Most dogs will spend some of their life in a crate, whether that’s for traveling, trips to the vet or the groomer, or just sleeping at home. If you’re looking to invest in a dog crate, choosing the perfect one can be challenging.
Crates come in all shapes and sizes, with some specifically made for small dogs and puppies. Take a look at some of the best small dog crates:
Top 6 Picks for Best Small Crates for Puppies in 2021
|Best Small Dog Crates||Our Rating|
|Best Overall Small Crate for Puppies (Editor’s Choice)||
|Best Budget Small Crate for Puppies||
|Best Metal Small Crate for Puppies||
|Best Plastic Small Crate for Puppies||
|Best Soft Small Crate for Puppies||
|Best Wooden Small Crate for Puppies||
The 13 Best Small Crates for Puppies
Are you looking for a crate that your small dog will love? We’ve researched for you and compiled a list of the very best products on the market.
Best Small Plastic Crates for Puppies
One of the first decisions you will make is what type of crate to buy.
1. Petmate Ultra Vari Kennel
Our rating: 4.5
Size: 28 x 20.5 x 21.5 inches
Weight: 25 pounds
This plastic pet carrier is great for air travel with one single door. This travel crate is suitable for dogs weighing up to 30 pounds (14 kg) and features reinforced plastic for the door poles for added durability and security.
Wire vents provide plenty of ventilation for your pet.
- The squeeze latch is impossible to open without thumbs, preventing your pet from escaping
- The crate has tie-down strap holes to keep your pet secure when on the move
- The smaller sized crates just snap together, so they may not be as sturdy as the larger sized crates that are held together by bolts
2. Petmate Two Door Top Load Pet Kennel
Our rating: 4.5
Material: Plastic, Stainless Steel
Size: 24.05 x 16.76 x 14.5 inches
Weight: 6.43 pounds
An indestructible and sturdy plastic pet crate that features thick plastic walls. Oval-shaped holes on all four sides provide your pet with plenty of ventilation. The roof, which is also ventilated, opens up for ease of access.
There is also a convenient wire door in the front of this crate. The crate comes in two sizes, capable of carrying dogs between 5 and 20 pounds (2 and 9 kg).
- An ergonomic carrying handle makes transporting this crate easy
- Both doors feature secure latches to keep your pet securely inside
- The cutout ventilation holes have sharp edges which could cut your pet’s nose
3. Petmate Sky Kennel
Our rating: 4
Material: Plastic, Steel
Size: 28 x 20.5 x 21.5 inches
Weight: 12.5 pounds
Made in the USA, this high-impact plastic crate features a thick plastic heavy-duty shell. Non-corrosive steel wire and plastic wing nuts add extra durability to this crate, while the durable wire doors interlock for additional security.
In addition, wire ventilation windows on all sides ensure your pet can breathe adequately.
- This kennel meets most airline requirements for travel overseas and includes a live animals sticker on the outside
- This eco-friendly choice is made from recycled materials
- A clip-on food and water cup is included
- The size provided is for the exterior parts of the crate and not the interior which can be confusing
Best Small Metal Crates for Puppies
Metal and wire dog crates, like those seen at the vet or groomers, are commonly available. These crates provide your pet with plenty of ventilation and can be folded flat for easy storage.
4. MidWest Homes Life Stages Double Door Folding Dog Crate
Our rating: 4.5
Material: Coated Metal, Plastic
Size: 30 x 21 x 24 inches
Weight: 25 pounds
A standard wire crate by a well-known brand suitable for dogs weighing up to 70 pounds (32 kg). This double door folding metal dog crate offers more flexibility for access in and out of the crate.
The crate sits on rubber feet to prevent the wire from directly touching and scratching your floor. It also comes with a washable removable pan for easy cleaning and a convenient carry handle for moving your crate around.
- This crate comes with a divider so the interior can be made smaller for when your puppy is still growing
- The crate folds flat for easy transport and doesn’t require tools for set up or tear down
- Two doors do mean double the chances of escape for anxious pets
5. MidWest Homes iCrate Folding Metal Dog Crate With a Divider Panel
Our rating: 4
Size: 36 x 23 x 25 inches
Weight: 22 pounds
This foldable dog crate is suitable for dogs up to 70 pounds (32 kg).
