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The Pros and Cons of Steel Bar Dog Crates

If you’re looking at buying a dog crate, you’ve come to the right place.  In this article, we’ll review the pros and cons of steel bar dog crates versus the ever popular plastic dog crates that are more commonly known as kennels. 

Steel Bar Crates:

  • Pro – Your dog will easily be able to see through the bars – which is especially good during the training period.  You’ll want them to see out so they feel secure.  At bed time, the crate can be covered
  • Pro – Your dog will have a hard time doing any serious chewing damage to metal.
  • Pro – These crates usually are collapsible, making them easy to transport.
  • Pro – Steel bar crates are generally easier to accessorize with food and water bowls, among other things.
  • Con – You can’t use a steel dog crate to transport your dog on an airplane.
  • Con – They are usually quite a bit heavier than the plastic kennels.
  • Con – The rough corners can often damage floors and walls if you aren’t careful.
  • Con – More expensive than plastic kennels.

Plastic dog crates/kennels:

  • Pro – Some dogs prefer NOT being able to see out of their “den” and plastic kennels are perfect for that.
  • Pro – If you think you’ll ever need to move your dog, either by car or especially airplane, these crates are your only real option.
  • Pro – Plastic dog crates are considerably lighter (sans dog) than their steel counterparts.
  • Pro – The rounded corners and flat, solid tops are safe for your home, and can be used as a table.
  • Pro – Cost.  Usually much cheaper than steel bar crates.
  • Con – They usually (with few exceptions) don’t fold flat – meaning they take up lots of space when not in use.
  • Con – Dogs can easily chew the plastic, resulting in heavy damage.
  • Con – They don’t have a separate base, or “pan”, meaning they can’t be cleaned as easily.
  • Con – You can’t add a crate divider.  These are useful for crate training purposes when your dog is young and doesn’t need a large space.

All in all, both steel bar crates and plastic crates have their uses.  You have to make the decision based on what YOUR needs are.  Since we don’t have any plans to move house, or move the crate around the house (it stays in our basement), we decided to go for a steel bar dog crate.  If you’d like to pick one up for your dog, visit the Dog Supplies page for links to stores with the best deals online!


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