You can safely stack purpose-built dog kennels (e.g. heavy duty dog crates) that are designed to be mounted in a semi-permanent frame. On a temporary basis, you could also theoretically stack hard plastic kennels as long as the dogs living in them weren’t too heavy.
Some of the answer to this question is based more around semantics than it is around actual safety considerations. A dog crate is usually just made of wire and is in the shape of a squarish box, and you wouldn’t want to ever stack wire crates on top of each other if they contained live animals.
There’s a good chance that the dogs inside would eventually start to peck at one another, especially if the holds in the wire mesh were big enough for a puppy to stick his or her muzzle through. Kennels, on the other hand, are made of rounded plastic and more or less closed.
They’re normally used to transport pets, so they’re sturdy enough to stack in a pinch. A few pet supply companies sell dog kennels that are designed with stacking in mind, though you still won’t want to leave them like this for a long period of time.
While some people call cloth dog carriers crates or kennels, they’re neither and they’re solely designed for transporting dogs. You don’t want to ever try stacking these.
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How to Safely Stack Dog Kennels or Crates
The safest way to stack dog kennels or crates is when no animal is inside of them. They can be stacked on top of one another when in storage and left like that for an indefinite amount of time as long as they’re not moved.
If you’re going to leave animals inside of the carriers, then the best way to load the kennels is as follows:
- Acquire two or more dog kennels that have safe flat bottoms
- Place the kennels on top of each other in a stable place
- Make sure anything you need for dog care is already inside
- Load the dog on the top kennel first
- Close the door
- Get the second dog to come into the bottom kennel and then shut the door
Once they’re stacked together, you probably won’t want to move them.
How to Clean and Keep Stacked Kennels Sanitary
Dog kennels can be cleaned without moving them as long as you’ve taken the dogs out of them first. Wait until you can have both dogs outside on a play-date before you start cleaning the kennels.
Clean the interior surfaces the same way that you would clean any other dog shelter. While some dog owners might want to sanitize the interior of a kennel, especially if it’s being used to board outside dogs, make sure that you don’t leave any traces of disinfectant because it could be toxic to dogs.
While some breeds tend to be more sensitive than others, all dogs have really powerful noses so this could be a problem too. Don’t clean out a kennel with anything that has a particularly strong scent.
Always load the top dog first in a stack before you put an animal in the second one. If there’s any debris on the ceiling of the lower stack, then loading a dog in the top one could generate enough of a vibration to shake it free and force it to the bottom of the lower one.
By cleaning the bottom of the kennel on a regular basis, you can be sure that the underlying plastic surface isn’t going to get moldy.
Stacking Dog Crates in a Laundry Room
As long as you have solid enough dog kennels, you can stack them in a laundry room. If you plan on keeping live animals this way, then you’ll want to start with these steps:
- Clean the floor and make sure that there’s no debris before you position the crates
- Check to see that the kennels you’re using are facing the right direction to be lined up
- Brace the bottom kennel against something solid if at all possible, such as the corner of your room
- Shove the kennels a bit once they’re in place to see if they have any give; ideally they shouldn’t move much at all
- Turn off the washing machine and dryer before putting live animals in, since they normally don’t like the noise
- Secure the doors of the kennels once they’re loaded
While this can be an attractive way to store dogs, especially if you live in a manufactured housing unit, it really shouldn’t be looked at as a permanent solution. Stacked kennels can become unstable over time, especially if the dog on top gets excited and moves the entire container, so you’ll want to look for a more permanent option.
Can You Stack Crates in a Car or Truck
Motorists who are only moving small dogs in a relatively larged sized vehicle can get stackable kennel transporters from a vendor that specializes in this kind of gear. These kennels have to either be braced once they’re inside of a vehicle or used in stacks of four to make sure that they’re stable enough.
Drivers have to take care not to take corners too sharply, because it’s possibly to spill stacked crates in the back of a truck. Most pet supply companies that sell this kind of merchandise market it toward animal control organizations that take rescued dogs or cats directly to a shelter.
Truckers who work for these groups usually invest in a solid purpose-made kennels that are bolted into place. This gives them the freedom to take corners slightly more sharply, though they still have to drive with extreme caution as a result of the fact that they’re carrying live animals with them.
Never try stacking wire crates anywhere, especially in a moving vehicle. These carries are not meant to transport animals.
Some carriers are actually certified for use in motor vehicles, and anyone who works for a shelter might be required to use them depending on how their local laws work.