Dog crates are an essential part of training your pet and keeping her safe and secure when you’re away. But not all crates are created equal—if you have a large, anxious or destructive dog, you may have experienced first-hand what can happen when a flimsy crate meets its match. Whatever the case, a heavy-duty dog create is a smart buy. They last longer, keep your pet safer and can help alleviate the worry pet parents might feel when leaving their pet contained.
6 Heavy Duty Dog Crates
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We’ve selected six of the best heavy-duty dog crates based on our experience and other pet parent’s reviews. We’ll share what makes each a great buy and help you pinpoint the crate that best meets you and your dog’s needs.
This extremely versatile crate will fit the needs of most pet parents. The crate is well-constructed with industrial corrosion-resistant steel, making it more durable than traditional wire crates. It features a double locking system made from sturdy metal, which makes this a great tough dog crate option for dogs with separation anxiety and other escape artists. Additionally, it has castor wheels, which make it easy to move and wheel around, but the wheels lock in place and keep the crate from moving when you get it set in place. While it is on the expensive side, many pet owners who purchased this crate say that it’s a lifesaver for their dogs with separation anxiety.
- Made of sturdy industrial-grade steel
- Available in three different sizes for medium and large dogs
- Lockable wheels
- Side and top doors for entry and easy access.
- Removable, easy-to-clean tray catches food or accidents
Things to Consider:
- Not for small dogs
- It is a heavy crate, but luckily the wheels make moving it easier
- High price point
- Color choices are limited
Dogs with extreme separation anxiety need a chew-proof crate that stays put, like this one made with steel bars, secure locks and a sturdy frame. It has a grated bottom and a removable pan to easily clean up messes without giving your pet access to any outer parts. While it’s heavy and not easily disassembled, the wheels (which can be locked) allow it to be moved around the house. If your dog does attempt to chew the crate, you can rest easy knowing it’s made of non-toxic materials.
- Strong steel bars
- Wheels with locks
- Available in brown or dark silver
- Made with non-toxic materials
Things to Consider:
- Not ideal for travel
- Not suitable for giant breeds
If you’re looking for a heavy-duty dog crate that is as stylish as it is strong, we like this option from Snimoy. The rustic brown top mixed with the dark metal body is stylish enough to look like accent furniture, especially if you have an industrial or modern vibe in your home. But looks aside, this crate is tough and strong enough to prevent most escape attempts with four sturdy locks. The crate is also scratch and bite resistant, so you don’t have to worry about dogs damaging it. It’s available in three different sizes and made for medium to large dogs.
- Heavy-duty construction
- Stylish, furniture-like look
- Slide-out double tray
- Has lockable wheels to make moving and securing it easy
Things to Consider:
- Assembly instructions are a bit hard to follow
- May not be strong enough for dogs with extreme separation anxiety
- Not meant for small dogs
If you have a giant breed dog, finding a crate that gives her enough room to move around comfortably can be a challenge. But this one is specifically made for even the largest breeds, coming in at 45 inches high. Due to its collapsible nature, this crate is heavy-duty enough for strong dogs yet easy to travel with. It features both a front and side door, giving you more options on where to place the crate and three locks on each door to keep your dog safely inside.
- Suitable for extra-large dog breeds
- Travels well
- Removable and washable pan
- Front and side doors
Things to Consider:
- May not be strong enough for extremely destructive dogs
- Dog has access to bottom tray
- Some reviewers say panels arrived damaged
If your dog isn’t a chewer and you need something solid and long-lasting, this modern-looking crate is a great choice. Unlike other crates that stand out amongst your furniture, this one blends in and becomes an aesthetically pleasing part of your home. The cabinetry comes in gray or white oak, while the bars are constructed with stainless steel.
- Attractive home decor
- Provides both airflow and security
- Stainless steel bars
- Two doors
Things to Consider:
- Not suitable for destructive pets
- Not suitable for travel
If you’ll be using a crate specifically for travel, something that is crash-proof and virtually indestructible is the best way to keep your pet safe. The Gunner G1 Kennel comes with a hefty price tag, but features including double-wall protection, backup latches to keep dogs from escaping, stainless steel hardware and a drainage system make it worth it. It’s 5-Star Crash Tested by the Center for Pet Safety and built to withstand 4,000 pounds of force. You can’t find a more heavy duty dog crate for travel.
