We Found the 7 Best Dog Crates of 2023 for Every Type of Pooch

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Things to Consider Before Buying a Dog Crate

Dog Size

The first thing to consider when buying a kennel is the size of your dog. Crates come in many sizes to accommodate pets weighing anywhere from 4 pounds to upwards of 150 pounds. Check the dimensions to make sure your dog will fit, then look at the brand’s recommended weight limit to ensure it’s the proper size.

Portability

If you need something for trips, vet appointments, or competitions, a conventional dog pen won’t work, as portability is key. Many dog crates have carrying handles, and some larger models feature built-in wheels. For plane travel, be sure to check the airline’s oversized cargo guidelines or carry-on requirements if you’re bringing your pet in the cabin.

If you’re going on a road trip or picking up your pooch from another location, a collapsible design will be easier to pack. And generally speaking, lighter-weight models are better for on-the-go use.

Durability

A durable dog crate will have a sturdy frame that stands up to wear and tear. If it’s bumped by heavy luggage, it should remain upright, and a rowdy pup shouldn’t be able to knock it over from the inside. Additionally, the door should have a secure latch to prevent escapes. Our best overall pick, the Petmate 2-Door Top Load Kennel, is super durable, thanks to its hard exterior that can withstand bumps and turbulence.

Cleaning

Lastly, the kennel should be easy to clean. Many models have pull-out trays you can remove and wash as needed (in case of pet treat spills). Some soft-sided crates have removable, machine-washable covers. If yours has neither of these features, you’ll have to wipe it clean from the inside or potentially hose it down if the materials are waterproof.

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How We Tested

After researching today’s best dog crates, we chose 20 models with varying styles, features, and price points to see how they stack up. Our team carefully assessed the design, portability, and usage recommendations, then assembled each kennel according to the instructions. We also threw sandbags at them and yanked on the doors to test for strength and stability.

The dog crates were then rated for ease of setup, ease of use, durability, ease of cleaning, and value. Our best overall pick received perfect scores in all categories, and the lowest rating was the LuckUp Dog Cage, which we found somewhat flimsy and a bit too jail-like. Those with the highest average ratings were selected for this story.

PEOPLE / Jessica Juliao

What Is PEOPLE Tested?

We created the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval to help you find the very best products for your life. We use our unique methodology to test products in three labs across the country and with our network of home testers to determine their effectiveness, durability, ease of use, and so much more. Based on the results, we rate and recommend products so you can find the right one for your needs.

But we don’t stop there: We also regularly re-review the categories in which we’ve awarded the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval — because the best product of today might not be the best of tomorrow. And by the way, companies can never buy our recommendation: Their products must earn it, fair and square.

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In short, PEOPLE Tested provides recommendations you can trust — every day, every purchase.

Want more product recommendations? Check out all of our People Tested content.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>