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Top 15 Best Small Dog Crates for Small Dogs and Puppies

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Finding and picking the best small dog crate for small dogs or puppies can become a daunting task if you don't know what you're looking for. However, if you measure your dog for the crate, know the size that you want, the style and design of the crate, then you're off to a good start. In this article, we'll explain more on how to arrive at the final conclusion.

Best Small Dog Crate for Small Dogs and PuppiesWhy get a small dog crate in the first place? Some dog owners feel that crate training is cruel. They don't want to lock their dog in a cage all day. But the reality is that dog's actually enjoy having a crate of their own, and this has been extensively covered by dog trainers and canine experts.

Dog experts agree that crating a dog is a good thing (e.g. here and here). As long as you crate train properly, which means not leaving your dog in his crate for more than 8 hours per day and he is given food and water, your dog will consider the crate as his personal space, a haven of safety and privacy.

During our testing and review for the best dog crate, parts of which you can watch and read about in our dog crate comparison article, we've covered all the details about the pros and cons of crate training, picking out the best small dog crate for small dogs and other breed sizes. I'll get into that shortly.

In this article, we'll discuss how to choose the best small dog crate for puppies or small dogs, how to measure your dog and what to look for. We'll also review the best small dog crates for small dogs, including the below top five rated brands and ten alternatives:

Small Dog Crate Brand Price Quality Rating
Petmate Ultra Vari KennelPetmate Ultra Vari Kennel
by Petmate
5 stars
Prime FREE Shipping
$$$ A 4.3/5
Doskocil Compass Fashion Pets KennelDoskocil Compass Fashion Pets Kennel
by Petmate
4 half stars
Prime FREE Shipping
$$ A- 4.4/5
Petmate Portable Pet HomePetmate Portable Pet Home
by Petmate
4 half stars
Prime FREE Shipping
$$ B 4.2/5
Petnation Indoor/Outdoor Pet HomePetnation Indoor/Outdoor Pet Home
by Petnation
4 stars
Prime FREE Shipping
$$ B- 4.0/5
Aspen Pet Pet Porter Plastic KennelAspen Pet Pet Porter Plastic Kennel
by Petmate
4 stars
Prime FREE Shipping
$$$ B 4.2/5

* Click on the best small dog crate brand for more information, prices and details. Alternatively, scroll below to read reviews.

Buying small dog crate and crate training a puppy

Many pet owners have been misled that crate training a puppy is a negative thing and that it may poorly affect the dog as he ages. That is not true, and science as well as experts have been trying to explain why crate training a puppy using appropriate puppy crates is always a good idea.

“Dogs are den animals, and they value their own special place. A place for quiet repose, a nice chew with an appropriate toy, and more likely a nap. A dog den, like a crate or cage suitable in size is an ideal training tool.” – Dr. Ian Dunbar, DVM

Remember that the proper size of the dog crate is important, and this has been confirmed by experts. If you have a puppy, then you need a small crate for dogs. The same applies for small breed dogs that will need a smaller dog crate to avoid too much space there. Always make sure you measure your dog and know the exact measurements of the crate.

Here's a great chart on the minimum required space for dogs in crates:

Small dog crate measurements
Source

As further research has shown, and canine experts confirmed (PDF), dogs have become denning animals even though they weren't by nature. Thus, simply remember to ensure proper crate training methods and get only the best small dog crate for puppies, your canine will enjoy the security of a small, comfortable space. By providing your dog with one of the best small dog crates for puppies, you're actually doing him a favor. Most dogs continue to use their crate as a safe place to rest even after they are house trained.

The below list of top best small dog crate for puppies and small dogs provides some of the top choices you can find online today. These are the mots cost-effective products we could find that are also great quality and have been reviewed by other pet owners with extremely positive feedback. If these five best small dog crates aren't enough, then feel free to scroll down below for a few extra suggestions as alternatives.

How to choose the best small dog crate based on your dog's size?

If you're picking out the next best small dog crate for puppy or small dog, measuring your pet is key before you make a decision. Here's our video explaining how to choose the right size dog crate and how to measure your dog specifically for the crate (and a few tips on how to pick the most cost-effective option).

What's the Best Small Dog Crate for Small Dogs and Puppies?
top 5 most cost-effective best small dog crates

121100 Ultra Vari Pet Kennel
by Petmate Prime FREE Shipping

Size: Up to 15 lbs
Dimensions: 16 x 21 x 15 inch
Type: Heavy duty plastic crate

Petmate 21100 Ultra Vari Pet KennelThe first on the list of best small dog crate brands is a known company that's been dominating the small crate niche for years now – Petmate. Their Ultra Vari crate is not the most stylish small dog crate out there, but it's the most reliable, heavy duty option with a durable construction and unique features. It is available in bleached linen (white), taupe and black, and true blue. This kennel from Petmate is ideal for dogs up to 15 pounds (although there are other sizes available).