- Crash-proof tested
- Lifetime warranty
- Double-walled for extra impact protection
- Protects pets in all weather
- Top and bottom backup locks
- Only 27 pounds when empty
- Made in the USA
Things to Consider:
- Not for extra-large breeds
- Not large enough for long-term or all-day crating
Heavy Duty Dog Crate Buyer’s Guide
When to Use a Heavy Duty Dog Crate
A heavy-duty crate is a good choice for many situations. And while they may be an obvious choice for large dogs, even smaller-sized dogs can benefit from a strong, sturdy crate.
A significant benefit for every type of dog is that heavy-duty crates can be more long-lasting than flimsier plastic crates, and those made with rust-, scratch- and dent-proof materials can be used for years to come. Heavy-duty crates are essential for dogs who are destructive chewers, have separation anxiety, tend to escape, have a lot of energy or are simply large. They not only keep your pet safe while she’s contained, but you’ll never have to worry about coming home to a dog who’s escaped her enclosure and begun to feast on the couch.
Crates aren’t just a good idea to protect your home and keep your dog safe from ingesting potentially dangerous items; they can also be beneficial for training and your dog’s overall comfort and happiness. When introduced properly, a crate can become a dog’s haven and aid in potty training your pet. It protects them when you aren’t home and gives them a calm place to nap when you are. When traveling, it gives her a piece of home to help her relax.
Most dogs can benefit from heavy-duty crates, but if you have a small, calm dog, a heavy-duty crate may not be worth the extra expense. Most dogs prefer crates that feel cave-like, so choosing a too-large crate—like many heavy-duty crates are—may not provide the comfort a smaller dog craves.
What to Look for in a Heavy Duty Dog Crate
The best heavy-duty dog crate for you depends on your needs. Generally, steel and similar heavy materials are ideal for most dogs due to their safety profile (plastic and other materials may be chewed and ingested). Crates with thick bars may be preferable for dogs with a history of chewing and destroying crates with thinner frames. Sturdy latches and locks are a must if your dog finds ways to escape her crate—look for crates with multiple latches that are inaccessible to your dog’s reach.
You should also consider how you’ll be using the crate. If you plan to travel with your pup, a crate that can be broken down and reassembled quickly is important. Remember that these crates may not be strong enough for large dogs that have bent or broken crates in the past, so carefully evaluate what makes the most sense for your situation and needs.
Bigger dogs may need heavier crates, and a crate without a bottom tray that the dog can reach might be necessary, too. While these trays make cleaning easy, most are made of plastic that dogs with strong jaws can still chew. You can remove them entirely if your dog isn’t prone to accidents.
Choosing a crate large enough for your dog is a must. In general, your dog should have enough room to stand, turn around and lay down comfortably. To properly potty train puppies, you’ll want to avoid a crate that’s too big. Luckily, many crates come with an accessory that allows you to increase the crate area as your puppy grows gradually, so pick out a crate that matches the potential size of your dog when she’s fully grown.
When it comes to how much you can expect to pay, know that costs vary widely depending on the size of the crate. While you can find a solid, heavy-duty crate for under $100 for most dogs, if you have a giant-sized breed or need something significantly stronger, prices can soar to over $200. If cost is an issue, consider looking for used crates that fit your needs.
Tips for Using a Heavy Duty Dog Crate
If your dog is new to crate training, a proper introduction is critical to making the crate something your dog loves. Associating the crate with your pet’s favorite treat or toy is a great start. The crate should always be used as a positive tool—never use the crate as punishment.
Consider some accessories to make the crate an enjoyable place to be. A breathable crate cover can help your dog feel safe and secure by recreating a den-like atmosphere. A cozy bed or blanket adds comfort. Be careful about leaving items in the crate if your dog tends to destroy them, and only leave chewable items in the crate when you can supervise your pet. Never leave your dog’s harness or collar on, as these can be caught on the crate and injure your pet.
For adult dogs, eight hours is the general suggested maximum time dogs should stay in a crate (about as long as a typical work day, although adding in a quick lunchtime walk is a good idea). Young puppies will need potty breaks often—generally, puppies under 6 months shouldn’t be crated for longer than 4 hours at a time (but remember that for some puppies, even a few hours may be too long without an accident). While your dog can spend the entire night in her crate, remember that most puppies will need bathroom breaks at night, depending on their age and size.
While crates are a wonderful tool, they should never be used as a solution for issues that require a specialist—if your dog is acting out, it’s important to rule out boredom, anxiety and even health issues. And while a crate can serve as a safe place for dogs to stay alone if they have separation anxiety, it isn’t a solution—this issue should be tackled with the help of a behaviorist and proper training.
With the help of a heavy-duty crate, you can create a relaxing, safe place for your dog to retreat to. And with a strong and secure crate, you can relax, too, knowing your dog is protected even when you’re away.