Sold as an all-inclusive package, this crate comes complete with a divider panel for making the crate smaller, a durable tray for easy cleaning, a carrying handle for easy portability, and four roller feet to protect your floors.
- The single door design means there are fewer places for your pet to attempt an escape
- Two heavy-duty slide-bolt latches keep your pet securely locked inside
- Easy to set up and fold flat with no tools required
- This crate features some sharp edges which some dogs managed to injure themselves on
6. Aspen Pet Puppy 2-Door Training Retreat Crate
Our rating: 4.5
Size: 24 x 17 x 20 inches
Weight: 7.5 pounds
This secure and versatile wire collapsible dog crate features front and side door access allowing for versatile placement in your home and car.
The double latches mean additional security for your pet, while a leak-proof and break-resistant removable plastic pan allows for quick cleaning.
- This crate comes in fun pink and blue color options
- The patented five-point locking system of this crate eliminates any gaps on the top and sides that could potentially injure your pet
- Some owners complained that the paint chipped off after a month of use
7. Animaze 2-Door Folding Dog Crate
Our rating: 4.5
Size: 30.5 x 19.2 x 21.5 inches
Weight: 17.92 pounds
A two-door folding dog crate that features a foldable design that is easy to transport with no tools required for assembly. The crate comes with a removable plastic pan for easy cleaning of any spills and messes.
The crate is designed with both puppies and adult dogs in mind, with different sizes available from medium to xx-large.
- Slide bolt latches feature paw blocking technology to prevent escapes
- Two doors mean that you have variety when it comes to placing this crate in your home
- Some strong dogs managed to bend the bars of this crate
8. Diggs Revol Dog Crate
Our rating: 4
Size: 27 x 20 x 20.8 inches
Weight: 24.9 pounds
A premium dog crate made from aluminum, coated steel, and reinforced plastic. This crate features a cool grey color that looks great in the home.
The door has an ergonomic handle for easy opening and closing, while a large garage-style side door means you can open up the crate for pets who prefer extra space.
- Features an easy collapsing mechanism for easy transport and storage
- The crate comes with a divider so that it can grow with your pup
- Not suitable for aggressive dogs
9. Pet GearSteel Dog Crate With Plastic Siding
Our rating: 4
Material: Fleece, Plastic
Size: 27 x 18.25 x 21.75 inches
Weight: 18 pounds
This stylish metal and plastic dog crate feature doors on both ends, as well as one on the top and a large side garage door to allow you to open up the crate completely.
In addition, a removable fleece dog bed offers plenty of warmth and comfort for your pup.
- A pull handle, wheels, and a storage crate make it easy to take this crate with you wherever you go
- The rounded corners with no sharp edges keep your pet as well as your furniture safe
- Some dogs managed to destroy this crate in no time at all
Best Small Soft Crates for Puppies
Lightweight and easy to transport, soft crates are ideal for traveling with relaxed, calm pets. They also provide a warm and comfortable space for your dog to bed down at night.
10. PetNation Indoor/Outdoor Pet Home
Our rating: 4
Material: Nylon, Mesh
Size: 24 x 16 x 16 inches
Weight: 6.15 pounds
Portable and lightweight, this soft crate is made from tightly woven mesh fabric on a solid steel frame designed for durability.
Suitable for pets weighing up to 25 pounds (11 kg), this crate sets up and folds down in seconds with no tools required.
- Two doors allow for easy access
- Industrial strength zippers and latches allow you to secure your pet inside
- The bone-shaped windows, although cute, don’t provide a lot of ventilation and visibility for your pet
11. EliteField 3-Door Soft Folding Crate
Our rating: 4
Material: Nylon, Mesh
Size: 24 x 18 x 21 inches
Weight: 7 pounds
Made from sturdy water-resistant fabric and steel tubing, this strong folding crate is an excellent option for pet owners who want a soft but tough option for their dogs.
Mesh doors are located on three sides of the crate, allowing your pet plenty of ventilation and opportunities for access. Shoulder straps make moving around with this crate a breeze.
- A fleece bed insert comes with this crate to create a cozy spot for your pet to sleep
- A nifty pocket on top allows for easy storage of all your dog’s accessories
- This crate isn’t recommended for puppies who could easily tear through the fabric
Best Small Wooden Crates for Puppies
Wooden dog crates are great for dog owners that want their pet’s crate to blend in with the rest of their furniture, leaving their pup at the center of the action in the living room.
