7 Best Small Dog Crates for Pet Owners

All dogs will need to be crated at some time in their lives. That could be while traveling, during a stay at a vet clinic, or at home while you’re not around.

But there are so many dog crates out there in different sizes, materials, and styles it can be extremely difficult to know which crate to choose. 

In this article, we help you to find the best small dog crate for your petite pup, as well as offer you some valuable tips on crate training. 

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about choosing the best small dog crate for your pet!

Comparison Table of The 7 Best Small Dog Crates for Pet Owners

IMAGE

MidWest Life Stages Wire Crate

BRAND

MidWest Life Stages Wire Crate

DETAILS

  • Crate divider included
  • Foldable for easy storage
  • Excellent quality
Pet Mate 21859 Vari Kennel

BRAND

Pet Mate 21859 Vari Kennel

DETAILS

  • Robust, sturdy design
  • Escape-proof door latch design
  • Excellent quality
Frisco Fold & Carry Double Door Collapsible Wire Dog Crate

BRAND

Frisco Fold & Carry Double Door Collapsible Wire Dog Crate

DETAILS

  • Includes crate divider
  • Foldable dog crate for easy storage and portability
  • Durable plastic plan included
Carlson Pet Products Secure and Foldable Single Door Metal Dog Crate

BRAND

Carlson Pet Products Secure and Foldable Single Door Metal Dog Crate

DETAILS

  • Excellent basic wire crate
  • Folds for easy storage and portability
  • Plastic plan included
Crown Pet Products Wood Pet Crate End Table

BRAND

Crown Pet Products Wood Pet Crate End Table

DETAILS

  • Attractive wooden construction
  • Nice quality product
  • Comes in two finishes
DONORO Dog Crates Kit for Small Size Dogs

BRAND

DONORO Dog Crates Kit for Small Size Dogs

DETAILS

  • Attractive wire crate with durable fabric waterproof cover
  • Easy to assemble
  • Perfect for small dog breeds
Amazon Basics Two-Door Top-Load Hard-Sided Pet Travel Carrier

BRAND

Amazon Basics Two-Door Top-Load Hard-Sided Pet Travel Carrier

DETAILS

  • Robust travel crate
  • Reasonably priced
  • Ideal for use at home, too

What Is The Best Size Of Crate For A Small Dog?

two dogs in two separate crates

When buying a dog crate for your pet, it’s essential that you choose the correct size of crate. For more information and a detailed guide on how to work out what size of a crate you need, read the comprehensive article at this link.

If you have a small dog breed, such as a Toy Poodle, Chihuahua, or Mini Doodle, that weighs under 30 pounds, you will need a crate that measures 18” x 18” or 18” x 24”. Small dogs that weigh between 30 and 38 pounds should be fine in a crate that measures 24″x18″ or 24″x24″.

How Do I Know If My Dog’s Crate Is Too Small?

If your dog’s crate is too small for him, you’ll notice that:

  • Your dog cannot stand upright without his head touching the top of the crate.
  • Your dog is unable to lie down flat out with his legs stretched out.
  • Your dog cannot turn around in the crate.

A crate that’s too small is very uncomfortable for your pup and can cause serious issues with stress and muscle cramps.

What Features Should A Small Dog Crate Have?

When shopping for a small dog crate, there are a few crucial things to take into consideration, including:

Safety and Quality In Mind

Sad dog behind the bars of her crate

Many people use a small dog crate to transport their pet, while they’re out and about, as well as for times when the dog is left home alone. So, you want a good-quality crate that’s safe for your dog.

Look for durable materials such as thick plastic or steel wire in a hard crate and strong, water-resistant fabrics in a soft crate. All crate types should have adequate ventilation on all sides.

Useful Features

There are a few useful features to be aware of when choosing crates for small dogs:

Plastic or Metal Tray

If you’re using a wire crate for potty training, you’ll need a crate with a metal wire frame that has a removable, easy-to-clean metal or plastic tray that slides easily underneath the crate.

Carry Handle or Shoulder Strap

A secure carry handle or shoulder strap is essential on crates that are to be used for travel. Also, a crate that has wheels and can be folded down completely makes life much easier for you in terms of storage and portability.

Crate Divider

If you’re buying a crate for your puppy, you’ll want to look for a crate that comes with a divider.

A divider is used to split a double door model of crate into two smaller sections, enabling you to gradually increase the size of the crate as your puppy grows. That saves first-time dog owners from having to buy multiple new crates to replace previous models that are now too small.

