How To Fold Collapsible Dog Crates: Wire, Plastic, Soft, Heavy Duty & More

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Collapsible dog crates are perfect for portability and convenient storage, making them the ideal choice to take on a vacation when your canine companion is coming along, too.

If you’re a newbie to pet ownership, you will most likely be wondering just how to fold a dog crate. Is folding a dog crate as straightforward as the manufacturer would have you believe? And is every style of dog crate foldable?

Read this comprehensive guide to learn how to collapse a dog crate quickly and easily, including wire, plastic, and soft dog crates!

Different Styles Of Dog Crate

The first thing to know is that there are several different dog crates to choose from, depending on what you want to use the crate for.

Wire Crates

Dog inside a wire crate

Dog crates made of wire are probably the first choice of crates for dog owners everywhere.

Generally, wire crates are inexpensive to buy and versatile. Folding wire crates can be used for training, transportation, and in an emergency. You can also fold a wire crate easily for hassle-free storage and portability.

Soft-Sided Crates

Soft-sided dog crates are a popular choice for traveling small, calm dogs that aren’t prone to chewing. 

This type of crate is generally made from robust, flexible fabric that provides a safe, secure environment for your dog, as well as being comfortable. Soft crates are usually collapsible and have multiple openings for easy loading and unloading.

Plastic Crates

A plastic crate is generally used for transporting your dog. This type of crate is rigid and durable to provide your pet with extra protection in the event of an impact. The plastic material makes it easy to keep the crate clean, but a plastic crate model is not always collapsible.

Heavy-Duty Dog Crates

HomeyPet Stackable Heavy Duty Cage

Wire and heavy-duty dog crates are built to keep the most determined canine escape artist in check, usually having strong latches and reinforced panel joints.

This type of metal dog crate is usually not especially easily transportable, although some are fully collapsible to make storage easier.

Furniture Dog Crates

Furniture dog crates are designed to be used as useful pieces of furniture, such as end tables and media consoles, as well as providing a safe, comfortable haven for your dog.

Generally, this type of crate is not fully collapsible, as these crates are designed to be used as a permanent fixture in the home. However, there are a few exceptions to that rule.

How To Fold A Collapsible Dog Crate 

Once you’ve identified the type of crate you own, you can learn how to fold it.

Clean The Crate

Whatever type of crate you own, you’ll need to clean it before you can fold it down.

1. Empty The Crate

Begin by removing everything from inside the crate, including beds, water bottles, and toys.

2. Wash Crate Beds

If the crate contains soft furnishings, such as beds, pads, blankets, and soft toys, we recommend that you wash everything in your washing machine. Use a pet-safe mild detergent that’s formulated for use with pet bedding to avoid triggering skin allergies in your dog. 

You should also wash water bowls, bottles, and plastic toys in warm, soapy water, rinse thoroughly, and dry.

3. Scrub The Crate Inside And Out

Now, you need to give the crate a good scrub both inside and out to get rid of any stains and lingering odors. Take the crate outside into your backyard or garage to clean it.

When choosing a cleaning solution, make sure that your choice is ammonia-free and is pet-friendly. If you use a spray bottle, you might find it easier to dispense the solution equally over the crate.

We recommend using one of the following solutions that you can make easily and cheaply at home, using items you most likely already have in your kitchen cupboards:

  • Mix 4 liters of water with half a cup of bleach
  • Mix ten parts clean tap water with one part mild dish soap
  • Mix 4 liters of water with half a cup of white vinegar 

If you prefer, you can use a cleaning solution that’s specially formulated for use with pet bedding, toys, etc.

How To Fold A Metal Dog Crate

Once the crate is clean, you can fold it down.

Wire metal dog crates can usually be folded down completely in under one minute once you get the hang of the technique.

Most owners purchase a metal dog crate for initial crate training and potty training a puppy. We recommend that you never take away your dog’s crate completely since your pet will come to regard his crate as his special safe place. However, there may be occasions when you need to remove the crate to take it with you on vacation or to transport your pet. In that case, you’ll need to know how to fold the crate.

Generally, you don’t need special tools to assemble and disassemble folding wire crates. Everything you need is usually included in the package.

1. Read The Manufacturer’s Instructions

Although it sounds obvious, you’d be amazed at just how many people don’t bother reading the manufacturer’s instructions before they attempt to build or take down a metal dog crate!