12. End Table Dog Crate (Crown Pet Products)
Our rating: 4.5
Size: 29.7 x 21 x 24.2 inches
Weight: 46 pounds
A decorative crate that also doubles as a piece of furniture in your home. A reasonably priced wooden crate option, this crate comes in medium and large sizes and two color options, namely Mahogany and Espresso.
The durable hardwood construction with a stained and lacquered finish looks similar to teak.
- The flat-top means that this crate can easily double as a beautiful end table
- The versatile swing-through door rotates inside the crate, so it is not in the way
- Not suitable for dogs that like to chew on wood
13. Merry Pet 2-in-1 Configurable Pet Crate
Our rating: 4
Size: 39.8 x 27.91 x 31.5 inches
Weight: 56.22 pounds
This multifunctional product is both a crate and a gate in one as the panels can easily be slid out without the need for tools to create an expandable gate for closing off sections of your home.
- The wood veneer cover blends in with your home and looks great as an end table
- It comes with a plastic tray for easy cleaning
- Some pet owners complained that this crate featured a lousy construction
Should You Crate Train Your Puppy or Small dog?
Crate training is one of the most popular methods for potty training puppies. However, crate training goes beyond just training your dog not to pee inside.
Once your dog is used to their crate, they will use it as a safe space where they can feel calm and relaxed. Dogs like to have a quiet, den-like area to call their own, and the crate can provide this haven.
There are also times when you may need to confine your dog, for instance, when traveling or leaving your dog at the vet. Having done crate training with your pup will help him not to get stressed out in these situations.
Crate training can also help to enforce positive behaviors in your dog, provided you never use the crate as a form of punishment.
Why does your puppy or small dog need a crate?
Are you wondering if it’s even necessary to get a crate at all? There are some benefits to getting your dog used to a crate when they are young:
- Crates can be used for housetraining your pet while they are still a puppy
- Keeping your dog in a crate will keep your belongings safe when you are not home
- A crate gives your dog a safe space to hideaway
- Crates can keep your dog calm on trips to the vet or after surgery
- Crates are a great way of enforcing behaviors
What are the Common Breeds that Qualify for a Small Dog Crate?
Are you unsure if your dog classifies as a small breed and thus needs a small crate? Here is a list of different breeds and what crate dimensions you should consider for your pup:
Extra Small Breed Options
Toy breeds typically stand 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm) in height and weight from 1 to 10 pounds (0.5 to 4 kg). Crates between 18 to 22 inches (45 to 56 cm) are best for these extra small breeds.
These are some examples of toy breeds:
- Boston Terrier
- Bichon Frise
- Brussels Griffon
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Japanese Chin
- Miniature Dachshund
- Shih Tzu
- Russkiy Toy
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Toy Fox Terrier
Small Breed Options
Small breed dogs weigh between 11 and 25 pounds (4 and 11 kg) and stand between 13 and 17 inches (33 and 43 cm) tall. For these small breeds, crates that are around 24 inches (61 cm) are of perfect size.
Common small dog breeds include:
- Australian Silky Terrier
- Miniature Poodle
- Border Terrier
- Cairn Terrier
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- West Highland White Terrier
- Fox Terrier
- French Bulldog
- Lhasa Apso
- Italian Greyhound
- Chinese Crested
- Norfolk Terrier
- Scottish Terrier
- Norwich Terrier
- Parson Russell Terrier
- Welsh Terrier
- Skye Terrier
- Tibetan Spaniel
Complete Best Small Crates for Puppies Buyer’s Guide
While the crates for large breed dogs are limited, small dog owners have many options to pick from.
What type of crate is best for a puppy or small dog?
There are some factors to consider when shopping for the perfect crate, and no one knows your dog like you do. Here are some of the things to think about when looking for a crate for your pooch
1. Plastic Dog Crates
Plastic crates can be great for use at home and when traveling; however, plastic is easily chewed, so it is not a great option for anxious dogs.
That said, plastic crates create a darker environment inside, which can be helpful for some dogs, whereas others prefer to see out. Also, plastic crates can’t be folded flat, so they are more difficult to store if not being used.
2. Metal Wire Dog Crates
Wire crates are the most common type of crate and are thus readily available. They are easy to store and transport as most can be folded flat. They also offer durability and security while allowing plenty of ventilation and visibility.
