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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I'm kinda torn between purchasing a plastic airline approved crate or a wire crate.

What is really appealing about wire crates is the dividers that come with them. That way I buy a large adult crate, divide it for the pup and move the divider as the pup grows.

With a plastic crate, I have yet to see one come with this feature. I was actually thinking of drilling holes into the crate to install the divider as the pup grows. That way I can have one adult plastic crate for use with the puppy.

Overall, I am leaning towards the plastic crate (even if I have to buy a small, medium and large to fit the growth of the dog). I like that they are den like, contain dirt/shavings better, easy to clean with a hose down, can be used in the home, in the car or plane, and I would imagine they are quieter with some shavings or a rubber mat on the floor.

What do you think? Any recommendations on where I might purchase a good plastic crate or wire crate?
 

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I much prefer the plastic crates for the reasons you mentioned; quieter, easier to clean, they keep any mess contained and not all over the floor and walls (bedding, hair, bodily fluids if the dog gets sick), and being more den like and secure, the dogs seem to be more comfortable in them than in the wire crates where the dog is trapped and exposed at the same time. Plastic crates are also safer for travel... in a car accident a wire crate can become a dog skewer.

For dividers, I've known people to have success using plastic milk crates or cinder blocks to fill up space inside the crate, as those are heavy enough that the pup can't move them and are relatively chew proof. I've also known people to cut a piece of plywood to fit the crate, and then use zip ties to tie it in, moving it back to create more space as the pup grows and eventually getting rid of it altogether.

I think having a couple different sizes of crates is the best idea, and move the dog up in crate size as it grows, but of course that's also the most expensive route to go. Worth asking around other dog people you know if they have small and medium sized crates you could borrow for a while until the pup is in an adult sized crate.
 

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I like plastic crates too. The divider in the wire crates would be very handy, but I just use a smaller size crate at first, which fits right next to the bed, where a larger crate wouldn't. By the time the puppy has outgrown the smaller crate at 5 or 6 months old, they can handle the freedom of the adult size crate, which I put across the room.

Borrowing a smaller crate is a great idea. Dena went right into an intermediate Vari-Kennel, but Keefer was shipped to me in a smaller one. I kept him in there until he was too big, and then sent it back to the breeder and put him in Dena's old intermediate one.

I ordered mine from JB pet, but you can check prices on ebay, or look for sales at stores near you to avoid shipping costs.
 

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I use wire crates, but I have crate covers to make it like a "den." I have nothing against plastic crates, but I prefer to crate Kenya in the car, and we have a regular sized car. Plastic crates, even in halves, don't even fit through the door onto the back seat. The wire crate I have is very strong, but it W-folds (in onto itself, doesn't have to swing out) flat so I can easily slide it onto the seat and then pull it back into shape.
 

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I prefer the wire crates. I love the divider that came with our wire crates. Also, I found for our two I did not have to make it any more "den like" even though it is see through. Kelso loves to sit in the crate and watch out when we go to training in the car. I also like to see them as well. I LOVE LOVE that it breaks down easily.

They also have a plastic pan, which is easy clean up, some dogs may try to chew it, but we have the chewers of all chewers and he did okay with it. But they also like their crates.

So, whatever works, do it! If it isn't broke dont fix it.
Find what works and keep at it. Wire crates work well for us, but plastic may work wonderful for you.
 

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Re: Opinions on Crates, Pup to Dog: Plastic vs Wir

I have both. Got a full size Vari-kennel for Chama when she was a tiny pup and she did fine in there without a divider. She was not a chewer though and housebroke almost immediately. I used that for various fosters over the years and Basu loved to sleep in it (as opposed to wire crates which he hated) even though he didn't quite fit. It is easy to clean and very sturdy. On the down side, it is a huge pain in the butt to travel with.

I love the wire crate because it is collapsible and much easier to move around and take places. It's also nicer in the summer because you get so much airflow. And I do find that some dogs prefer these because they can see better.

Take a look on Craig's List. I bought one off of there and have sold a few on there as well. That way you could get different sizes and both types if you wanted.
 

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Re: Opinions on Crates, Pup to Dog: Plastic vs Wir

I prefer the plastic ones.

I like it because it's enclosed and quieter, more den-like for the dog. It's also great to have if we ever need to fly Abby and with frequent military moves that may well become necessary at one point. We've had our current crate for three years and it's still going strong.

When we travel, we either put it in the back of the car (it will fit if I put it in sideways) or take it apart and put it into the back seat to stack stuff on / in.

Craig's List is a great idea for getting a good deal on a crate. I constantly see large plastic crates listed on Craig's List for $25 to $50, which is quite a bit cheaper than they are new.

On a side note, silly question ... is it feasible to paint a plastic airline crate (like Varikennel) with that Krylon paint designed specifically for plastics? I'm talking, the outside only (obviously).
 

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Re: Opinions on Crates, Pup to Dog: Plastic vs Wir

I (and all of my dogs) prefer the plastic crates. They have all been "exposed" to the wire crates but they all prefer the plastic ones.
 

