Most dog owners find dog crates to be an indispensable piece of equipment. The option to secure one’s dog in a confined space at night, in the car, or simply whenever it’s convenient is a great convenience. Dogs, too, seem to enjoy the security and comfort of a dog crate once accustomed to them. When shopping for a dog crate, dog owners have many choices to make- size, brand, and design all play a part in choosing the perfect dog crate.
The most common crates are a simple plastic shell with a metal grated door. However, there are also a wide range of “soft” dog crates, made from fabric on a lightweight metal frame. For many dog owners, soft crates offer great advantages over other varieties. Here are some points to consider if you’re thinking of buying a soft dog crate.
Firstly, cost varies widely between different dog crate types. The cheapest, which are typically sturdy wire cages with a removable plastic pan, cost as little as $20, while some designer models run as high as $600. Soft crates typically run between $40 and $120, depending on the size, model, and brand. The cheapest soft dog crates will be no frills- just six sides and a zipper- while more expensive models may offer various extra features: locking mechanisms, reinforced seams, rubberized feet, loops for ground stakes, side pockets, and others. Depending on your budget, you may choose to take advantage of some of these extras, or not.
However, even the most high-end, pricey soft crates will be reduced to a worthless pile of scraps in no time at all if its resident chooses to destroy it. Unlike hard plastic or metal crates, soft dog crates are not appropriate for vigorous chewers, or dogs who are not yet kennel-trained and may try to escape. Given enough time, a distressed, struggling dog will easily tear through mesh, rip out seams, and break zippers. And even the small teeth of a puppy will make short work of fabric if it chooses to chew on its home. For these reasons, soft crates should only be used for dogs that are trained and already comfortable in a crate.
Where soft dog crates lose out on durability, they excel in convenience. Large metal crates can be quite heavy, and even plastic ones that are lighter tend to be awkward to move. The fabric-on-frame design of soft dog crates makes them light, easy to lift, and easy to break down for storage or transport. This makes them popular among those who have limited space in their home or car, and do not use the item on a daily basis. People who take their dogs camping also find soft dog crates useful, as they can be packed easily. The elderly or disabled, or anyone who has difficulty lifting heavy objects, should consider this advantage to a soft dog crate.
Similarly, soft dog crates differ from rigid ones in cleaning. Metal or plastic dog crates must be hand-washed. Although many offer removable floor pans in case of “accidents”, these must still be scrubbed clean. A residual scent left by dog waste may encourage the dog to re-soil the crate. Soft dog crates, on the other hand, can typically be disassembled machine-washed. This is generally more convenient than hand-washing, although one should keep in mind that fabric is more likely to stain as a result of dog waste than plastic or metal.
On that note, aesthetics are one more reason many dog owners prefer soft dog crates. Wire cages have an “institutional” look that some find unappealing, and plastic models tend to lack style. Many soft dog crates are designed with the same attention to lines, color, and utility that one might find in a trendy backpack. Although no one can say whether or not dogs appreciate these little details, style-conscious dog owners certainly do.
All taken together, soft dog crates are ideal for those pet owners who:
- Have limited space in their car or homeowners
- Must frequently transport their dog crate by hand
- Own dogs that are calm, crate-trained, and not prone to chewing
- Prefer a dog crate to be aesthetically pleasing
- Are willing to pay slightly more over a comparable hard dog crate
Hopefully, this has been an informative and helpful guide to choosing a dog crate. We wish you and your pets cozy nights, safe travels, and all the best in your adventures together.
When it comes to providing a comfortable place for your dog to call home nothing beats a Soft Dog Crate. They are just as sturdy and dependable as traditional metal and plastic crates. Soft Dog Crates have the added benefit of being better ventilated, increased visibility, and Soft Dog Crates are extremely portable. When it comes to your Dog Supplies nothing beats a Soft Dog Crate.
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