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.
AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Kennel – Amazon offers their own dog travel crate as a direct competitor to Petmate's option, and this one has almost the exact features but is available at a slightly lower price and with slightly lower quality. AmazonBasics travel crate for dogs also has only two sizes for small dogs and available only in one color. Other than that, it resembles Petmate's crate very closely.
The perfect crate should be just large enough for a puppy to go inside, turn around, and lie down to sleep, but not so large that your dog can soil one side of the crate and sleep on the other side. Of course, puppies grow. So take into account your pup’s future adult size before investing in a pricey dog crate. Large crates are available with partitions for you to “shrink” to puppy size, and then enlarge the area as your puppy grows. You can also purchase an adult-size crate, and insert a barrier like a plastic storage box that shrinks the space to puppy proportions until your pet grows into its crate. 

If you have anyone else in your car, they may not appreciate your dog jumping all over their laps to get the best angle on whatever is going on outside of the window. Your dog can quickly turn a pleasant car ride into a very uncomfortable one for your guests. While they may be nice enough to not say anything about it, they may not want to go with you and your dog on your next outing.
We purchase this for our German Shepard for when we are not home. He now a little over a year and still not able to be out when not home. This size is huge and makes me feel better when I am at work and he is in his cage. He is comfortable in it with his bed and all his toys. He has tons of room to move around, straight up straight and comfortable. He is bigger than he would probably need but he is happy and make me happy that he has room to play if wanted to. Love the two doors so can be put in a location. Assembly was pretty easy. Need two people to go fast by I did by my self and used a chair to assist me. Would buy again if need be.
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.
My Fiance and I recently brought home a 10-week old lab-pit mix. She is just the sweetest and cuddliest dog. We are having a tough time getting used to the crate though. She knows when my fiance and I have to go to work she has to go in the crate. We have tried giving her a bone to keep her occupied, putting an article of our clothing in the crate so she recognizes our scent, she has her favorite toys in the crate, but she whines for hours on end. For the last 2 weeks she has had 3 accidents in her crate, which is not bad at all! The puppy is in the crate from 8:30-12 she is out for an hour when my fiance comes home from lunch then she is in the crate from 1-3 and is let out again by my brother. Then she is out of her crate when my fiance gets home from work at 5. Any tips on how we can make this a less painful process and something she actually isn’t afraid of? She is also sleeping at the edge of the bed right now. Thank you!
Still, some puppies may have a harder time adjusting to the crate than others. Another common mistake is to expect your pup to love the crate right away. If your new pet is really crate-averse, try a new type of crate. Some dogs may prefer wire crates so they can still see their environment, while others may be the exact opposite. Also, try putting the crate in a different place. Some dogs may prefer their crate in the center of the family action while others might like it in a quieter corner of the house.
I purchased the 24.6" x 16.9" x 15" size which is good for my smaller Shiba - who is about 15 lbs. This is a good lightweight kennel for smaller dogs and makes moving your dog (when in the kennel) easy. The door swings both left hand and right hand which is very convenient - however the door does not operate as smoothly as earlier Petmate Kennels. Assembly is very fast and easy. There are no tie-down holes in this unit - which I think is a minus. Like earlier Petmate Kennels, this particular kennel size has a carrying handle at the top. Be aware that the larger sizes do not have a carrying handle - which I think is a minus. I would give this a higher rating if there were (1) tie-down holes at the four corners, (2) a handle ... full review
Addendum added January 28, 2013: My vet had never noticed these carriers because I had never put one up on the exam table until my last vet visit. She looked at it with interest and totally concurred with my opinion of having a small, but open carrier for my two (panicky) cats. She has seen more than a few overheated pets in too enclosed carriers. Since I live far from the vet I always carry spare towels for the bottoms of the carriers and she found that the "stable floor covering'* I use was an additional comfort feature for my pets long trip to their appointments. (I just ordered the larger size of this carrier for my "Phat Kat" and will donate her previous carrier to our local animal shelter.)
Once your pup is comfortable entering, exiting, and spending a little time inside the crate – doors open, of course – start feeding your dog their meals inside their new home. Depending on his or her comfort level, place the food all the way at the back (for very comfortable) or around the middle (for dogs that are still a little wary). When your pup is eating inside comfortably, begin closing the door – just while he’s eating – opening immediately after he finishes. From there, work your way up to your pup spending up to 10 minutes in their crate with the door closed after finishing their dinner.
Once your pup is comfortable entering, exiting, and spending a little time inside the crate – doors open, of course – start feeding your dog their meals inside their new home. Depending on his or her comfort level, place the food all the way at the back (for very comfortable) or around the middle (for dogs that are still a little wary). When your pup is eating inside comfortably, begin closing the door – just while he’s eating – opening immediately after he finishes. From there, work your way up to your pup spending up to 10 minutes in their crate with the door closed after finishing their dinner.
It was a little more complicated to put together than the smaller crates, but it's perfect. My lab has to have cruciate ligament surgery and his current crate is too small with the cone. It is large enough for him to freely move around and for me to actually go in there with him to give him attention. It's big and takes up a fair amount of space, but I am very happy with the purchase. Hopefully, it will minimize the difficulty of the 12 week recovery for an active dog!
We purchase this for our German Shepard for when we are not home. He now a little over a year and still not able to be out when not home. This size is huge and makes me feel better when I am at work and he is in his cage. He is comfortable in it with his bed and all his toys. He has tons of room to move around, straight up straight and comfortable. He is bigger than he would probably need but he is happy and make me happy that he has room to play if wanted to. Love the two doors so can be put in a location. Assembly was pretty easy. Need two people to go fast by I did by my self and used a chair to assist me. Would buy again if need be.
ProSelect Empire Cage – For a significantly less money, ProSelect is a decent alternative to Variocage if you're going for a short distance car travel and it's been rated as one of the best heavy duty cages for dogs. It's not crash tested, isn't as stylish or as heavy and large as Variocage, but they will be an appropriate choice for most pet owners with medium to extra large dog breeds.
I broke down and got a pompoo for my 14 yr old daughter. I am getting wonderful help from friends – but very conflicting. One says do not let pup graze – put food in crate – and shut the door. The other says never feed in crate. I tried feeding in crate – but he gets upset – spills food and whines. Now I have a pup who has not eaten and is upset. and I have to wait for the moment that he stops whining to take him out of the crate. I am exhausted and I feel he is in the crate so much already – at night and during the day when I am at work….I want him to enjoy his new family.
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Venturing away from standard best travel dog crates, we've now coming into the territory of heavy duty dog cages for travel which is yet to be dominated by one single manufacturer. However, the Variocage is one of the best heavy duty dog travel cages due to its smart design, stylish looks, high quality material and crash tests. These are very expensive travel cages for dogs, but well worth the investment if you're looking something for large dogs and long distance travel. Not only do these heavy and indestructible dog cages look very stylish, but they've been ranked best for crash tests. These travel dog crates are very comfortable for dogs and easy to clean too. In addition, for added security, the Variocage includes a built-in key lock.


