The Best Small Dog Crates in 2023
If you are in need of a crate for your new puppy or dog, you might be overwhelmed by the amount of choices you have. As you try to narrow down your options, your first criteria might be simply the size of the crate relative to the size of your dog or the current and future size of your puppy.
But when considering a new crate for your dog or puppy, there are several key factors that should be on your list beyond size. The materials and durability of the crate system are key, especially if you hope to get many years of use with it. The overall comfort of the crate for your dog should also be a key point. Last, the aesthetic appeal of the crate should also be a factor, especially if you plan on keeping your dog’s crate within a high-traffic living area of your home.
We’ve taken a close look at crates for puppies and smaller dog breeds and have come up with a list of what we believe are the six best choices for your consideration.
Our Top List
We love this all-in-one solution for your dog. This system offers not only a crate that meets your dog’s needs, you also get a crate-darkening cover to create a safe haven for your dog to rest even during the brightest part of the day. Another great feature is the dog bed that is included with the crate and made to perfectly fit into the floor and corners of the crate. No need to struggle with finding a suitable dog bed or cushion to fit the crate with this option.
This crate system offers you all you need if you have a new puppy or dog.
- A center door on the long side of the crate, making for easy entrance and exit.
- Two stainless steel dog bowls included.
- A built-in dog bowl holder on the back of the crate door.
If you’re in need of a basic wire crate for your dog or for your two smaller dogs, this option fits the bill. With a divider that you can fit within the crate to create two discrete and safe spaces, you can easily use this crate for two smaller dogs or puppies to keep them in close contact but safely divided while you are gone.
With a entry door on the shorter side of the rectangle, this crate is easily tucked into a corner of your room to create a comforting retreat for your dog within your busy home. A slide latch keeps your dog safely secured while you’re away.
This crate is a fine choice for your two tiny dogs or puppy, especially if you need a crate that can be quickly folded down for trips or storage.
- Folds flat easily and quickly for quick storage or travelling.
- Roller wheels on the bottom make it easy to move for cleaning or relocating.
- Leak-proof pan included to catch any water or waste.
If your dog enjoys spending time in their crate as a safe haven or place to sleep, this dog crate offers a unique feature of two doors – one on the end and one on the side. The double door feature also allows you to easily place the crate within your home without constraints based on the door configuration. Each door features two slide latches, keeping your Houdini hound safely crated while you’re away from home.
An optional divider allows you to configure this crate for more than one dog. The leak-proof pan is removable, allowing you to easily clean it or remove it entirely if you choose to simply place a machine washable bed within the wire frame for your dog’s comfort.
The double doors of this crate make it a winning option for dogs who enjoy having crate time even when you are home.
- Keeps your dog or puppy from getting a paw trapped in the bottom of the crate frame with mini-barriers for paw safety.
- Folds flat quickly and easy for portability or storage.
- Convenient carrying handle that folds flat.
If style and design matter to you just as much as safety and security when choosing a dog crate, this wire crate might be more to your liking. The all-steel wire mesh crate comes in a delightful pink color and includes a matching pink washable crate pan. Along with the single door, slide-latched crate entry and easily folded crate construction, this crate offers the discerning decor-minded dog owner the ability to create a eye-pleasing addition within their home’s living space.
- A great option for small breed dogs up to 25 lbs and 22 inches long.
- Multi-point side wall locking system to keep the crate from collapsing when in use.
- Beautiful look perfect for indoor or outdoor use.
If you’re looking for a dual-function crate that can seamlessly integrate with your current family or living room furniture, this crate is a winner. Made of wood and in a variety of finishes to match your decor, this crate is both a safe haven for your dog or puppy in your busy home and a beautiful and functional small end table for your home.
With a simple, mission-inspired front door to this crate held in place with a metal slide-latch, this crate features three walls with slats to allow natural light to filter into this cozy den for your dog or puppy.
For the beauty and functionality, this crate system is a fine choice.
- Choice of colors, including black, gray, browns, and white.
- Easily cleaned with a damp cloth.
- Solid wood construction that can hold up to 120 lbs on the table top.
