A portable dog kennel is a must for a responsible dog owner … especially during puppyhood. Having said that, I do not crate my dog (gasp!)
When I first got my dog, I put her in the crate every time I had to take her somewhere in the car (like to the Vet or to visit Grandma) and I would crate her at night. During the day while I was at work, I had a pen set up in the kitchen where she had more freedom to move around but was still confined enough not to be able to do any damage.
But eventually I had to quit crating my dog for reasons that could only be described as “crate anxiety.” The sad part is that I know what caused it … but I also know what to do differently with another dog.
I noticed that every time I took my dog to the Vet, she would throw up at some point en route. It was a 20-minute drive and apparently that was too long for her to be cooped up in the little plastic crate that I had for her. Ten minutes to my mom’s was fine, but the twenty minutes to the Vet was just too much.
Before long she began associating throwing up with the crate so that when I tried to put her in it at night, she would whip around and dart out before I could get the door closed. After several nights of that I just quit trying and she now has free run of the house.
So what did I learn from that experience that I will do differently the next time I get a dog? Well, I had no idea how important a good dog kennel was to my dog … silly me! Where I live is important to me so why shouldn’t where my dog lives be important to her (or him)? So I did some research and here is what I found.
There are various types of portable kennels and how you intend to use it will determine the best option for you. I did my research and have based my findings on consumer reviews … because who better to learn from than someone who has actually bought and used the product. Here are 4 popular models representing the basic types of portable dog kennels.
The Plastic Portable Dog Kennel – Ideal For The Growing Puppy
These dog crates are made of hard plastic and come in different sizes. Ideal for smaller dogs, some are perfectly happy in the snug comfort of this home. This is similar to the one that I had but much sturdier.
With a heavy-duty wire door, there is no assembly or tools required and the latching system is secure. One of the main praises of this type of kennel is that it is easy to clean and it is also very durable.
You can use this for either your dog or cat and if they are not too heavy, you can move the carrier with your pet inside. Wheels are not so necessary with smaller animals but they would be an added benefit.
And if your dog is heavier or you think you’ll need to move the crate often, one with wheels probably is best. This plastic dog carrier is also airline-approved which allows one item to serve multiple purposes.
Soft-Sided Pet Crate – A Comfy Portable Dog Kennel For Home and While Traveling
This collapsible soft dog crate comes in several different sizes and would likely be my top choice for an at-home kennel.
A mesh door and window screens allow for visibility and ventilation. It has a carry handle on top for easy portability when it is open and the entrance zips open and shut.
With a fleece bed, storage pockets on the outside and a carrying bag, this portable dog crate would be easy to take on a trip or to Grandma’s and would provide all the comforts of home.
Most of the reviewers indicated pretty much the same opinions about this crate, summed up succinctly by one person who said “The crate is very sturdy, plush and easy to set up and fold down. I would recommend this crate to anyone who wants a comfortable, mobile crate for their beloved pet.”
A word of advice from someone else … be sure that you zip it up at the top instead of at the bottom. Dogs are smart and as much as they may like their home, it’s always fun to try to get out!
Houdini Puppy Escapes From Her Crate!
Wire Dog Kennel – Strength and Function With Less Style
This wire dog cage gets rave reviews (mostly 5 out of 5) but I personally don’t care for the metal “bars” as I feel it is more like a jail in appearance and not near as warm and inviting as the soft-sided crate. But that’s just me 😉
One feature that people seemed to really like about this kennel is that since it comes with removable casters, it can be easily rolled from one room to another. That would be a great asset as lifting a wire pet carrier with your dog inside can be a little awkward. The top is removable and the door lays flat against the side when opened.
The wood trim is quite attractive, and with the open wire sides it would provide plenty of ventilation that other more enclosed models can’t offer. There is a plastic bottom tray included which makes for easy cleaning which is necessary in the puppy stage. You can also purchase a fleece dog bed to fit the bottom which would make it warmer and more bed-like.
Here are two other wire dog crates with lots of reviews and great ratings. They do not have the wood trim like the one above so are a little less dressy. The difference in these two is either one-door or two-door openings.
Pet Playpens – A Safe Play Yard For The Pups
Similar to the Play Yard for kids, this soft pet playpen is a great way to restrict your pet to a small area without confining it to a crate. With a removable zip-off top and a washable bottom panel, this will set up easily in minutes.
There are side pockets that can hold treats and toys, and there is even an opening so you can provide a water bottle for your pet instead of using a bowl of water which will invariably get sloshed all over the pen floor.
Ideal for a training pen, a whelping pen, or a petting pen, this fold-up playpen would also be perfect if you got two puppies at once. Rather than keeping them in individual crates, they would still be able to sleep and play together, helping them not get too lonely when first taken away from their litter mates.
With its easy assembly, this pen can quickly be taken down and stowed in the included carrying case making it compact for traveling or storage at home. When comparing it to similar pens, consumers said their dogs felt more secure with a cover on the pen rather than in one that was open. There was also less chance of the dog getting out of the pen.
Both the soft and this plastic pet playpen are water-resistant which means you can use them either inside or outside depending on when you need it where. Now your new puppy can go visit Grandma and you won’t have to worry about her house being destroyed with puppy chewing.
When you hear the term “portable dog kennel”, you generally will think of a way to transport your pet from one location to another. But most of these kennels are also ideal for just containing your pet in a safe manner.
It could be that you have friends or family that don’t care for animals so you could put your dog in one of these kennels which would keep them from freely roaming around the house but would not confine them like a smaller crate would.
One thing I have definitely learned from this experience and that I will do differently next time is to have one crate for transportation and one for sleeping. Then maybe, unlike with my current dog, a bad transportation experience will not sour my dog on any portable dog kennel that I might want to use.