This is one of the best small dog crates for puppies as it features metal side vents, an easy-open squeeze latch, reinforced sidewalls and easy assembly. The kennel has a “moat” to keep animals dry in the event that they have an accident. It meets USDA and IATA requirements for shipping animals, so this is a great option for travelers.

Best Small Dog Crates for Puppies ReviewsCustomers say that this crate is great for travel, and, while it is lightweight, it is still extremely durable and sturdy. It is easy to assemble and disassemble, which makes it a breeze to clean. The twist lock on the door provides added security for dogs who tend to be “escape artists” when put in other kennels. Most customers have bought more than one Petmate 21100Ultra Vari Pet Kennel due to their overall satisfaction with the kennel.

In case the screws do happen to fail, there are holes for zip ties or plastic tie wrap for extra reinforcement and increased peace of mind. Although the product description says that this kennel is airline approved, you may check with your particular airline, as this crate does not have rear vents. Some customers have had to drill holes in the back of the crate, while others have had no issues boarding without cutting holes.

PROS:

  • Available in different sizes for dogs up to 125 pounds
  • Available in 3 colors
  • Features metal side vents, an easy-open squeeze latch, reinforced sidewalls and easy assembly
  • Equipped with a ‘moat' to keep your dog dry if he has an accident
CONS:

  • Some buyers have had trouble getting this crate on a plane because it does not have rear vents

Best Small Dog Crates for PuppiesMost helpful dog owner’s review (read the full Amazon review): “If you are taking your pet on an airline, this is the only pet crate we could find that was truly “Airline Approved”. Most airlines require a plastic kennel that's bolted together with plastic or metal treaded screws (knob, clamp and clamshell locks are strictly forbidden on almost every airline), not top loading, allow for at…”

 

2Doskocil Compass Kennel
by Petmate Prime FREE Shipping

Size: Up to 10 lbs
Dimensions: 12.7 x 19 x 11.5 inch
Type: Plastic crate

Doskocil Compass KennelSince this company has perfected the manufacturing process of small dog crates, their brands are some of the most oft-bought by pet owners with small breeds. This second best small dog crate for small dogs, again from Petmate, is a good example. These brightly colored, attractive crates were designed after fifty years of experience in kennels. There are no tools required to assemble the Petmate Compass Kennel, so it only takes seconds to put together! This product boasts increased ventilation, a wider doorway that opens two ways, and dual turn-dial latches.

The kennel has nuts and bolts that are compatible for airline travel, but pet owners should always check with their particular airline each time they are planning to travel in case of requirement changes. As one of the best small dog crates for puppies, customers say this kennel is lightweight and very easy to assemble but still extremely sturdy and well made, which is hard to find! It stands up to dogs that chew or are typically very rough on kennels.

The handle on top is strong and durable, allowing pet owners to move their pets easily and without worry. The vibrant colors the Doskocil Compass Kennel is available in are just another bonus for customers looking for a stylish way to transport their pets!

Some customers were displeased with this product do to sizing issues, so be sure to use the sizing guidelines offered in the product description prior to purchasing this product! Most customers who are unhappy with this purchase are not unsatisfied with the actual product, but instead with shipping issues.

PROS:

  • No tools required to assemble this crate
  • Features increased ventilation, a wider doorway that opens two ways and dual turn-dial latches
  • Comes with nuts and bolts that are compatible with airline requirements
  • Stands up to chewers and escape artists
CONS:

  • Many customers noted that you need to follow the sizing guidelines very specifically or you may be 

best small dog crates for puppiesMost helpful dog owner’s review (read the full review + PHOTOS): “Appears to be very sturdy once assembled. I'd recommend getting someone to help initially slide the top and bottom of the kennel together though. Mine didn't go on very easily. My order was missing the rear latch, but if assembled correctly, this won't make a bit of difference…”

 

3Petmate Portable Pet Home
by Petmate Prime FREE Shipping

Size: Up to 10 lbs
Dimensions: 14 x 18 x 16 inch
Type: Soft crate

Petmate Portable Pet HomeThe third best small dog crate on the list is on the opposite side of the spectrum, and is more mobile and stylish rather than functional. This soft-sided carrier provides ultimate comfort for pets, as it includes a sheepskin pad, heavy-duty canvas sides and mesh openings instead of the typical plastic and metal construction offered by most pet carriers. This kennel from Petmate has windows on all four sides, providing maximum ventilation. The carrier may be used both indoors and outdoors, and it comes with stakes for outside use.

The carrier is easy to move and assemble, allowing pet owners to leave large, clunky crates behind! Customers are extremely happy with this purchase, and it surpasses most pet owners’ expectations. Pets enjoy this home, and many choose to use it as a bed even when they are not traveling.