Our 48-inch XXL Dog Crates accommodate dogs weighing 91-150 pounds. See dog crates size guide if you are unsure if the XXlarge dog crate is appropriate for you pet. Manufacturers of dog crates have their own measure of Large, XL, XXL crates - please check the dimension of our XXL dog crates when making a purchase. See all dog crate sizes on our Dog Crates and Dog Cages page.  
Addendum added January 28, 2013: My vet had never noticed these carriers because I had never put one up on the exam table until my last vet visit. She looked at it with interest and totally concurred with my opinion of having a small, but open carrier for my two (panicky) cats. She has seen more than a few overheated pets in too enclosed carriers. Since I live far from the vet I always carry spare towels for the bottoms of the carriers and she found that the "stable floor covering'* I use was an additional comfort feature for my pets long trip to their appointments. (I just ordered the larger size of this carrier for my "Phat Kat" and will donate her previous carrier to our local animal shelter.)
There is more than one way to keep your dog firmly in one spot. Harnesses offer your dog more freedom, acting more or less as seat belt attachments for your dog. Harnesses do nothing for your upholstery, windows, or door. If you keep your dog firmly in a middle seat you may be able to prevent drooling on the windows and doors, but this won’t protect the upholstery, and your dog may be able to reach into the front seat.
Depending on your dog, you will want to pick a crate that best suits your needs. For a smaller dog, pick a soft-sided crate or a car seat that fit them better. For a larger, stronger dog, picking a hard sided or wire crate is a better choice. All of the crates listed in this article are some of the best of their types, and there should be a choice for any dog on the list. Always remember to add beds, pads, or calming aids when picking a crate, and measure your dog first before trying to get them sized for a crate. If you are still unsure, try to get a crate that you know your dog can stand up and turn around in, as previously stated, and make sure that it is not oversized for your dog, either. Hopefully, this article will give you all the insight you need on which dog crate will be the best for you and your dog.

Favorite Top Load Portable Carrier – Pet owners with very small and teacup dog breeds who are looking to take short trips, this can be the winner. Favorite's best dog travel crate alternative has a good looking design and is the cheapest crate of all listed here. However, it's only good if you're not traveling long distances since the materials appear to be low quality and I wouldn't trust this on a plane.
Crating also has benefits outside the home. A crated dog traveling in a car will have less chance of serious injury in case of an auto accident. If you’re traveling and stay overnight someplace, having your dog in a crate will ease the concerns of your hosts. Your dog will also be more comfortable inside the familiar surroundings of his or her own crate no matter where it’s set up.
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