Crate training, when done effectively, can be a helpful tool. Not only does it provide your new puppy with a sense of safety and stability, it also provides you, as a new puppy owner, with a way to establish order and rule in your home. Implemented and followed through with correctly, crate training is a win for all parties involved – especially for your puppy.
We appreciate the impact a dog crate can have on the lifestyle you share with your pet. For some families, a dog travel crate is the only way a pet can travel in safety and comfort. And for most, a dog's crate serves as his sanctuary—a safe place for him to rest, recuperate, or just plain relax. However the crate fits into life with your dog, we take great pains to make sure ours will rise to the occasion.
Continuing the trend with leaders topping our list of best travel dog crates, MidWest are best known for their top quality metal dog crates. This Midwest Life Stages folding metal dog crate in particular can be used throughout the life of your dog, and it's a great alternative to soft travel dog crates. Normally, it's recommended to buy the crate for regular use as opposed to just travel, and when looking for it, make sure to buy one for your dog's adult size (if you still have a puppy that is). Metal dog crates are good for both plane and car travel if you know how to use them. Some dogs prefer metal crates over soft, but they're not always the best option. A divider panel is included with the crate to adjust its size as your dog grows. This gives the option for the crate to be used for more than one dog, as the size of the cage can be adjusted for each dog.
The Variocage is more of a machine than just a crate. Although it may have a slightly off-putting appearance, this powerful crate is designed to take the harshest punishment imaginable without a scratch. With hydraulic locks, thick metal bars, and even an emergency escape hatch, this crate is an impressive bit of handiwork. It has been proven sturdy in all different types of crash tests, and comes in sizes for any size dog.
Most crates are made of solid hard plastic or wire mesh; there are advantages to each. While soft-sided pet carriers work great for transport, they may be too small and prove too tempting for chew-aholic pups to work well for safe confinement. Solid plastic crates are generally opaque, so your dog won't be able to see much once it's inside. This can be either a plus or a minus, depending on your dog's need for privacy and the type of household it lives in. Plastic crates are a must if you plan to travel by air: airlines will not allow you to transport your dog in a metal crate. Wire crates offer plenty of air and visibility and are easy to clean. They can also be folded down and put away when not in use, which is a terrific feature for a smaller home.
Once your puppy accepts the crate as a fact of puppy life, you can move the crate to a more acceptable spot in the house. A place next to your own bed will let the puppy sleep in its own spot but near your familiar smells and presence. That also offers you a more private area to seclude it, when necessary, from activities in the living area or kitchen that might keep your dog overstimulated.
No matter which crate type suits you or your pup best, you’ll want to make sure that your dog has enough room to stand up and turn around in their home, but not so much room that they can soil their cage on one side, and sleep on the other, as that would negate any progress you make on the house training front. While a plastic crate would likely require you to continually upgrade as your pup grows, newer wire, metal cages are customizable with an included, movable divider, so the larger space you buy for them as a pup will also fit them as an adult.
Finally, you'll want to be sure to check with the travel agency (if you're using one) and all locations where you will be staying to make sure that both pets and the type of crate you're taking are allowed. Remember to ask if they have unique crate specifications. This is particularly true for airlines, because each airline has their own guidelines, but the same can be said for every bus service, train service, and hotels. Planning ahead could save you from dealing with unnecessary issues during your travels.
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