The Petmate Portable Pet Home is extremely lightweight and easy to move, and customers appreciate the storage case provided. The mat delivers maximum comfort for pets, and it is easy to pop out and wash when needed.

Because it is made of canvas, rather than metal or hard plastic, some dog owners are unhappy to find that their dogs use this kennel as a chew toy. Some customers have also had issues with the zippers on this product, claiming their dog or cat was able to push through the enclosure and escape! All things considered, this particular kennel may not be for dogs and cats that are not kennel trained.

PROS:

  • Features a sheepskin pad, heavy-duty canvas sides and mesh openings
  • Offers windows on all four sides for ventilation
  • Can be used indoors or outside and comes with stakes for outdoor use
CONS:

  • It is made with canvas instead of plastic or metal, so it isn't acceptable for chewers
  • Some buyers complained about the zippers, saying their pet was able to push through them and escape

best small dog crates for puppiesMost helpful dog owner’s review (read the full Amazon review + PHOTO): “I love this product. My puppy thinks it is his man cave. This product is durable, the mat is easy to launder and it is roomy enough for my sheltie to move around in. This is the second one I've purchased as he outgrew his first one – I passed it on to a neighbor and she loves it for traveling….”

 

4Port-A-Crate E2 Indoor/Outdoor Pet Home
by Petnation Prime FREE Shipping

Size: Up to 25 lbs
Dimensions: 16 x 24 x 16 in
Type: Soft crate

Petnation Port-A-Crate E2 Indoor/Outdoor Pet HomeThis lightweight pet home is easy to transport and assembles and/or disassembles in seconds, making it one of the best small dog crates for puppies of on-the-go pet owners! The frame is constructed from extra-strong steel, and it is surrounded by mesh fabric panels. This crate from Petnation has mesh windows that provide airflow throughout the crate, and both front and top doors allow for easy access for your pet.

The doors can be rolled up and secured so that pets can easily move in and out of the crate when needed. The material of the crate is water resistant, making it easy to wipe off any spills or messes. It is also machine washable in case a deeper clean is needed.

Best Small Dog Crates for Puppies ReviewsCustomers say their pets love this crate and often use it on their own terms (not only when directed by their owners). As long as your dog isn’t a chewer, pet owners say this is a great alternative to a metal crate, as it still provides a safe enclosure without the unsightliness of too much metal. The Petnation Port-A-Crate E2 Indoor/Outdoor Pet Home is great for traveling, as it is lightweight, easy to assemble and easy to move due to the carrying handle. Pet owners are also very impressed with the durable construction of this crate, and highly suggest it for crate-trained dogs.

If your dog is not crate trained, you may want to go with a metal crate, as pawing at or chewing on canvas and mesh can ruin them quickly. The zipper on this crate seems to be an issue for some customers, as some dogs have been able to break free by pushing through the zipped enclosures.

PROS:

  • Easy to transport
  • Assembles and/or disassembles in seconds
  • Material is water resistant and machine washable
CONS:

  • As with all other soft crates, this is not one of the best small dog crates for puppies that like to chew
  • Some buyers complained about the zippers, saying their pet was able to push through them and escape

Best Small Dog Crates for PuppiesMost helpful dog owner’s review (read the full Amazon review + PHOTO): “We bought to take with us on a long road trip. It turns out our pup likes this crate more than his real crate. He goes inside on his own (which he would never do with his real crate), and plays with his toys. Maybe it seems more like a den to him. Either way, it is super lightweight, and easy to pack. I highly recommend this!…”

 

5 Aspen Pet Porter Plastic Kennel
by Petmate Prime FREE Shipping

Size: Up to 10 lbs
Dimensions: 12.6 x 19 x 5 in
Type: Plastic crate

Aspen Pet Porter Plastic KennelAvailable in multiple colors and sizes, this is one of the best small crates for puppies of travelers looking for a stylish and functional kennel for their pet(s). It has a seat belt slot, storage compartments for food and water, and a quick-latching system. Both the top and the door of this crate from Aspen Pet are removable, which makes getting pets in and out of this carrier much easier than those with only one entrance.

The body of the carrier is made from heavy-duty plastic, and the metal door is a bonus for pet owners that have dogs or cats that can chew their way out of flimsier kennels. The durability and quality of this carrier make it stand out when compared with many other options available today. According to customers, it is easy to assemble and lightweight.

Best Small Dog Crates for Puppies ReviewsThe door latch is easy for adults, but almost impossible for animals to unlock and open, which ensures your pet will stay safe and secure inside! The Aspen Pet Porter Plastic Kennel is said to be airline approved by many customers, but you should always check with your airline before travelling.