Crate Cover

Many dogs enjoy using their crate as a kind of safe refuge during stressful times or for sleeping in at night.

A crate that comes with a cover is ideal for creating a cozy denlike atmosphere for your dog. If the cover is waterproof, you can also use the crate in the garden during the summer months.

What’s The Difference Between Hard And Soft Dog Crates?

You can choose between a hard and a soft dog crate. So, what’s the difference?

Well, hard dog crates are made from plastic, wood, or metal wire. In comparison, soft crates have fabric walls, fabric paneling or mesh fabric often with a panel front zipper and an entire mesh panel. A soft crate made from durable polyester fabric is often washable.

Hard Dog Crates Advantages and Disadvantages

Hard dog crates have several pros and cons and pertinent features.

Let’s start with the pros:

Pros and Cons street sign
  • Hard dog crates are durable and long-lasting and are popular with puppy owners. Many come with dividers that you can use to extend the life of your crate, gradually extending it as your puppy grows.
  • A metal dog crate should have a plastic or metal break-resistant floor pan that slides underneath the crate or deep floor. The plastic floor pan is leak-proof and easy to clean in the event that your dog has an accident.
  • Some kinds of hard dog crates, such as metal ones, are best for teething puppies and dogs that chew.
  • If you want to travel by air with your dog, you must have a hard plastic travel crate so that your pet can travel in cargo.
  • Hard dog crates generally offer plenty of ventilation, which is crucial for your dog’s safety and comfort in hot weather and when traveling.

There are also a few disadvantages to using hard dog crates:

cons and pro street sign
  • Cheap metal wire dog crates sometimes become distorted if not stored or transported carefully.
  • Some kinds of plastic travel carrier can develop sharp edges that may harm your pet.
  • Hard crates that are made from wood and plastic are not the best choice for dogs that chew.
  • Although you can fold and store most metal dog crates, hard crates are generally heavier and bulkier to transport so you need to have your preferred dimensions in mind when you buy one of these.

There’s a wide choice of styles of hard dog crates that you can use as purely functional modes of transport for your pet or as a safe haven for your dog to use in your home. But you can also choose a hard crate that works well as a decorative item of furniture, such as an end table.

Soft Dog Crates Advantages and Disadvantages

Soft dog crates also have a number of good and not-so-good points, as well as some extra features.

The advantages and plus points of soft dog crates include:

  • Soft crates are very lightweight and portable.
  • Soft dog crates are often designed with an additional pocket for storage and other additional storage features.
  • You can choose from many different styles of soft dog crates, including backpacks and wheeled varieties.
  • If you have a very small dog, many airlines permit your pet to travel in-cabin, provided that your pooch is secured in a soft crate.

Now, let’s check out the disadvantages to soft dog crates:

  • Generally, you can’t find a soft dog crate that a determined Houdini hound can’t get out of. So, soft dog crates are not recommended for dogs that are good escape artists.
  • A soft crate will soon be destroyed by a chewer, making this style of crate unsuitable for teething puppies.
  • Many soft crates are not well-ventilated when compared with hard crates, especially wire ones. That means that your dog might overheat or become dehydrated in warm weather or on a long journey.
  • Although some soft dog crates are washable, this kind of ergonomic carrier is not as quick and easy to clean up as a metal dog crate with a removable tray.
  • Soft crates are not ideal for the housebreaking process.

When choosing between a hard or soft crate, it’s really a case of what basic features you want.

Travel Crates

The safest way for your dog to travel is in a crate in the back of your vehicle. If your dog is crated for his journey, he won’t be able to cavort around the car, causing a dangerous distraction for the driver and risking injury to himself in the event that you have to brake sharply. A travel crate is essentially a large wire cage with a solid, waterproof floor and a door that opens to the front of the crate. 

For your dog’s comfort, the crate must be large enough for your pet to stand, sit and lie down in. Always remove collars and leashes while your dog is in transit in his crate.  Such items can present a dangerous choking hazard if your dog fidgets during the journey and a trailing lead become tangled.

Getting Your Dog Used To His Travel Crate

Black Dog inside a crate
  • Before setting off, allow plenty of time to familiarize your dog with his crate. Make effective crate training a game by using your dog’s favorite toys to encourage him inside.
  • Leave the crate door open and remove the divider feature so that your dog can come and go as he pleases until he’s relaxed and happy.
  • Reward your dog with a treat when he’s inside his new crate.
  • Make several short journeys around the block with your dog crated up in the car so that he’s used to the experience before your road trip, especially if you’re traveling for any distance.
  • On the day of his journey, take your dog for a good, long walk before you crate him up.  If he’s burned off any excess exuberance, he’ll settle better for his car ride.
  • Dogs can easily overheat if they become stressed.  Make sure that your car isn’t too warm by adjusting the air conditioning or cracking the windows slightly.

