How To Choose A Soft Dog Crate
If you’re looking at soft dog crates, chances are you’ve already realised wire crates aren’t the best option for you or your pup. But while a soft-side crate will undoubtedly make a comfortable spot for your prized pooch, they are several key features you need to look out for depending on what you want to use your crate for, especially if you plan on taking it on trips!
Unfortunately, most soft crates are only suitable for smaller dogs, so be sure to really pay attention to the size of your crate. You don’t want your pup to feel confined, and so the ideal crate should offer them plenty of room for them to move around in. If you’re not sure about the size of your dog and what they’ll need, please consult our crate size by breed and weight guide further below.
If you want to be able to move your pet’s portable home around at will, you’re going to need it to be as lightweight as possible! Luckily, most soft crates are generally light anyway due to their materials, but if you’re purchasing a particularly large one, make sure to check the specified weight of the product to make sure you can lift it!
As well as the crate being lightweight, if you plan on transferring it around, you’ll need it to have suitable handling. Things like long top handles and adjustable over-the-shoulder straps can make life a lot easier!
Foldability For Easy Set Up and Storage
Many soft-sided crates are foldable, which means they don’t require tools to assemble. A good soft crate should be a fabric material with an inner steel frame which can be manipulated to pop-up into shape or fold down for quick storage. If you’re only going to use the crate on holiday’s and trips, this is a great feature as it means you can stow away the kennel when not in use.
The one huge con of soft dog crates is that they can often be made of materials which are easily torn and ripped. This is especially the case if you’re pup is the type to go out of their way to rip them up! Try and find a soft crate which is made of a more durable nylon or polyester material as opposed to a soft cloth.
Windows and Ventilation
Naturally, none of us particularly enjoy being thrown into a box with no windows, hence why prisons have never really caught on. Therefore you need to choose a crate which provides plenty of visuals for your pup to relieve any anxiety they might feel. More importantly, these windows must also offer plenty of ventilation so your pup can breathe easy!
Comfort Mats or Beds
Despite their name, a soft crate’s base is never actually that comfy, especially when against the ground or a hard floor. A comfy bed or fleece partition is incredibly useful in making your pooch feel at home, and will save you shelling out for a dog bed to put inside!
If you want to use your crate outside, it almost definitely needs to provide some form of protection from bad weather! Thankfully there are plenty of soft crates made from tent-like fabrics which will keep your pup dry in wet conditions.
What Size Soft Crate Do I Need? – Crate Size By Breed and Weight
Soft crate sizes are usually listed in inches and tend to range between 18” and 42”. However, sizes toward the upper end of the spectrum are slightly rarer.
Dogs need at least 6” of extra height and width to their crate to be truly comfortable, and so it’s crucial you pick the appropriate size. If you plan to carry your dog while they are in the crate, you also need to check what kind of weight each size can accommodate.
To see which size of crate best suits your breed of dog, consult the guide below.
Extra Small – 18″ to 22″
– For very small dogs under 25 lbs.
Breeds: Affenpinscher, Brussels Griffon, Chihuahua, Chiweenie, Japanese Chin, Maltese, Maltipoo, Morkie, Papillon, Teacup Pomeranian, Puggle, Russian Toy Terrier, Teacup Yorkshire Terrier, Toy Fox Terrier, Toy Poodle, Yorkshire Terrier
Small – 24″
– For small dogs under 30lbs.
Breeds: Australian Terrier, Bichon Frise, Border Terrier, Boston Terrier, Cavapoo, Chinese Crested, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Smooth Fox Terrier, Havanese, Jack Russel Terrier, Italian Greyhound, Manchester Terrier, Miniature Dachshund, Miniature Poodle, Norfolk Terrier, Norwich Terrier, Parson Russell Terrier, Pomeranian, Pomsky, Poochon, Pug, Schipperke, Shichon, Shih Poo, Shih Tzu, Silky Terrier, Skye Terrier, Tibetan Spaniel, Yorkie Poo, Zuchon
Medium – 30″
– For small or medium dogs of 25 to 40 lbs.
Breeds: American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Water Spaniel, Basenji, Bedlington Terrier, Boykin Spaniel, Cairn Terrier, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Cockapoo, Cocker Spaniel, Dachshund, French Bulldog, German Pinscher, Irish Terrier, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Lhasa Apso, Miniature Pinscher, Miniature Schnauzer, Pekingese, Redbone Coonhound, Scottish Terrier, Shetland Sheepdog, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Tibetan Terrier, Welsh Springer Spaniel, Welsh Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, Wirehaired Fox Terrier
Medium/Large – 36″
– For dogs between 40 and 70 lbs.
Breeds: American Eskimo, Australian Cattle Dog, Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog, Basset Hound, Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound, Beagle, Brittany Spaniel, Bull Terrier, Bulldog, Chinese Shar-Pei, English Setter, English Springer Spaniel, Finnish Spitz, Harrier, Keeshond, Kerry Blue Terrier, Norwegian Elkhound, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Portuguese Water Dog, Segugio Italiano, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Standard Schnauzer, Treeing Tennessee Brindle, Whippet, Yakutian Laika.
Large – 42”
– For dogs between 70 and 90 lbs.
Breeds: Airedale Terrier, American Bulldog, Aussiedoodle, Australian Kelpie, Australian Shepherd, Bearded Collie, Belgian Sheepdog, Belgian Tervuren, Bernedoodle, Border Collie, Boxer, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Chow-Chow, Clumber Spaniel, Dalmatian, German Shorthaired Pointer, Golden Retriever, Goldendoodle, Gordon Setter, Ibizan Hound, Irish Setter, Irish Water Spaniel, Labrador Retriever, Pharaoh Hound, Plott Hound, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Saluki, Schnoodle, Sheepadoodle, Poodle (Standard), Vizsla
You’ll probably struggle to find a soft crate any larger than this, so if you own a particularly large breed you might have to admit defeat and get a wire cate!