Selecting the right sized dog crate
Started to house train your playful puppy? Is potty training getting too burdensome? A dog crate is an all-in-one solution for all your house training qualms. Especially, when you are potty training your tail wager, a crate could be an easy and fast resolution. House training is not the only thing for which a crate would be helpful, a crate is an important asset that every dog owner should invest in while traveling with your dog on road or by air.
The first thing to decide when buying a crate is what type of crate you would like to buy. There are wide variety of options ranging from a simple steel crate to something specific like those dog crates that look like furniture.
While buying a crate, Size matters a lot. One of the most important things to get right is the size of the crate you are buying for your pooch, particularly if you own a young and growing puppy, you need to shop for a crate which will still hold good in future when he grows up to be an adult dog or when you are travelling with your pet, a right size will make a world of a difference in your pet’s comfort and safety.
How to get select a right size dog crate? The answer to this question is “it depends”. It depends on the breed and size of your dog and for what purpose you are going to use the crate.
Let us first look at some general principles to follow before buying a crate.
Pup-Parents should plan ahead
In case you own a little puppy, make sure you are planning for a crate for its entire life. Puppies grow fast, so get a crate which will grow with your puppy. Firstly, research on the breed of dog you have, estimate how big your puppy will get when it becomes an adult. Secondly, look for crates which come with a divider, this divider can be placed at different levels of the crate to change its size. This way the dog crate can also grow in size according to the growth in the size of your puppy.
Measure your dog
Obviously, this is the most sensible way of shopping for a crate. Make sure you measure your dog right and shop for a crate according to the measurements. Beware not to buy a crate which is too small (exact the measurements of your dog) or too big.
If you buy a crate which is too small for your pet, he may feel stuffed inside the crate and would refuse to go in at all. If you buy a crate which is too big, your dog might use one end as a bathroom and another end as a bedroom, negating the whole process of house training.
We have put together a quick guide for you to measure your dog for a crate:
Length: While measuring your dog for its length, ensure you measure the length from the tip of its nose to the edge of its tail. This is the length of your dog; however, to calculate the length of the crate you need for your dog, add 2 inches to the length of your dog, in case you have a small to medium breed or else add 4 inches to the length of your dog, in case you have a larger breed. This will allow some extra space in the crate for your dog to turn around easily.
Height: To achieve the right height for your dog’s crate, add 1 inch to the height of your dog. To measure the height of your dog, consider its height from the floor to the tip of its head in case it is of the breeds with floppy ears or else consider its height from the floor to nip of its ears in case it is of the breeds with erected ears.
Width: To get a right width for the crate, add 4 inches to the width of your dog. To calculate the width of the dog, measure the widest part of your dog’s chest.
Tip: It is always better to choose a slightly larger crate than a smaller one because your dog’s comfort should be your first priority.
Let us discuss which type of crate suits the best for which purpose:
For House Training
Potty training and house training are the primary reasons why people buy dog crates. As already discussed, do not buy a too large crate if your primary goal is to potty train your dog, dogs generally do not defecate in a spot meant for their sleeping, however, when a crate is too big, your dog might cleverly turn one corner of the crate as a bathroom, leaving enough space for himself to sleep peacefully on another end.
If you are planning to use the crate to contain your dog i.e. keep him in a crate while you are not around, size plays a crucial role. Your dog would need enough space inside its crate to move and turn around freely, especially when it is staying in there for long hours. Failing to do so, might instill your furry friend with negative emotions relating to the crate and it might completely refuse to get into the crate.
Crate training a dog properly is essential. There is more to it than locking up the dog in a crate for a specified amount of time in a day. If your dog is destroying and escaping every new crate you get for him, it is time to consider buying heavy duty dog crates for your dog. We have put together a nice list of indestructible dog crates that are apt for dogs who constantly destroy and escape any dog crates.
There are two things to consider when traveling with your dog. You either travel with it in a car or in an airline. In case you are taking your four legged friend with you in your car, make sure your crate is of the right size and fits in your car comfortably. The crate should be buckled to the floor of your car tightly and the crate should still have enough space for your dog to turn around but not too much for him to jump around and cause trouble.
If you are traveling by air, learn about the different crate sizes and materials airlines approve. The approvals of crates are different when your dog is traveling with you in the cabin from when he is traveling with the cargo. Most airlines have regulations regarding the height of the crate; your dog’s crate needs to be tall enough for your pooch to stand up straight and in his natural position. Double check your crate dimensions with that of the airline guidelines to avoid last minute panic.