Preparing For The Trip

Dogs often get motion sickness when traveling in cars, especially if they’re unfamiliar with the experience. For that reason, it’s important that you don’t give your dog any food whilst he’s in transit. Give him a light meal four hours or so before you leave to reduce the risk of him vomiting while you’re driving.

Similarly, give your dog the opportunity to relieve himself before you set off so that he’s comfortable during the journey. It’s a good idea to invest in some waterproof seat and floor covers for the back of your car, just in case of toilet accidents. 

7 Best Small Dog Crates For Pet Owners

In this section of our guide, we review our seven favorite dog crates for small pups.

1. MidWest Life Stages Wire Crate

MidWest Life Stages Wire Crate

Crate divider included

Foldable for easy storage

Excellent quality

This manufacturer is a highly reputable company that has been around for many years. So, it’s no surprise that the MidWest Life Stages Small Dog Crate is an extremely popular product that offers excellent value to the consumer.

This sturdier crate is available in both single and double-door versions, depending on what suits your needs best. Double doors offer you more flexibility but also provide two possible escape routes if your pup is a Houdini. You can overcome that by latching one of the doors shut simply by using a carabiner.

The crate comes complete with an interior divider that can be handy if you have a growing puppy that you’re potty training. Also, you can fold the crate flat for convenient storage. To protect your floor coverings, the crate is fitted with rubber roller feet. There’s a carrying handle for easy portability, and the crate has a durable liner to keep your dog comfortable.

PROS

  • Crate divider included
  • Foldable for easy storage
  • Single/double door options
  • Rubber roller feet to protect your floorings
  • Includes plastic tray  

CONS

  • Not entirely escape-proof

2. Pet Mate 21859 Vari Kennel

Pet Mate 21859 Vari Kennel

Robust, sturdy design

Escape-proof door latch design

Excellent quality

If you’re looking for an escape-proof, virtually indestructible crate, the Pet Mate 21859 Vari Kennel is ideal. The manufacturer has been around for many years and always produces high-quality, durable products that remain popular with pet owners today.

This plastic carrier can be used for transporting your dog but also doubles as a crate at home. The main downside to this crate is that some dogs and young puppies might chew the material as it isn’t a heavy duty design.

The portable crate comes in several different sizes, including and extra-small 24-inch option. The smaller crates snap together to assemble the two halves, whereas the larger ones are secured by strong bolts. For additional security, the metal rods that hold the door closed are held in a reinforced plastic holder, which is much safer than some cheaper crates where the rods fit into a hole punched in the rim of the crate. 

You want to be sure that your dog won’t escape during transit, and the squeeze latch fastening design ensures that your pup can’t open the door himself.

PROS

  • Secure door latch design makes crate escape-proof
  • High-quality materials
  • Easy to clean
  • Reasonably priced 

CONS

  • Unsuitable for young puppies and serial chewers

3. Frisco Fold & Carry Double Door Collapsible Wire Dog Crate

Frisco Fold & Carry Double Door Collapsible Wire Dog Crate

Includes crate divider

Foldable dog crate for easy storage and portability

Durable plastic plan included

This heavy-duty wire crate wire crate is Chewy’s own house brand and is an excellent low-cost option for crate training your puppy. We love this metal crate because it comes in lots of different size options and is cheaper than many of the other more well-known brands.

The high-quality crate can be used as a travel crate and for keeping your dog contained at home while you’re not around. You don’t need any tools to assemble the crate, and it can be folded flat for easy storage.

This exceptional crate comes with a divider panel that you can use to make the inside of the crate smaller. That’s ideal for a growing puppy, saving you from having to purchase multiple crates as your furbaby matures. Also, you can utilize the divider when housetraining your puppy. The crate comes in single and double-door versions.

PROS

  • Collapsible design for easy storage
  • No tools required for assembly
  • Durable plastic pan included
  • Reasonably priced 

CONS

  • Not as robust as similar, branded wire crates

4. Carlson Pet Products Secure and Foldable Single Door Metal Dog Crate

Carlson Pet Products Secure and Foldable Single Door Metal Dog Crate

Excellent basic wire crate

Folds for easy storage and portability

Plastic plan included

The Carlson Pet Products wire dog crate is a well-made, durable design, no-frills product that does the job at a reasonable price.

