How Big Should A Dog Crate Be?

Crate training is a phase you and your dog have to go through. Though it can be a tiring one, getting the right crate for your dog can make things easier.

The purpose of getting a crate can vary from solving your dog’s behavioral issues, getting them used to travel, or keeping them safe. Whatever the reason, a right crate is the one in which your dog can stay safe and comfortable.

Keep on reading to know how big should a dog crate be and what you need to do to ensure your dog’s safety and wellbeing within it.

Dog’s and Crate’s Measurements

When getting a crate there, are two main aspects that you need to focus on; the size of your pet and the crate’s specifications.

The Size of Your Dog

It’s essential to measure your dog’s size carefully before buying a crate. You can do this simply by using a measuring tape.

  1. Get your dog to stand still.
  2. Start by measuring the length from its nose’s tip to the tail’s base.
  3. Add a few more inches to the measured length.
  4. Then measure the height with your dog standing or sitting.
  5. Hold the measuring tape from its head top to the ground.
  6. Just like the length, add a few inches to the measurement.

The Crate’s Specifications

After measuring your dog, get a crate that fits your dog’s measurements. The width will fit automatically. To make sure that a particular crate fits you need to make sure that:

  • Your dog has enough space to stand comfortably.
  • It’s able to turn in a full circle inside the crate.
  • It’s able to sit and sleep comfortably inside the crate with its paws stretched.
  • The dog’s tail and ears aren’t pressed against the crate.

Crates with Divider Panels

If in doubt, you can get a crate with a divider panel. It helps you control the size of the crate from within. Moreover, it’s a good investment if you have a puppy. You can move the panel whenever your pup outgrows the crate and demands more space.

However, it’s not very suitable outdoors, especially for traveling. It can be dangerous when traveling by car or plane. Your dog may slide and get itself injured. The crate will also be taking too much space.

Too Small or Too Big Crates

An oversized or undersized crate can be dangerous as well. A too-small crate will be very uncomfortable for your dog to stay in. Your pet is likely to get injured from bending and being cramped inside for long.

On the other hand, a super large crate can encourage your dog to make a mess in the extra space and maybe even use it as a toilet area. It’s also dangerous when traveling. Your dog can slide inside with any sudden movements or stops and get injured. Don’t ever think there’s no such thing as a “too big crate,” because there is!

Other Important Aspects to Consider

Your pet’s and crate’s measurements are the essential factors for getting the right crate. Yet, there are other important aspects you need to consider.

The Material of the Crate

Dog crates come in different materials. There are plastic, wire, wooden, and soft-sided crates. Deciding which one to get depends on your usage and the character of your dog. It can also differ depending on your dog’s age and the climate.


Plastic crates are light and, therefore, more suitable for traveling than other types. Yet, if you want a crate to keep indoors, wooden and wire crates are better options.

A soft-sided crate is a good option indoors too. It can be used outdoors if you want to take your dog fishing with you, for example. Still, it’s not very convenient for traveling.

Your Dog’s Character

Your dog’s typical behavior can affect your choice. For instance, wire crates are the most harmful to chewy dogs or puppies. They’ll get hurt from chewing the metal when trying to get out. Chewing can also ruin for soft-sided crates.

Other dogs would prefer closed plastic, wooden, or soft-sided crates as a confined place. Closed is also better if you have an energetic dog that will get stimulated easily by anything outside, while open crates can be a better choice if your dog usually feels lonely or isolated.


In cold climates, sheltered crates like plastic or wooden ones are more suitable. They’ll block the airflow and keep your dog warm inside. In the case of a wire crate, you can still use a suitable crate cover.

During hot climates, an open wire crate or a wooden one is more reasonable. They’ll allow for proper airflow for your dog.

What to Put Inside the Crate

There are several accessories you can put inside a crate to add to your pet’s safety and comfort. The material or the specific type of the accessory may differ depending on your dog’s age and preferences.


Bedding is a crucial addition to the crate. It protects your dog and keeps it from sleeping on the crate’s hard surface, making it a comfier and safer place for your dog to stay in.

A puppy or a chewy dog can chew the fabric if it’s made of too soft material. Some puppies can also use it as toilets if they’re still untrained.

Bumper Pads

Bumper pads are also needed for your dog’s safety. They prevent injuries that may occur to your dog’s teeth or paws when trying to get out.


You can add some of your dog’s favorite toys to make his stay inside the crate more comfortable and entertaining. Chew toys are great for puppies while they’re teething. A snuggling toy can also be a good choice to make your dog less lonely.

Final Thoughts

Getting the right size of your dog’s crate isn’t a hard task. All you need is to take the right measurements of your pet, make sure to have the right space and environment for the crate. Et voila!

Your dog needs a place where it can feel safe and comfortable. The right crate with suitable adjustments can give him that.