Some customers mention that the doorway to this carrier is quite small, which makes it difficult to put their pet in (especially when the pet is resistant). However, the removable top easily solves this issue. You may want to order a size up (or pay close attention to dimensions), as most of the complaints about this product claim that it is smaller than expected.

PROS:

  • Great for traveling
  • Equipped with a seat belt slot storage compartments for food and water, and a quick-latching system
  • Both the top and door are removable for easy access
CONS:

  • Some buyers say the doorway is too small
  • Many people say the size is smaller than they expected – pay attention to the sizing guidelines

best small dog crates for puppiesMost helpful dog owner’s review (read the full Amazon review): “Good pet carrier and has metal door which will outlast models with plastic doors and fasteners. Have used it a few times now and it should last much longer than the last pet carrier that I had. Has nice extras…”

 

10 Best Small Dog Crates as Alternatives

The above list of five best small dog crates for puppies has the most cost-effective options and the best quality builds, all of which have also been extremely well-reviewed by pet owners after using them. However, I understand that not all pet parents will find what they're looking for among those dog crates, so I've researched this further and found several other good options that may fit your requirements below.

2PET FoldableSoft, Easy to Fold & Carry Crate6. 2PET FoldableSoft, Easy to Fold & Carry Crate

This is a very versatile medium to small dog crate for small breed dogs that are on the larger scale. It's best for travel and longer trips since it's easy to carry, fold and store. 2PET soft dog crate is made from machine-washable fabric with mesh windows, so most small dogs feel much more comfortable in it.

OxGord Small Single-Door Folding Metal Crate7. OxGord Small Single-Door Folding Metal Crate

On a completely opposite side of the spectrum, the OxGord small metal dog crate is less mobile but serves the purpose of a small dog crate better. Manufactured by one of the leaders in the metal dog crate niche, this is a reliable folding metal crate for small dogs also on the larger side.

8. Suncast 23-Inch Pet Carrier Round

Suncast 23-Inch Pet Carrier RoundAn actual alternative to the best small dog crate options listed above, this is a perfect solution for carrying small dogs around. Their popular option is a little bigger than the above listed brands and will fit dogs up to 30 lbs, but they also have a smaller size; both come in a stylish modern design.

9. AmazonBasics Single-Door Folding Metal CrateAmazonBasics Single-Door Folding Metal Crate

A perfect and very cost-effective alternative not only to the above mentioned best small dog crate brands but also to the OxGord metal dog crate, this one from AmazonBasics is exactly what you need in a small metal crate for dogs. It comes with all of the known features as well but for a cheaper price.

Carlson Secure and Compact Single Door Metal Crate10. Noz2Noz N2 Sof-Krate Pet Home

One of the most popular soft dog crates on the market, Noz2Noz's best small dog crate is a great alternative to the above mentioned Petnation brand. It's a little more expensive but made of more durable materials and is well-ventilated. It will also fit most small dogs up to 30 lbs in size.

11. Carlson Secure and Compact Single Door Metal Crate

Going back to small metal crates, Carlson has a decent alternative to the above mentioned best small dog crate brands but for a slightly higher price tag than AmazonBasics. Their design is different, however, which is not better or worse. The choice will mostly depend on your personal preference.

 Mr. Herzher's Small Pet Residence12. Mr. Herzher's Small Pet Residence

A new best small dog crate on the market, but easily the most stylish pet crate out there, it's aptly named “pet residence.” It's made of rhino wicker which is unique and stylish looking, as well as very practical. Unlike most small dog crates, it's also slightly elevated. The problem is its high price tag.

13. Lucky Dog 2 Door Training Kennel with Rust-Resistant Wire

Lucky Dog 2 Door Training Kennel with Rust-Resistant WireThe Lucky Dog metal dog crate for small dogs is an alternative for those who disliked all the above mentioned best small dog crate options from AmazonBasics or OxGord. It's more heavy duty than those brands, but it has its own feature flaws. Nevertheless, it may be a good fit for some specific dogs.

Petco Classic 1-Door Crate14. Petco Classic 1-Door Crate

This a standard Petco small dog crate with a single door and no additional features. While it's not superior to the above mentioned best small dog crate brands, it's much cheaper than any other crate and is great for extra small dogs. Other than that, it has all basic things that will be enough for most pet owners.

AmazonBasics 23-Inch Two-Door Top-Load Kennel15. AmazonBasics 23-Inch Two-Door Top-Load Kennel

Last on the list of best small dog crate alternatives is another AmazonBasics product which is a good option if you dislike the Petmate brand. It's priced slightly lower but all the features of a small plastic dog crate for carrying dogs remain. The design is pretty standard but it does the job well.

Now it's your turn to pitch in on this! Have you tried any of these best small crate options? How did your puppy or small dog found them, and did you have any issues with these small kennels? Please share your experience with other pet parents in the comments below!


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