When it comes to deciding between a dog crate and a kennel, there are a few key similarities and differences to keep in mind.
Both provide a safe and secure space for your dog, but crates are typically smaller and more portable than kennels. Kennels are also usually made from sturdier materials like metal or plastic, which can make them better suited for outdoor use.
Another difference is that kennels typically have more ventilation than crates, which is important if you live in a hot climate or plan on using the kennel outdoors. Finally, kennels typically come with a floor pan that can be removed for easy cleaning, while most crates do not have this feature.
What Is The Difference Between A Dog Crate And A Dog Kennel?
It is important to understand the main differences between a dog crate and a kennel in order to make a purchase that will offer you the best value for your buck based on your specific requirements.
To make your life easier, we have divided the differences up based on 3 key features so you know exactly what you are getting yourself into. Without further ado, here are the main differences between a crate and a kennel.
Difference #1: The Build
Kennels, which are also known as doghouses or dog sheds, are built to resemble small houses and may even have the slanted roof design. They are usually completely closed off and may have a door or simply an open entryway.
Crates on the other hand often have a cuboid shape offering full restriction from all sides. They also tend to have grills or meshes on one or more walls offering visibility and aeration.
Difference #2: Materials Used
Dog kennels are built to last very long in outdoor spaces. As a result, the materials used are very strong and include wood or stone. These are meant to offer protection for the pooch from exposure to the elements and the doghouse itself from deteriorating from the same exposure.
With crates, there is a wide variety of material options with metal and plastic being among the most popular selections for hard crate designs. You could also get one made from cloth material. These are known as soft crates and offer the benefit of collapsibility for convenient storage.
Difference #3: Purpose
Doghouses are permanent structures and are meant to offer shelter for dogs trained to sleep outside. They may also be used to keep dogs in places like shelters. Finally, their permanent and stable nature makes them ideal for keeping guard dogs restrained when they are not performing their duties.
Crates on the other hand are more often than not used to transport the pooch which is made possible by their portable design. There are some dog crates that focus more on safety than portability, like the Variocage that is made of a heavy-duty steel frame to stake its claim as the only crash-tested certified dog crate in the market.
- The ONLY Dog Transport Cage to Pass Front, Rear & Roll-Over Crash Tests
- MIM Safe - Manufacturer of Crash Tested Automotive Safety Products Since 1989
- 18 Sizes with Adjustable Length to Designed to Fit Most Dogs and Vehicles
Dog crates are also sometimes used as indoor sleeping spots as well as in discipline crate training to minimize roaming.
Is A Dog Crate Or Kennel Better For The Dog?
For the most part, if dogs could have their way, they would roam free whenever they wanted and wherever they pleased. So no, dogs do not innately like kennels and crates.
However, dog crates and kennels are actually good for dogs. These structures have a lot to offer the little one which is why they are definitely worth a try. Here are a few of the most important of these perks.
They Teach Discipline And Independence
Your dog will whine and fuss at first but eventually they will get with the program. These restrictions help to establish some sense of responsibility as the dog has a space they come to identify as their very own. It comes in particularly handy with potty discipline as they learn to hold in order to avoid messing up their valued spaces.
They Offer A Sense Of Security
Crates and kennels have also been shown to work wonders when dealing with separation anxiety with some dogs. The confined space actually gives a lot of dogs a sense of being safe and with time helps reduce tantrums associated with the anxiety.
They Make Traveling Safe
This is the case mainly with hard plastic or metal cases. They allow you to take your pet anywhere with you whether it is a drive to the vet or a plane trip around the world.
They Protect The Pooch From Outdoor Factors
This applies to the kennels that are built to offer outdoor refuge to the dog. That way, whether it rains, snows, or the sun shines too bright, the dog has somewhere to escape to when they are outside.
As you can see, crates and dog kennels are not bad for dogs. You just have to make sure you get the best type of crate or dog shed out there which ensures that in addition to offering restriction, they are comfortable for the dog.
Should I Get A Dog Crate Or A Dog Kennel?
Contrary to popular belief, it is not cruel to crate a dog whether it is at night or when you leave for work.
As mentioned in the previous section, there are several perks to this restriction whether it is indoors or outdoors. The key factor to consider is which of the two options works best for you.
To help you out, let us take a quick look at who kennels are made for and which dog owner would benefit the most from a crate. That way you will know what you should get between a dog crate and a dog kennel.
Who Are Dog Kennels Best For?
- Dog owners with very large dogs in which case custom kennels are the best.
- Those with aggressive pooches need to be restrained during the day.
- People have guard dogs that don’t need to be out all day.
- Pet owners with pooches that love to spend most of their time outdoors. Here, a door may not be necessary if the dog is well trained.
Who Are Dog Crates Best For?
- Dog owners who travel a lot with their furry best buddies.
- People running dog training activities including individual pet owners.
- Owners of dogs with separation anxiety and other phobias.
To wind this whole discussion up, the only reason why you shouldn’t crate your dog up is in cases of severe anxiety where crating has proven to worsen things. Other than that, you and your dog have a lot to look forward to. Simply use our quick guide to figure out which one of the two, if not both, would work best for your setup.
