How big of a dog crate do I need for my dog? First, it is important to understand the difference between dog crates and dog carriers. Dog crates are typically shorter than dog carriers. Dog carriers are much longer and can contain your dog in an upright position, where they would be completely visible to other people or guests. These are often used by small dogs such as Chihuahuas or small puppies that are being transported in car trailers.
So, how big of a crate do I need for my dog? Dog crate sizes range from the smallest mini-crate sized to the largest room-sized dog carriers. Choosing the correct crate size for your dog, however, is very important, especially so that you can be sure your dog has enough room to move around in while in the carrier. To properly measure your dog’s size, measure from just above their shoulders to their hind paws. This is their standing reach.
Now, let’s look at the sizes of dog crates. There are actually six different sizes of dog crates: small, medium, large, extra large, and double extra large. You should get the largest one that is appropriate for your dog. If your dog has a lot of space and a “space-habit”, a large size crate will be more suitable for them. Small and medium crates are ideal for dogs with very little space or habit to occupy. And, a large size crate could be needed by a dog that has a very large space requirement.
Now let’s look at how those specific sizes impact our dog’s travel behavior. The most important thing to know is that larger dogs travel better in large crates. Small dogs travel better in small crates. However, there are exceptions to this generalization, and here are some examples of situations where large dogs typically outdistance small dogs.
If you have a male German shepherd, and he’s neutered, you’ll probably want to get him a large crate. They’re just as suited for travel as female German shepherds. However, the male German shepherd is usually neutered for the purebred purpose of producing more show quality offspring. It would make more sense, then, to get him a female crate if his goal is breeding the dog and not simply traveling in it.
The next issue to consider is crate size when compared to your dog’s height. If you have a medium to tall dog, then keep that in mind when looking for the perfect crate. Most dogs like to be half a foot to an inch taller. A four inch crate size is the sweet spot. This will give your dog enough room to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably, but not so much that he gets confused and ends up standing or sitting up.
If you have a small dog, then you can probably go with the extra small, four-inch size. You’ll be able to squeeze in at least one additional dog in there because they tend to be very friendly and comfortable with other animals, but won’t feel like stretching too much. Be sure not to get one that’s any larger than the one you’re looking at though, because your dog might get stuck in it if it’s a lot too big. Remember, sometimes a little bit of space is better than no space.
There are also plastic dog crates and wire crates. The plastic ones are great for places like at the beach or your park because they are portable and can easily be put away after use. They aren’t as comfortable as their metal counterparts, but they can still hold your pet. Wire crates are great for when you travel. Since they are constructed from wire, they are somewhat confined, but you have some leeway wiggle room to allow your dog to stretch out.