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What are dog crates?

The dog crate, also referred to as a dog cage or indoor kennel, is designed as a safe, secure area that a dog can go into for short periods of time.

A dog crate usually consists of a wire frame with a removable tray in the base where the dog's bedding can be placed, but you can get them in many different sizes, designs and materials.

dog lying in a dog crate © RSPCA

Dog crates uses

  • Open 'den' area: Some dogs appear to benefit from having an open 'den' that they can use as a safe place where they feel secure.
  • Training aid: For example, helping puppies to learn to be left alone or helping with toilet training.
  • Short-term confinement: For example, if you're not around to supervise them.      
  • Vet advised: In some circumstances, a vet may advise the use of a crate, for example, to aid recovery after surgery.      
  • When travelling: Crates can help keep dogs feel secure and comfortable while travelling, for example in the back of your car.

Your dog's crate should be big enough for it to stand, turn around, lie down and stretch in. For a puppy, get a crate that's big enough for your pup to grow into. But don't travel with your puppy in their adult-sized crate - they'll be better protected in a smaller space.

To find out more about dog crates and how you can use them to help your dog feel safe, secure and comfortable, read our step-by-step guide to dog crates.

Find out more