choose a dog crate that is just the right size to ensure safety and promote success with training goals.
The Right Proportions for a Dog Crate
There are many common goals when choosing just the right dimensions for a dog crate. First, owners will want to allow the animal enough room to move around and shift positions without giving them too much. So, how much space is too much?
Ideally, they will be able to sit up straight and not bump their head on the top. The ability to spread out their paws and get ‘cozy’ will make travel much more comfortable for them. That being said, going too large can negate the purpose of having a crate.
For example, owners who are crating for house training don’t want Fido to have a separate sleeping space and plenty of room to still do their business. Dogs with separation anxiety aren’t as likely to feel as safe and secure in an oversized cage versus one that doesn’t feel so ‘empty.’
With these points in mind, let’s move on to getting pups measured to ensure the best fit.
Tips for Measuring A Dog Before Buying A Crate
Get a flexible seamstress style measuring tape and be sure your dog is feeling calm and cooperative. Then, take these essential measurements.
- Length: With the canine standing on all fours, measure the distance between the base of their tail to the tip of the nose. Add two to four inches to the total, and note this measurement as ‘A’ or the max length the cage should be.
- Height: With the dog seated upright, measure from the tallest point of their nose to the floor and add two to four inches to get measurement ‘B,’ which is the shortest the crate should be.
- Width: To discover the ideal width, take measurement ‘A’ and add two to four inches to the height and do the same with length ‘B.’ Generally, the width of cages is in proportion with these measurements, so it’s not a major factor when making a purchase.
Following these tips will equate to a pooch having plenty of room to move around a bit without excessive space that could result in the pet being bounced around or feeling free to use the crate as both a bedroom and a bathroom.
General Sizing Estimates
Carriers for pets come in fairly standard dimensions, so most dog measurements typically fall in range with one of these pre-sized options. Weight and crate sizes found in most pet stores include small cages for pocket-sized pups, a variety of medium sizes, and several large and extra-large crates. Owners can also buy parts or order a custom-made crate, which may be the best choice for those with several pups they want to cage together. Use guidelines suggesting crate sizes according to breed and weight for more information.
Don’t throw off dog training or hamper your crating efforts by sizing it incorrectly with these straightforward tips for success.