3. Fabric & Soft-Sided Foldable Dog Crates
Soft dog crates provide a warm, comfortable space for your dog at home and while on the go. They are also lightweight and easy to transport, but rambunctious dogs can quickly destroy them.
4. Wood Dog Crates
Furniture-style crates look great in the home and can double as bedside tables or end tables. They allow your dog to be at the heart of the action, but they aren’t as easy to clean, tend to absorb smells, and can be chewed easily.
The Difference Between Soft and Hard Dog Crates
Are you unsure about what material to choose for your dog’s crate? Let’s compare the pros and cons of hard and soft crates:
1. Hard Dog Crate Pros & Cons
Hard crates are made from plastic, metal, or wood. Hard crates are durable, easy to clean, and are tough to escape from and chew through. In addition, if you are traveling on an airline, a hard plastic crate is mandatory.
On the negative side, hard crates can be bulky and difficult to transport, can have sharp edges which are dangerous to your dog and leave marks on your vehicle and floor, and the wires can bend and distort over time or with repeated pressure from your pet.
2. Soft Dog Crate Pros & Cons
Soft dog crates are constructed from mesh and material. Soft crates are lightweight and thus easy to transport. They also come in multiple styles, some even featuring wheels or handles to carry as a tog bag or backpack.
Soft crates also provide a cozy environment for your pet, and many feature side pockets for holding toys, leads, and bowls.
That said, chewers and escape artists can quickly destroy soft crates. They are also more challenging to clean in the event of an accident. And unless the sides are well ventilated, soft dog crates can become very hot and stuffy inside.
How to choose and use a crate for puppies and small dogs?
When picking the perfect crate for your pet, bear in mind these things:
1. Pick the proper crate size for your puppy or small dog
The right size crate for your dog shouldn’t be too big or too small. The crate should provide enough space for your furry friend to stretch out, lie down, stand up and turn around comfortably, but not much bigger than that.
Of course, a crate that is a little bit too big is better than one that’s too small, but you don’t want it so large that your pet feels anxious or uses one side of his crate as a toilet.
Here is a helpful size chart for picking the right size crate for your pooch:
|Dog Size||Dog Weight||Dog Crate Dimensions||Breed|
|Extra Small||<10lbs||24Lx 18W x 19H||Pomeranian, Boston Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, Chihuahua, Papillon|
|Small||10-25 lbs||24L x 18W x 21H||Maltese, Jack Russel Terrier, Shih Tzu, Pug|
|Medium||25-40 lbs||30L x 21W x 24H||French Bulldog, Cocker Spaniel, Welsh Terrier, Dachshund, King Charles Spaniel, Miniature Schnauzer, Shetland Sheepdog, Minature Pinscher|
|Large||40-70lbs||36L x 24W x 27H||Welsh Corgi, Basset Hound, Belgian Sheepdog, English Springer Spaniel, Bulldog, Bull Terrier, Chinese Shar-Pei, English Setter, Harrier, Schnauzer|
|Extra Large||>70lbs||42L x 28W x 31H||Boxer, Australian Shepherd, Chow-Chow, Border Collie, German Shepherd, Dalmatian, Poodle, Doberman Pinscher, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Siberian Husky, Irish Setter|
2. Be patient and loving with your dog
Make sure you introduce your dog to the crate lovingly and positively. You should gradually work your dog up to spending longer and longer in his crate, so he sees it as a positive experience.
Puppies, and even adult dogs, should not be locked in their crates for long periods. The maximum amount of time you should leave your adult dog in a crate is four or five hours. Also, don’t use the crate to punish bad behavior.
3. Be wary of “dog-proof” claims
While some crates are pretty indestructible, the chances are that some dog somewhere will find a way to break out even the best crates.
No crate can guarantee that they are 100% dogproof. Dogs that break out of their crates time and time again may have additional behavioral issues that will be solved by buying a more substantial crate.
Also, when leaving your dog in their crate, be sure to remove tags, collars, and leads that could get caught around your puppy’s neck and cause strangulation.
What features should a small crate for puppies and small dogs have?
- Windows and Ventilation: Most small dog crates will only have one door; however, any crate you buy should have ventilation holes or windows on all sides to provide 360-degree airflow.
