How Big Should a Dog Crate Be? The Ultimate Guide

Just got yourself a new addition to the family? Congratulations!

Dog crates are a great way to give your new puppy a safe haven when they’re feeling nervous or anxious. It can also be a useful tool in potty training your dog and doubling up as a secure way to take them with you traveling.

But the number of choices out there can be overwhelming.

How big should a dog crate be? Do I need a smaller or bigger crate? Should I put a bed in my dog’s crate? These are just some of the most popular questions asked about dog crates.

The type of crate that you choose will depend on the size of your dog, how it will be used, and the area where the crate will be kept. To help you find the perfect crate for your four-legged companion, we have put together the ultimate guide on dog crates.

Areas the guide will cover include measuring your dog, types of dog crates, and ways to make it more comfortable.

Read on to find out more!

Uses of Dog Crates

Generally, crates can be used as a “den” to give your canine a quiet place to rest if they’re feeling shy. Nervous puppies can find it beneficial from having a secure hideout, especially in new environments or from loud fireworks.

It also makes a comfortable bed for adult dogs to rest, similar to how their ancestors would have lived in the wild.

Crates can be used as a training tool to aid potty training and managing your dog’s behavior around visitors (i.e. getting overly excited and jumping on people).

Other uses include a place for your dog to recover after surgery, and to keep your dog feeling comfortable when traveling.

Measuring Your Dog for the Correct Crate Size

You can find out the recommended crate sizes according to breed from this comprehensive dog crate size chart. Keep in mind, that your dog might not follow the standard sizing for its breed.

What if your dog is not a specific breed? Sometimes it might not be clear and this makes it hard to know how big your dog will grow.

To measure your dog try the following:

  • For the length of the dog crate, we recommend that you measure your dog from the nose to the base of its tail
  • To calculate the height of the crate, make sure your dog is in a sitting position. Then measure your dog from the top of the head to the floor
  • Now add 3 to 4 inches extra to both the height and the length to find out the best size for your crate

Always check with the manufacturer of the dog crate to find out the weight limit. You can weigh your dog by standing on a digital weighing scale and picking up your dog for an accurate measurement.

Types of Dog Crates

There is a whole range of dog crates to choose from, suitable for all types of activities. Some dog owners like to have a few different crates, one for the home and one for the road.

If you’re unsure of what type of dog crate to choose, then consider thinking about how you intend to use the dog crate and your dog’s personality.

There are generally five main types of dog crates:



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