Dog crates are a great accessory for any dog owner- in the opinion of some, an indispensable piece of equipment. To begin crate training a dog, you’ll want to purchase either a wire mesh cage or a hard plastic crate.
Once your pet is accustomed to being crated, though, you may consider a soft-sided dog crate. Because they lack the sturdiness necessary to resist the struggles or chewing of an unhappy dog, soft crates are not appropriate for training purposes. However, for a trained dog, they offer several advantages over other crate types. Here is a quick guide to the advantages of soft dog crates, and tips for choosing one.
First and foremost, soft dog crates offer unparalleled transportability. Because they consist only of fabric over a light aluminum frame, they are exceedingly light and very simple to collapse or reassemble.
This makes them ideal for situations where they must frequently be moved- in the car, for airplane travel (in the cabin only), or for use on camping trips. Also, many owners report that the flexible sides feel more reassuring to many dogs, perhaps mimicking the sensation of lying up against a packmate.
When considering a soft dog crate for the purpose, your foremost concern is durability. Even a well-behaved dog may put great stress on the seams of a soft crate, so examine the seams for the quality of the stitching.
Close, numerous stitches with thick thread will better stand up to stretching. Also, check the stitching holding the zippers- many owners of rambunctious dogs have found that the zippers are the first thing to go.
Security is another factor. Some soft dog crates feature a D-ring on the doors, which allows the door to be padlocked shut- both preventing the dog from escaping, as well as keeping unwanted intruders (such as small children) out of the crate.
Finally, look to issues of convenience. Soft dog crates can vary in their designs, much more so than wire cages or plastic crates. Some require more assembly than others, and you’ll want to see a demonstration of setup and breakdown before you buy best soft dog crates.
Also, there are extra, handy features on many models- for example, extra pockets for storing dog treats and the like, or shoulder straps for easy carrying. Most soft dog crates are of good quality. Your primary concern is to find out the one that suits you and your dog in the best way possible.