So, before you do anything, we recommend that you study the maker’s guidelines carefully. Usually, you’ll find diagrams and numbered instructions with the crate, as well as a few helpful tips and warnings.

2. Check The Crate’s Condition
Midwest iCrate Dog Crate Features
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If your crate doesn’t have any instructions with it or you’ve lost them, have a good look at the crate all over before you begin working on it. Check both doors, if there are two, and all the sides. You’ll notice a few differences on one or two sides of the crate that indicate where the collapsing mechanisms are.

If the crate has a divider, you’ll need to remove that, as well as the plastic tray or pan. Once you’ve inspected the crate thoroughly, you can get started on collapsing it.

3. Begin With The Doors

Most metal dog crates won’t fold down unless the doors are closed. So, you need to fasten the doors closed rather than just shut them. 

Close the doors until the latches click. Pull the doors gently to ensure they don’t open unless you unfasten the latch you used to close them.

4. Unfasten The Crate Sides

Now, examine the sides of the crate where they join the top. Look for wires that hook the sides of the crate to the top. By pressing firmly on the crate top, you should be able to release those hooks.

Some crates are designed to work in the opposite way to that. So, you’ll need to lift the top of the cage away from a hook, pressing down on the hooks and forward into the crate. 

When the sides and top of the crate are separated, push the side forward until it collapses into the crate to rest flat on the floor. Now, do the same on the other side of the crate, leaving you with a two-sided crate.

5. Collapse The Crate
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Now, push the crate to one side, ensuring that the door side of the crate folds onto the two sides that are already resting on the crate floor. Now, take the other wall of the crate and fold it on top of the other three walls.

6. Fasten The Latches

So that the crate doesn’t unfold when you pick it up, find the latch on one side of the crate and fasten it.

7. Cover The Crate

While the crate isn’t being used, put it away in its box or cover.

How To Fold Heavy-Duty Metal Dog Crates

The same basic step-by-step procedure can be applied to heavy-duty metal dog crates. However, always read the manufacturer’s directions before you start. Also, super-secure, escape-proof dog crates sometimes require additional tools to disassemble.

How To Collapse Soft-Sided Dog Crates

Collapsing soft-sided dog crates is pretty straightforward. 

1. Identify Collapsible Points
LUCKUP Heavy Duty Dog Cage
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Soft-sided dog crates have collapsible points. Locate those areas and push them inwards. You will cause the crate to fold in onto itself when you do that.

2. Fold The Crate Sides

Push all of the side paneling toward the center of the crate until it collapses so that all the sides fold onto each other.

3. Latch The Crate Firmly Folded

Most soft-sided fashion crates have straps that fasten via Velcro or sometimes plastic clips. Once you’ve collapsed the crate, use those straps to lock the latches securely closed.

Soft-sided dog crates have some kind of screw mechanism that’s designed to prevent the crate from collapsing if your pet gets fidgety inside. If there’s such a mechanism on your crate, you’ll need to unscrew it before you can collapse the crate.

How To Collapse Plastic Dog Crates

Plastic dog crates can usually be disassembled by using these few simple steps.

1. Unlock The Latches
Best Hunting Dog Crates And Kennels

Your plastic dog crate will have plastic latches on the left and right sides.

Locate those latches and unlock them.

2. Split The Crate In Half

Once the side latches are unlocked, you can completely remove the top half of the crate.

3. Stack The Crate Halves

All you need to do now is stack the two halves of the crate on top of each other for storage or portability. 

How To Collapse Furniture Dog Crates

The main drawback of using furniture dog crates is that you can’t collapse them.

As previously mentioned, unlike wired dog crates, soft crates, and plastic crates, wooden furniture crates are designed to function as, well, furniture. So, just as you can’t fold your solid, hardwood end table, you can’t collapse your end table dog crate.

Final Thoughts

A folding crate can be extremely useful if you enjoy traveling with your dog or you want to store your crate out of sight when it’s not in use. Always read the manufacturer’s directions before you attempt to collapse the crate. There’s usually a telephone number for you to call for advice in the event that you struggle to persuade the crate to fold down.

I hope you enjoyed our guide explaining how to fold a collapsible dog crate for portability and storage. If you found our tips helpful, please share this article!

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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