The crate is a single-door design for security and features a secure locking system to keep your dog safely contained inside the crate while in transit. There’s a removable flat tray-shape that’s easy to wash and keep clean and hygienic. 

The crate is completely foldable for easy storage and portability and is suitable for puppies and small breed dogs, such as Toy or Mini Goldendoodles, up to 25 pounds. This pet crate is perfect for taking your dog to work, for trips to the dog park, or as a relaxing space for some R and R in a den-like atmosphere.

PROS

  • Portable and foldable for easy storage
  • Secure locking system
  • Leak-proof bottom tray
  • Excellent quality 

CONS

  • Doesn’t have rubber feet to protect flooring

5. Crown Pet Products Wood Pet Crate End Table

Crown Pet Products Wood Pet Crate End Table

Attractive wooden construction

Nice quality product

Comes in two finishes

If you need a crate to use in your home but you don’t necessarily need to travel your dog, this beautiful solid wood construction makes an attractive but functional solution. 

The crate doubles as a safe den space for your dog, as well as making a useful end table. There are a few small issues that you should be aware of if you choose a wooden dog crate.

  • Puppies can chew wood, causing damage
  • Toileting accidents can stain the wood
  • The crate should be a quiet place for your dog to retreat to in stressful situations. If you want to use the crate as furniture, the environment could be too noisy for your pup.

This attractive sturdy construction comes in two finishes, Espresso and Mahogany, and two sizes are available. The crate floor is made from melamine-covered MDF that’s easy to clean in the event of accidents and prevents urine from seeping into the wood or floor beneath the crate.

PROS

  • Attractive, well-made wooden crate
  • Can be used as an end table
  • Includes melamine-covered MDF floor to eliminate leaks
  • Excellent quality 

CONS

  • Not suitable for dogs that chew

6. DONORO Dog Crates Kit for Small Size Dogs

DONORO Dog Crates Kit for Small Size Dogs

Attractive wire crate with durable fabric waterproof cover

Easy to assemble

Perfect for small dog breeds

This clever wire dog crate kit is an ideal solution for your home that can also be used as a travel crate for a small dog or a puppy up to 30 pounds in weight.

The wire crate has a double door front and side entry system. Each of the doors has two heavy-duty bolt latches to keep the door securely locked so that your dog doesn’t escape. The crate has a handy carrying handle and comes with a leak-proof base liner tray.

There’s a stylish, functional 600D Oxford fabric crate cover that’s waterproof and machine washable and fits easily into place using a hook and loop system.

PROS

  • Easy to assemble kit
  • Can be used for travel and in your home
  • Attractive, waterproof cover
  • One-year guarantee 

CONS

  • Might be fiddly to assemble for some people

7. Amazon Basics Two-Door Top-Load Hard-Sided Pet Travel Carrier

Amazon Basics Two-Door Top-Load Hard-Sided Pet Travel Carrier

Robust travel crate

Reasonably priced

Ideal for use at home, too

If you like to take your small dog with you when you travel, this small, top-loading travel kennel could be the perfect choice for you.

The crate has two doors that provide ample ventilation from the top and sides on warm days, as well as providing your dog with a nice outlook while you’re on the move. The door latch can be opened with one hand, making life much easier for solo travelers, and the top door opens to both left and right.

There’s a top handle for easy carrying. The carrier snaps together via four latches that are reinforced with extra screws for your peace of mind and your pet’s security.

PROS

  • Sturdy and robust construction
  • Can be used for travel and in your home
  • Ample ventilation
  • Easy-open, one-handed operation door latch

CONS

  • Only suitable for very small dogs

In Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed our guide to the best small dog crates for pet owners. Please take the time to share the article if you enjoyed it.

Of the dog crates we’ve reviewed in this guide, we love the MidWest Life Stages Small Dog Crate. The wire crate is well-made, comes in single and double-door versions, includes an interior divider, and is fitted with rubber roller feet to protect your floor coverings. There’s also a carry handle for easy portability and a durable, leak-proof tray liner in case of accidents.

Which dog crate did you choose? Tell us in the comments box below.

Meet our writer

Alison Page was brought up with dogs and various other pets! For a few years, Alison worked as a Practice Manager in a small animal veterinary clinic. Alison is now a full-time writer, specializing in creating articles on the care and training of dogs, cats, and fish.

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