Crating is NOT harsh.
That is the first thing you need to realize before you can even consider buying a dog crate. Naturally, in the wild, dogs look for dark, tight, cave-like burrows to hide and sleep. Hence, if you properly crate your small dog, you will be mimicking the same feeling of safety and security.
Dogs like that.
Think of it as a den or dog-cave.
Some small dogs have no problem being left alone. In fact, they just curl up on the couch and wait for you to return. But what if your mutt doesn’t like being left alone?
Have you ever come back from your errands only to find that your pet freaked out and made a mess of the house? It’s not a good feeling.
In this case, you may have to consider buying the best dog crate for puppies as a solution. We review the best small dog crates for 2019 that will help your pooch through transitioning to being left alone.
We created this list based on Amazon ratings, quality of material, as well as other considerations.
Best Small Dog Crates
Review of the Best Small Dog Crates for 2019
#1. AmazonBasics Folding Metal Crate
You will find that this Amazon dog crate is a popular item in the section of the AmazonBasics. We have put this kennel in the top position for only one reason: wire quality. The wires have a thin diameter with weld joints that are pretty capable of handling substantial impact.
Thus, your small dog cannot easily break a weld of this kennel. Ultimately, however, if your puppy is enthusiastic, it can bend the whole panel. Hence, if your small dog is unruly, this may not be the best option for her.
It has latches with a hooked end that lock themselves in normal position. To open the crate, you require left-right efforts as well as the swiveling up-down motion in the combination. Hence, it’s almost impossible for your mutt to open the latch herself.
It also comes with a sliding crate tray that is easy to clean and a mini divider panel. This kennel is great for pet owners looking for a high-quality crate for an affordable price ranging from 22 to 30-plus inches in size.
#2 MidWest Homes Dog Crate
If you intend to start training your puppy, this crate could be what you need. It works best when you want to train your small mutt.
It has dividers installed inside that allow the dog to move in the crate space available freely. You can find it in the size that suits your small dog needs.
It comes in two styles, the single door or the double door style. Since your dog is a small breed, the ideal crate dimension is either the 18”, 22”, or the 24”. All of which come with a divider and a full year money back warranty.
Each door has two super strong latching bolts which ensure safety and security, as well as cause sliding motion per door. This crate is highly portable. Hence you can easily take your dog everywhere with you. And if you want to find more crates that allow you to carry your dog anywhere you go, check out this article.
#3. EliteField 3-Door Dog Crate
If you are looking for a quality mesh dog crate, you should take EliteField 3-Door into consideration. We found it to be a great alternative to a metal cage.
For starters, you can easily set it up and fold it down in just a matter of seconds thanks to its lightweight frame. The cover is made of thick canvas and sturdy mesh, also very easy to remove and clean.
This small dog crate has front and side-entry doors, as well as partial mesh and a full-length window. The mesh makes this crate well-ventilated, making it suitable for dog owners who live in warmer climates.
It also comes with a carrying case, a couple storage pockets, and a free mat. These features make transporting this kennel so much easier. The only downside is that if your mutt is intelligent, she can easily exploit the zippers just by using her toenails.
#4. Pet Gear 3 Door Soft Crate
This crate features a good construction quality, a couple of additional features, and easy access.
From the outside, this crate looks very comfortable and soft. However, the heart of this soft crate is the durable steel frame. It is an internal steel tube frame strong enough to withstand wear and tear.
Even so, it can still be collapsed for storage in just a few seconds. The folding mechanism is the easy push-button style that makes this model even more convenient for pet owners who like to travel.
It has three doors – one on the front, one on the top, and one on the side. The side door offers easy access to your pup, and every door is covered with mesh for good ventilation. It is also very compact and takes very little space no matter where you put it.
It also features a fleece pad, a waterproof mat, and a storage bag. It can also be purchased in seven different colors, depending on how much you want to personalize it.
The only downside is that the mesh material is somewhat flimsy. Hence, if your mutt is aggressive, she could easily tear it apart.
