Dog kennels, also called dog crates, are excellent tools for housetraining, travel, or simply to use as a snug and cozy place for rest and sleeping. Dog kennels come all sizes to fit all puppies and adult dogs. Some are adjustable, with dividers that allow you to make the usable space smaller for young puppies and larger as they grown.
Dog kennels also come in many different styles, including plastic, wire and canvas. Some dog kennels are rigid; others fold or collapse for easy transport and storage. Some dog kennels are even approved for airline travel if you want to fly with your pup. Here are some the best dog kennels to keep your dog safe and cozy.
Best Two-Door: Petmate Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel
It's clear that pet parents love PetMate’s two-door dog kennel. Real-life reviewers say it’s a great price, extremely easy to transport and super sturdy.
Made from steel and plastic, this kennel provides strength, safety, ventilation and visibility for your pet. Its two doors make placing your pet inside the kennel simple—and offers her visibility from different angles.
This kennel can be an excellent tool in potty training your pooch, and it’s approved for most domestic and international flights. Its comfortable carrying handle makes it easy for you to transport it, too.
One warning for potential buyers: Several noted the kennel was too small for their dog, so be sure to check the measurements before placing your order.
Best Travel: SportPet Designs Travel Dog Kennel
If you and your furry family member are regular globetrotters, you may want to invest in a kennel that makes traveling with your pet safe, simple and comfortable.
Enter, SportPet Designs’ rolling plastic kennel. It’s approved by the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) for use on planes, comes with a water dish and four “live animal” stickers (which are required by most airlines) and has bungee holes, so it can be secured during the flight. Plus, its removable wheels make it easy to transport this kennel from your home to the airport—no more lugging across the terminal!
Available in six different sizes, ranging from small (which doesn’t have wheels) to extra, extra, extra-large, this kennel can accommodate even the largest dogs. Made with strong plastic, metal and interlocking slats, this kennel is durable enough for daily use—and will keep your dog safe and secure during travel.
Best Pop-Open: Petsfit Portable Pop-Open Kennel
If you’re looking for a light, portable and extra cushy kennel for your dog, check out this pick from PetsFit. Featuring three entries (on the front, side and top), mesh windows for ventilation and a soft, washable mat for your pet’s comfort, this kennel is ideal for indoor use or travel. Because this kennel is made from fabric, it’s super lightweight for easy transport and can fold up for storage.
Although the manufacturer recommends this kennel for dogs up to 25 pounds, several people noted their 30-pound dog fit comfortably inside. The manufacturer also recommends this product for potty trained dogs. The inner cushion is washable, but will absorb any accidents.
Heads up: This kennel does not have a handle, so it can’t be used as a carrier.
Best Budget: AmazonBasics Two-Door Pet Kennel
In the market for a no-frills kennel to transport your dog (or cat) to the vet or on road trips? For under $30, this plastic, two-door kennel from AmazonBasics might be your best bet.
This kennel is made from extra durable plastic and features a steel wire door, so your dog has plenty of visibility and ventilation. Its two doors— on the front and top of the kennel — make it easy to load and unload your pet, or give her a little extra space if she’s feeling cramped. Want to make your kennel extra secure? Use the included screws to further secure the top of the kennel to its base.
Buyers love this kennel because it’s lightweight, easy to load and affordable. Several customers, however, recommend reinforcing the side latches with heavy-duty tape — they can sometimes unlatch on their own.
Best Soft: Arf Pets Soft Kennel
Made for indoor or outdoor use, this soft, fabric kennel from Arf Pets is ideal for pet parents who travel, go camping or just want a comfortable, easy-to-store place for their dog to hang out at home. Available in two sizes, this kennel can be used for dogs weighing up to 40 pounds.
Featuring a water-resistant base and machine washable fabric cover, this kennel is super easy to clean and maintain despite lousy weather or the occasional bathroom accident. Its heavy-duty, steel frame construction makes it extra durable for years of use. And despite their strength, the frame’s bars are collapsible, making set-up and storage simple.