Another option for you and your dog if you wish to have the function of a crate that fits within your home decor with functionality and grace, this piece is both a crate and end table. Constructed of fully recycled polymer material, this crate will never crack, warp, or suffer the long-term effects on solid wood of your dog or puppy’s waste or slobber.
Made with two sturdy front latches for safety and a striking design that allows for light to stream through the slats found on all four sides of this crate and end table, this also offers a removable table top for easy cleaning.
We love the simple beauty and function of this crate for your dog.
- No-tools assembly for quick set up.
- Variety of colors to easily match your home’s decor.
- Non-toxic, recycled materials for your dog’s safety.
While there are several amazing options we like for different lifestyles, needs, and multi-dog families, our hands down pick is the Midwest iCrate Starter Kit. With an eye toward value and features, this crate system blows away the competition.
You can’t beat the number of options this crate gives you, from the perfectly fitted and well-designed dog bed that can be used within the crate or set up outside the crate for your dog’s comfort, to the double bowl mounting rack on the back of the crate door for easy access to water and food. This system is a great choice for first-time dog families and makes a great gift for that family member or friend who is looking forward to bringing home their first puppy.
For the outdoors, we don’t recommend using a crate but something more weather proof like a dog house or a suitable outdoor kennel for your dog.
How to Use a Crate to House Train Your New Puppy
House training your new puppy is one of the biggest tasks that you face when you bring home that cuddly bundle of wagging wiggles. Even when adopting an older dog, you may find that you need to refresh or retrain them to using the bathroom outside and not inside your home. A good crate can be an incredible tool you can use to help begin and reinforce the house-training process.
One of the key points to remember if you have a new puppy that you are house-training is simply that it will take time. Your puppy is growing rapidly and therefore needs ample food and water to fuel both their high activity level and their growing body. Expect that it will take several months of consistent and positive training as well as growth and maturity for you puppy to create a reliable house-training program that will give both you and your growing dog confidence in their abilities.
Using your dog’s crate to help with house-training can be broken down into a few simple steps.
1. Use Your Dog’s Natural Love of a Den
A small dog crate should be a naturally welcoming place for your furry friend. All dogs have a natural instinct to safely shelter in a den when resting or sleeping. Even without a crate, you may notice that your dog or puppy prefers to rest or sleep in safe corner or underneath an end table or other spot that mimics the sensation of being within a den. Some dogs may even dig shallow dens when outside if given the opportunity.
In the same vein, your dog’s natural tendency when in their den space is to keep it clean – they will withhold the urge to urinate or defecate within their den in a desire to keep it tidy.
The crate can and should become the place they now associate as their new den. Keep it clean for them if they do relieve themselves and make it comfortable by adding a cozy dog bed or blankets that they can nudge into a comfy pile.
Make sure the crate either comes with a darkening cover or you can find one in our list for crate covers. This gives your pet a dark place to rest during the day. For cleanliness, we also recommend using a crate pad or mat.
2. Use Consistent and Reliable Timing and Repeat the Process
Your puppy will likely need to use the bathroom frequently. There are predictable times when your puppy will need to go, such as first thing in the morning, or shortly after meal times, or when you return from being gone from home for an extended amount of time. At those times, be sure to take them out of their crate and outside to the same spot to eliminate. Because dogs are highly sensitive to smells and also like to mark their territory, taking them to the same spot outside to urinate and defecate will reinforce the process of using bathroom outside.
3. Use Positive Feedback to Build Positive Associations
Your puppy or dog wants to please you and be accepted by you – you are his or her pack leader. Just as with any training program, positive feedback from you in the form of verbal praise, positive body language and postures, and even extra food treats can and will build positive associations for your dog when they use the bathroom outside instead of inside.
With time, consistency, and positive feedback, using your dog’s crate can help you to easily and confidently house-train your puppy and create lifelong habits that will benefit your dog and family.
We are the Pet Dog Pals, a group of avid pet owners, bloggers, product testers, and writers for all your canine needs! We own a collective 16 dogs and 21 cats to help us test and review pet products. Our top lists and tips come from experience to help you be the best dog owner you can be!