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Metal, Plastic or Wooden - Which Dog Crate Material Is Best For You?

Buyer's Guide Crates Dog Dog Crates

Choosing a dog crate material

The Choices

When it comes to giving your dog their own personal space, a dog crate becomes the perfect accessory. They have a number of benefits and are becoming widely accepted all over the world. Unfortunately, many new buyers do not know which dog crate type they should invest in. There are so many variations in terms of material, making the decision difficult.

As well as material, brands become an issue, complicating the buying decision further. We have already discussed brands in another article, so, with this article, we’ll focus on the different crate materials you can purchase. All have their own advantages and disadvantages and the final choice will come down to what you plan on using the crate for. Everyone has their own plan when it comes to crating, so choose your crate material based around this.

If you would like to know more about the different styles/types of dog crate available, we suggest you continue to read. This article will drastically improve your knowledge of crates and will help when it comes making your first purchase.

Getting a Metal Pet Crate

The first crate type on this list is going to be metal crates. There are a ton of brands that specialize in metal crate production, with Zinger taking a prime spot. Metal crates are incredibly popular for a number of reasons and have a wide array of uses.

For starters, metal dog crates are incredibly strong and durable. More often than not, they will be used with larger dogs for training and storage. However, general crating use (in the home, etc.) can also involve a metal crate. Nonetheless, larger and more aggressive dogs tend to be used with metal crates, as the crate can take quite the beating. Some brands have even developed special crates that are designed with stronger front door locks and security.

Despite being heavy-duty and security focused, metal crates can be fairly light if you choose the right material. Aluminum tends to be a favorite among average consumers but if you’re looking for something a little tougher, MIM’s steel crates might be for you.

Metal crates can be airline approved because of their sturdy and tough nature. There is no chance of your dog escaping during transport. With the right air travel accessories (airline kits, water & food bowl, sticker, etc.) your metal crate can be used for airline travel.

Wired Pet Crates – Is There Any Difference?

A variation of the metal crate is the wired crate. This is practically the same with the difference of using wire, instead of bulk metal. The benefit here is that the dog will have a more open crate and this can help with dogs who are a little more anxious. They are lightweight and can be used in car transport, as they tend to have horizontal openings. In addition, they can sometimes have open-top mechanisms, allowing for puppies to be placed in easily.

The main issues with these crates that they can be difficult with reactive dogs. What I mean by this is that if your dog reacts badly to environmental stimuli, an open crate might not be the best decision. However, you can always invest in a crate cover if you don’t want to invest in a more expensive crate altogether.

Getting a Wooden Pet Crate

Wooden dog crates are excellent if you want a sturdy, tough crate that fits in with the decorations of the home. Wooden crates are commonly used for general home crating and you’re unlikely to see one being carried in the back of a pickup. They tend to be handcrafted and come in some impressive designs. Because of this, some of them can be very expensive.

In terms of practicality, they lack a lot of features that are provided with other crate materials. Wooden crates can be airline approved and are sturdy, but they’re not great for casual car use or when you need to move them around the house. Depending on the wood you invest in, wooden crates can be very heavy. Unless you’re looking for a crate that looks stylish regardless of how practical it is, wooden crates are the right choice for you.

Getting a Plastic Pet Crate

Among all the crate materials you can invest in, plastic crates are by far my favorite. In terms of practicality and style, they have the perfect blend. The plastic they are made from tends to be strong, highly-developed and sturdy, which also qualifies them for airline use. As well as strength, plastic dog crates are lightweight and easy to transport. They can be quickly picked up and placed in the car, ready for a journey to the park or to relatives. If your dog gets a little muddy, no problem. The crate can be sprayed down without any issues.

Plastic dog crates are probably the most popular crates available on the market because they blend in and offer tons of features. They’re also the most favored crates in regards to airline regulations. As an added bonus, they’re also cheaper than other larger crates, saving money in your pocket.

Of course, there can be some issues. Firstly, plastic can absorb smells quickly. So if you have a smelly dog, the smell may get caught in the material over a period of time. In addition, they can absorb heat and get hot in the sun. Although ventilation is provided, it may not be best to leave your dog inside on a hot summer’s day.

Other Materials?

As well all the materials above, there is also another material – soft-sided. These crates are essentially made from fabric and can be squashed down and transported around very easily. These crates are not used so much for training and such but are instead used for quick, temporary journeys, like to the vets or park. They are practical and are easy to store.

The main issue with these is they can be a pain to clean if your dog gets a little mucky, and they are not airline approved. This is a result of their lack of support. However, if you don’t need a crate for continuous use, soft-sided crates are a great, cheap alternative.

Making the Choice

Making sure you have the right pet crate is important. Everyone has their own plans when it comes to crate selection and the material it is made from will affect its usefulness. If you’re a first-time buyer, you may not know the importance of crate materials and why you need to shop with caution. With the above information, you will now know which crate material is best for you. For further information, search for our article on selecting the best brands.

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