- Quality, Light-Weight Frame: A good crate should be solid. Look for products made from durable materials like thick plastic or strong steel tubes. In addition, the material should be water-resistant. The more durable the crate, the more you will have peace of mind when leaving your pet home alone.
- Adjustable sizing: While small crates work well for puppies, they are still an investment. You don’t want to have to buy a whole new crate as your dog grows into a large or medium dog. So think about what size your dog will be as an adult and buy accordingly. Some crates can be adjusted with your dog or come with a divider so you can decrease or increase the internal space in the crate accordingly.
- Visibility: Whether or not you want your pet to see out will depend on his personality. Some dogs love to check out the world around them, but too many visuals can cause stress for others. A crate cover can be used on wire crates to make it darker and block out visual stressors.
- Ease of Assembly: Budget crates tend to need some deal of assembly on arrival, while more expensive and often more durable crates will come wholly or partially assembled.
- Simple to clean: You want a crate that is easy to clean, particularly if you plan to use it for crate training. The best options include a sliding metal or removable plastic tray that picks up any spills or messes and can quickly be taken out for cleaning.
- Secure Latches: Two latches on the doors will make the crate harder for your pet to break out. However, most tiny crates (less than 19 inches) only have space for one latch on the door.
What are additional considerations for small crates for puppies and small dogs?
1. Location, Location, Location
You need to decide where you are going to put your dog’s crate. The crate should be placed in a peaceful location away from visual stressors, direct sunlight, and any drafts.
The area will also determine the size of crate you can go for, what type of doors you need and if the crate needs to be weatherproof if it will be used outdoors.
2. Collapsible Crates Are Great for Travelers
If you want your crate to be multifunctional, you may want to go for a collapsible crate that can be used both at home and while traveling or easily stored when not in use.
Also, check for carrying handles and straps that make your crate easy to transport.
3. Wheeled Crates Are Pretty Convenient
Dog crates with removable wheels make moving your crate around easier. This is a necessity with heavy-duty wire crates or strong wooden dog kennels made for the outdoors.
4. Two Doors Are Better Than One
Multiple door crates make it easier to set your crate up in various spaces in your home or different vehicles. They also allow your dog to enter and exit its crate in a variety of ways.
However, bear in mind that the more points of entry your crate has, the more possibilities there are for escape.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do you still have some unanswered questions when it comes to crating your dog? Let’s answer some of those below:
How do you introduce your puppy or small dog to a crate?
Introduce your dog to their crate slowly, starting with just a few minutes at a time, gradually increasing the amount of time you leave them in the crate.
You can try leaving treats, their food, their favorite toys, or items of clothing that smell like you in their crate, so they see it as a space they enjoy.
How long can you leave your puppy or small dog in a crate?
It’s recommended that you don’t leave your dog in a crate for longer than their age in months plus one hour. So if your puppy is two months old, it wouldn’t be left in a crate for longer than three hours at a time.
What are the airline requirements for travel dog crates?
Every airline is different, but the standard airline requirements for dog crates advise that the crate must be made of solid material, either hard plastic, fiberglass, metal, or solid wood.
The floor must also be solid and leakproof, while there must be bars or handles for moving the crate around.
Also, the crate’s door latches must feature a secure, spring-loaded locking mechanism with refillable food and water bowls attached to the inside of the door.
The crate should also have ventilation on two sides for domestic flights or four sides for international flights. Finally, wheels should be removed, and a live animal sticker should be visible on the outside.
Which Dog Crate is Best for Your Puppy or Small dog?
Overall, our top pick for the best dog crate for small dogs is Midwest’s Life Stages Double Door Folding Dog Crate. It’s durable and adjustable, so you don’t need to invest in a new crate as your dog grows.
It’s also easy to assemble, so new dog owners won’t have difficulty setting this crate up.
Are you ready to buy a dog crate for your small dog or puppy? There are many factors to consider when it comes to picking the perfect one.
You can decide between a metal material, wooden, or plastic dog crate, all of which have pros and cons.
Before you buy any crate, be sure to check for any manufacturer’s warranty so that you can return the crate if you are not one hundred percent happy with your purchase or in the event something breaks.
We hope the above has helped you choose which one will be the right fit for your dog and lifestyle.
Do you crate your small dog? We would love to hear from you about which crate you use in the comments below.