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Re: Opinions on Crates, Pup to Dog: Plastic vs Wir

Over the years I have used both.

I have one major problem with the wire crates now. They are using cheap plastic pans in them and they crack very easily. I know have to order 3 new pans for mine. They used to use metal pans which held up very well.

I am probably going to change my female to a plastic crate due to a recent problem with her having accidents in the crate.
 

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I much prefer the collapsible BLACK wire crates! Fold up easily into one piece (make sure you don't get the ones with the 4 pins that hold it together instead) like a collapsible 'suitcase'. The black seems to disappear a bit more into my decor. And for travel and transportation it's so much easier to carry them thru the house and get them packed into the car!

Midwest makes great crates (click here)



 

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I like the petmates and vari kennels. I do not like the ones that are put together with a twist of a knob (hard to explain). I much prefer putting in the little screws. Another personal preference is the vents only on the top portion of the crate. Again... keeps any potential messes contained.

But everyone has their own likes/dislikes when it comes to crates. I have had a lot, wire, mesh/soft, plastic... overall the ones that last the longest are the plastic! Very durable and IMHO, safest.

Good luck!
 

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We also use the Petmate and Varikennel plastic crates. Some of the other brands, like the Furrari and Bargain Hound (Petsmart's brand I believe) are junk.

While the delux crates with the little twist knobs to lock them together instead of screws are handy and make taking the crate apart and putting it back together easier, I've found that they don't hold up nearly as well over time as the little plastic twist knobs and locks tend to break. So if it's a crate you'll be taking apart and putting back together often (like to set up in a car) the delux ones with the twist knobs may be a good idea. If you're not going to need to take it apart often, I'd recommend the kind with screws.
 

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Re: Opinions on Crates, Pup to Dog: Plastic vs Wir

Originally Posted By: MaggieRoseLeeI much prefer the collapsible BLACK wire crates! Fold up easily into one piece (make sure you don't get the ones with the 4 pins that hold it together instead) like a collapsible 'suitcase'. The black seems to disappear a bit more into my decor. And for travel and transportation it's so much easier to carry them thru the house and get them packed into the car!

Midwest makes great crates (click here)

I like the wire crate too, but I like this one better, this is a true collapsible suitcase crate. The Midwest crate does not work in my car b/c see how opening it up actually takes up more space than the crate? (the third image). Also, I think my Precision Pet one is stronger than the Midwest. Coke has a Midwest and he bent the door and the bottom area the first day.

This Precision Pet crate is much much easier for me to setup. I can slide it in the car flat, reach in, and set it right up myself with one hand if I need to.

 

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Re: Opinions on Crates, Pup to Dog: Plastic vs Wir

We're a plastic-only household. I have small, medium, large and several XL crates (the result of having different dogs of different breeds for years now), so I just move puppies along if they have bed-wetting issues. (Our garage is a dog crate storage facility.)

But my GSD, Camper started in an XL crate with lots of fluffy bedding and never messed it. So I never needed a smaller crate for him. Depends on the dog. (Obviously a big crate is not a good idea for a little guy if you're travelling.)

Chris, Doskocil has redesigned the Furarri so that they now accept screws. I have one of the old ones (clip only, which can't be used for airline travel), and one of the new ones which has better structural integrity. So anyone buying a Furarri should be sure they're getting a new one with screws.

For travel, the Vari-kennel Ultra has the best structural integrity, IMO. But for household use, if floorspace isn't a problem (they run bigger than average), I do like the Furarri because the clip feature makes it easy to move from room to room and to clean. Also, the doors that swing both ways is a nice feature.
 

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Re: Opinions on Crates, Pup to Dog: Plastic vs Wir

I have an XL plastic crate for my pup. During the potty training period, my husband made his own partition. He just made a wooden frame and attached plywood to it with screws. As the pup got bigger, he just cut down the frame as needed.

I purchased the crate from Walmart, I coudn't see a difference between theirs and one from PetSmart other than price. I only use it for the dog to sleep in at night and at times when I can't watch her so it doesn't have to be extra durable.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Re: Opinions on Crates, Pup to Dog: Plastic vs Wir

You know I was thinking about going the route of purchasing the large crate and doing a self-made partition. After thinking it through some, I decided that having a smaller crate would be easier to move around the house as needed (upstairs overnight, downstairs during the day) and it'll also come in handy down the line for dog #2.

I ended up picking up a new Petmate Vari Kennel Ultra medium size for the pup through 5-6 months (or whenever he out grows it) for $52 including shipping from eBay. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230211389467

I'll grab a large one later on (once I find out if I need an xLarge or Giant version).
 

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I have both, I really like the plastic crate for Ava, but she was raised in it, if a dog is prone to trying to "break out" then it may not be substantial enough, I have a foster dog that is a very big boy and I have been crate training to a wire cage, if I had tried a plastic with him it would have been busted the first night, he hits the door with his pay sometimes....
 

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his paw, typing is not my thing tonight, by the way, Ava didnt like us to move her kennel around, she was happiest when it was just left in our room, maybe that is because that room smells the most like us, I dont know......
 
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