#5. Carlson Pet Products Dog Crate
This crate is also an affordable option for pet owners looking to train their small dog. The steel is strong and high-quality, and the frame is easy to fold and equally portable.
The single door has a lock system that is secure enough to keep your mutt safely insider her crate. Therefore, this model may help you stop your small dog from chewing on your shoes or sofa.
It comes with a black pan made of durable hard plastic. It is removable, making it easy to clean and place it back in.
When you are not using it, you can easily fold it down and keep it away. It is also portable and convenient for putting in your car.
How to Introduce Your Small Dog to a Small Crate
How do you introduce the best kennel for small dogs to your mutt in the first place?
Well, the good news is, introducing a kennel to your puppy is as just tossing food-stuffed chew toys in the crate when your puppy is hungry and allowing it to work away when you are nearby.
Gradually, you will be able to leave your mutt alone with the door closed, and eventually, she will readily go to her crate voluntarily in search of the stuffed chew toy or for naps.
Other things you can place in the crate to increase your puppy’s interest in the small crate:
- A chew bone
- Its favorite toy
- Some treats your dog likes (like cheese, pea-size chicken pieces, or individual dog treats)
Begin by leaving the items outside of the kennel, and as your mutt realizes that “crate=treats”, you can start guiding her inside the small crate. Start by placing the treats near the crate’s dog, to the center of the crate gradually.
Another great trick for small dogs is to lock their food inside the best puppy crate until your pooch starts to throw a significant tantrum to go inside the small crate. Then open the door, let the pooch in for a meal, and she might not even notice when you shut the door.
However, crate training your puppy can take a few days and sometimes weeks, depending on your dog’s personality, so you need to be very patient.
Remember though, never force your small mutt inside the crate.
What Features Should a Small Crate Have?
A solid kennel is supposed to be just that: solid.
High quality and security are what an exceptional small crate should be all about.
If you opt for wire or hard crates, you should go for durable materials, such as thick plastic or steel wire. If you choose for soft crates, make sure it features robust and water-resistant fabric sides.
No matter the best crate for puppy you opt for, it should have proper ventilation on all sides.
If you are crate training, or in case of an accident, opts for crates that come with a removable metal or plastic tray that slides underneath the crate to make clean up easy.
Find a kennel that comes with a shoulder strap or carrying handle, detachable wheels, or that can fold up easily when convenient. Portability is a crucial asset.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ideally, you should place the dog crate near, but not central, where you and your family spend the most time. The corner of your living room or kitchen is also the right choice. Or a place that leads into your living area.
The idea is to put the kennel somewhere your pooch can retreat whenever she wants to have some alone time, but still allow her to feel like part of the family.
This can be hard to determine. The wise thing to do is to keep checking on your pet to make sure she is okay.
The only way you can determine the length of time your mutt is comfortable in the crate is by keeping a close eye on her the first time. Then, gradually increase the time your small dog spends in the best crate for puppy training.
It would be wise to make sure your small dog always has food dispensing toys, chew toys, and fresh water inside the crate.
Small dogs like Corgi, Cocker Spaniel, and Chinese Shar-Pei require small crates. However, you need to make sure that they can comfortably take a nap at one end, then adequately do their business on the other end.
You need to pay close attention to the door. Make sure the hinges can’t be chewed on by small jaws, and there are no small gaps your mutt can fit into, especially if your pooch is a Rat Terrier.
The best small dog crate is the one that offers high-quality and thoughtful features, and in this case, we find AmazonBasics Single Door & Double Door Folding Metal Crate to be the right choice.
We loved it because it is very affordable, easy to assemble, and comes with a plastic tray that can easily slide underneath with no hassle.
Depending on why you need to buy the best kennel for small dogs, always make sure that the crate you are considering to purchase, meets all your needs and those of your mutt.
In addition, AmazonBasics not only has small crates for puppies. They have created lots of high-quality dog crates for medium and large breeds. Check out our Best Dog Crate article to see more details.