This kennel has three entrances covered with breathable, mesh material, and a carrying strap for easier transportation.
Best Exercise: ESK Collection Exercise Kennel
Want to give your pooch a comfortable place to relax—and maybe even get a little exercise? This kennel, from ESK Collection, can help you do both. Made from waterproof oxford cloth and breathable mesh, this kennel can be used indoors or outdoors. Its mesh screens make it easy for you to monitor her activity and behavior, too.
This kennel is composed of eight foldable panels for easy set-up, breakdown, storage and transport. Set-up, it measures 48” (diameter) x 24” (height), but its convenient, spacing-saving design allows you to store it almost anywhere.
With exterior storage compartments and an included travel tote, you can transport your dog’s favorite toys, snacks and supplies in one lightweight, easy-to-carry package.
Reviewers recommend this product for its convenient size, durability and wallet-friendly price tag.
Best for Flying: Petmate Sky Kennel
PetMate’s Sky Kennel is ideal for pet parents who travel frequently with their dogs. Its heavy-duty plastic construction, 360-degree side ventilation and super secure door latches will keep your dog safe, secure and comfortable throughout your journey. Each kennel also comes with “live animal” labels, a soft, absorbent pad and food and water cups. Although you should always confirm airline travel requirements for pets, this kennel adheres to standards for most flights.
Available in six different sizes, this kennel can accommodate any dog or cat. Not sure which size is right for your pooch? The manufacturer has some guidelines for measuring him: Measure from the top of his head to the floor, then the tip of his nose to the base of his tail. The height of the kennel should be three to four inches taller than him, so he has space to stand up, sit, turn around and stretch out.
What to Look for in Dog Kennels
If you plan on using a dog kennel to help house-train your puppy, it should be just big enough for your pup to stand up, turn around and lie down comfortably. If the dog kennel is too big, your puppy can sleep at one end and urinate at the other end, which defeats the purpose. Since puppies grow quickly, you might need to transition to bigger size dog kennels over time. Some dog kennels come with dividers inside, which allow you to partition off a smaller space when your puppy is smaller, then gradually provide more room as he grows.
Dog kennels come in three main styles: plastic, wire and canvas. Plastic dog kennels are very durable and easy to clean. They also provide a lot of privacy and warmth since they are fairly enclosed. Wire dog kennels are also durable and easy to clean. They offer good airflow and visibility for dogs that like to see what’s going on. Canvas dog kennels can also allow good airflow if they have mesh sides but provide a little more privacy than wire dog kennels. Canvas dog kennels are more difficult to clean if they become soiled, and very determined dogs may claw or chew their way out of them.
Most plastic crates are rigid and don’t fold down, but they are generally pretty lightweight and can be easily lifted into a car for travel. Wire crates often fold flat for easy travel and storage, but they can be heavy. Like wire crates, canvas crates usually collapse or fold down for travel but are lightweight.
If you plan to travel and wish your dog to fly in the cargo hold of the plane, the dog kennel you choose must be approved for air travel. Dog kennels that meet certain requirements will be advertised as “airline approved” or “approved for air travel,” but always check with your specific airline ahead of time to ensure your kennel will work as different airlines may have slightly different requirements.
What is the price range for dog kennels?
Dog kennels range widely in price depending on the size of the kennel and the materials it’s made of. In general, expect to pay between $40 and $200 or more on a dog kennel.
How do you clean an outdoor dog kennel?
Dog kennels that are designed to be used outdoors can be cleaned with a hose and soap, a pet-safe cleaner or a dilute bleach solution. For stubborn debris, you may need to use a scrub brush or sponge.
How do you make a dog kennel feel comfortable?
Make your dog’s kennel cozy and inviting with a soft crate pad, blanket, or towels. Place your dog’s favorite chews or toys inside, and offer treats to create a positive association with the kennel. You can drape a blanket or towel over the top of the crate to keep it warm and snug inside, and to block out light and sound, especially at night when your dog is sleeping.