Things To Look Out For When Getting A Dog Crate
With dog crates there are very many different options out there based on structure, materials, and many other factors. These are all important to consider in order to invest in something that truly works for you and your dog. Below are a few things to look out for when getting a dog crate.
The Design Of The Crate
If you simply want something to offer limited restriction for your dog, it would be best to go with something like the playpen style of crate that is a little more open. However, if you want strict restriction whether for discipline training or transport then a full coverage crate style would be perfect.
The Type Of Material Used
Here, it is a matter of hard crate vs soft crate. Hard crates are sturdier and therefore generally safer to travel with and for dealing with more aggressive dogs. Soft crates from fabric on the other hand are ideal for simple restriction and are perfect for days out in the part with your dog.
The Size Of The Crate
You want to make sure that your dog has enough space to move around and feel some bit of freedom. If you go too small then you might worsen issues like aggression and anxiety which beats the purpose of investing in the crate.
The Flooring Design
With a solid and waterproof floor, you can leave water in your dog’s crate without worrying about them making a mess all over. This also makes such crates perfect when potty training your pooch.
The Amount Of Coverage Offered
Whether or not a crate is covered is particularly important when dealing with metal dog crates. The coverage comes in handy when dealing with dogs that suffer from anxiety by offering them a sense of safety under the tarp.
Things To Look Out For When Getting A Dog Kennel
There is also a lot to consider when shopping for a dog kennel for your furry best buddy. This is also the case should you decide to get a kennel custom-built for your space. Let us take a look are the 4 most important factors that will help you make the best decision for your dog.
The Size VS Your Outdoor Space
Dog kennels are meant to serve as a second home for your furry best buddy. It is therefore crucial to ensure that you offer them enough space that they feel comfortable whether they are sleeping or just hanging out there for some shade.
You also have to make sure that whatever you go for actually fits your backyard without taking up too much space.
Doghouses are meant for outdoor use which means they will be consistently exposed to things like rain and sunshine from above and ground moisture from below. You therefore need to invest in a kennel that will actually stand the test of time despite all this. If you decide to go with wood, also make sure to get a kennel weather coating and pest resistance to improve on durability.
To Floor Or Not To Floor?
A lot of kennels do not come with flooring and if they do they are often a little bit more expensive. The additional measure protects both the dog and other accessories including dog beds from damage from ground moisture. So, consider getting one with a floor or installing one of your own before setting up the kennel.
Door Or No Door?
Kennels could either be completely open or with secure doors. The former is ideal for easy-going dogs and offers quick access in and out. Those with doors, however, are perfect for more aggressive pooches.
Pinnacle Woodcraft – Pinnacle Woodcraft is a fantastic option if you want a dog crate that complements your interior décor. The wooden structure is a welcome break from unsightly metal and plastic crates that stick out way too much. This makes it possible to set up comfortably in common spaces like living rooms so you can hang out with your best buddy whether it is during meal times or when you are entertaining.
In addition to the awesome aesthetics, this crate serves a multipurpose function doubling up as an end table. That way you get to make the best possible use of every bit of space in your living area.
- Chew Proof: Sturdy maple/oak hardwood & steel wires resist chewing and scratching, unlike cheap cages made with...
- Spacious And Relaxing: 9”L X 9”W X 9”H is comfortable for (medium sized, medium and large) dogs. Extra big wall...
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Tangkula Wooden Dog House – The Tangkula Wooden Dog House is easily the best option for dog owners looking for something comfortable and durable. It has a classic doghouse look with a modern twist featuring the log cabin style with rustic details along the edges.
The dog kennel is built for weather resistance with features like a waterproof asphalt roof for rain and a large and airy design for airflow in hot weather.
It also stands out with the presence of an elevated floor. In addition to offering a stable surface for the dog to rest on, the raising protects the kennel from flooding as well as from access by insects and other pests like fleas.
- 【🐶Log Cabin Style Design】This classic log cabin style dog house is a fun, rustic addition to your patio, yard, or...
- 【🐶Weather Resistant】 Main house with roof to protect your pet during adverse weather. The slanted asphalt roof is...
- 【🐶Adjustable for All Surfaces】The adjustable, extra-high plastic-tipped feet allow you to level the house on...
MidWest iCrate Starter Kit – If you are a first-time dog owner we would recommend you start with the MidWest iCrate Starter Kit. It has everything you will need to start your crate training journey including the metallic crate itself, a comfortable dog bed and 2 pet bowls.
It also includes a crate cover which makes it ideal for puppies as well as dogs suffering from anxiety as it offers that cozy feeling of protection from the scary world to the anxious dog. This will also help block out triggers like light and some noise.
With one purchase, you have all you need to get your dog used to living in a crate and the independence of sleeping alone.
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- LARGE DOG BREED KIT INCLUDES EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO GET STARTED: 1 fully equipped 2 door iCrate, 1 dog bed, 1 crate...
- STARTER KIT ideal for large dog breeds with adult weight up to 71 - 90 pounds