How to Buy the Right Dog Crate for Your Puppy

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How to Buy the Right Dog Crate for Your Puppy

What You Need to Know

The kind of dog crate you buy for your puppy will depend on how you intend to use it.You need to think about this before you start comparing makes, models and prices on eBay.

Here aresomepotential uses:

  • Providing a safe refuge for your puppy at home
  • Providing a safe refuge for your puppy on holiday
  • Taking your puppy with you on a walk
  • Travelling  with your puppy by car
  • Travelling with your puppy by air

Providing a Safe Refuge for Your Puppy at Home

For a new puppy, the purpose of the crate is to provide a controlled living area while you establish a training routine. Even when the puppy is fully house trained, the crate may still be useful in:

  • protecting certain areas of the house (e.g. food preparation) or
  • restraining the puppy from excited contact with visitors

For this kind of use you should think about either wire framed crates or those with solid plastic sides and a wire mesh door. The benefit of wire framed crates is that you can see the animal inside without obstruction. Some models also fold flat for storing or transporting, which gives them added versatility.

Plastic cratesare easier to clean but are sometimes more easily damaged as a result of chewing. They are solidly built and more convenient to carry, but offer restricted vision to the pet inside, which can sometimes be an advantage.

Tip: To keep pace with your puppy’s development, you can modify the crate with a divider which you can adjust as the pet grows. There is therefore no need to buy different crates at each life stage; select your crate size based on the expected mature size of the dog for which you’ll find various reference sources including your local vet.      

Providing a Safe Refuge for Your Puppy on Holiday

There are more options here depending on the type of holiday you’re taking. Hotels and guest houses will have their own rules, but if puppies are accepted, you’ll probably need awire-framed or solid plastic crate as above. 

If you’re self-catering or camping, you mayprefer a crate which takes up less space in your luggage (on the assumption that you’re going by car). Have a look at a folding soft fabric carrier or a ‘pop-up’ fabric kennel, both of which can be packed flat for the journey.

You will need to make a judgement between solid wire and plastic crates, which offer good protection for a puppy, or the fabric alternatives, which offer less protection but are more convenient to pack. A lot will depend on the age of the puppy.       

Taking Your Puppy with You on a Walk

For puppies up to 25 pounds in weight, there are three products worth considering:

  • tote bag
  • back-pack 
  • front-pack

Tote bags drape over one shoulder, offering a lot of convenience but little support or protection for the puppy inside. The best back-packs will include useful comfort and safety features including:

  • An internal frame
  • Air vents
  • Safety harness attaching to the puppy’s collar
  • Tension adjusting chest and shoulder straps.

Front-packs (like kangaroo pouches) offer the same features as back-packs but enable you to keep your puppy in full view at all times; a very useful feature if this is going to be your puppy’s first outing.


Travelling with Your Puppy by Car

If you’re travelling by car you should again consider either wire framed or plastic crates. These types of crate are preferable to the soft fabric alternatives, mainly because they offer greater protection in the event of an accident. In a car, the more enclosed environment of a solid plastic carrier may be more reassuring to a young puppy. Whichever you choose, make sure they are secured safely to the car interior.

Travelling with Your Puppy by Air

This is a more difficult area although IATA provides comprehensive information. It’s important that you have a conversation with airlines well in advance to check out the availability of baggage space and any special crate specifications. There may be age or size restrictions in force and you may anyway be nervous anyway about taking a puppy with you on a long flight.

Travelling by Air from the UK

If you plan to depart from a UK airport, dogs must be carried as accompanied baggage in the hold of the aircraft, where a suitable environment can be maintained. There are airline regulations governing the construction and specification of suitable dog crates. They need tobe sturdy enough to survive baggage handling with an internal design which offers both comfort and protection to the puppy inside. You must remember that dogs will spend many hours in the hold of the aircraft and, in an unfamiliar environment; the temptation todamage their environment will always be there. Thecrate must be escape-proof to avoidthe possibility of injury to your puppy and any other animals in transit. Acceptable materials include:

  • fibreglass
  • metal
  • rigid plastics
  • weld metal mesh
  • solid wood
  • plywood If the crate is part-made of plywood, this must be a minimum of 12mm thick

The door, which could be of hinged or sliding design, should form the whole of one end of the container and have secure fasteners.  The sides should be robust and well ventilated – ventilation holes can cover all surfaces as long as they don’t weaken the structure. The ventilation areashould be equivalent to a minimum of 16% of total surface area.

  • The floor of the crate should be padded for comfort and the handles strong and well positioned to make lifting as easy as possible for baggage handlers.
  • The inside of the crate should be smooth so that no protrusions can be bitten or attacked.
  • There must be a water container inside the crate with access from the outside in case it needs refilling.
  • Food supplies should be securely attached to the outside of the container in case the flight times are delayed.
  • Acceptance of any particular type of crate is at the discretion of the individual carrier.

Airlines will not carry crates made entirely of welded mesh or wire mesh. This type of construction is perfectly adequate for car transport or use in the home. For more detailedinformationon dog crates please visit

Travelling by Air in the USA

For internal flights, most US airlines are happy for puppies to travel in the cabin with theirowners. If you see ‘Airline Approved’ as part of an eBay product description,this willprobably refer to dog crates suitable for air transportation in the USA.

When you’re travelling over there, there is no standardised acceptable crate size so the best advice is tocheck with the airline before you travel.The crate you buy will be determined by the puppy’s size. Its height should be, as a minimum, the distance from the floor to the top of the puppy’s shoulders. There is no point in any extra height since the puppy will spend most of the trip lying down.

  • An important airline requirement is that the animal should be able to turn freely in the crate.
  • It should have vents on both sides and interior padding to improve the puppy’s comfort.
  • On take-off, the puppy will need to fit under the seat.
  • In flight, the crate can be positioned under your knees.
  •  A covered or padded strap will make it easier to carry your puppy on and off the plane.
  • For the benefit of other passengers and cabin crew, it’s also advisable to choose a dark, quiet colour to minimise the visual impact of the crate.

How to Decide on the Right Size of Crate

The crate you pick for your puppy should be neither too big nor too small. If too big, the puppy will be tempted to create a separate toilet area. If too small, there won’t be enoughroom to turn around with ease.

  • As a guide, the carrierheight and depth should be 12” morethan the equivalent measurements for the puppy.
  • The ideal width is about three quarters of the depth.
  • Select your crate size based on the anticipated mature size of the dog.
  • You can modify the carrier with a divider which can be adjustable as the pet grows.   

How to Buy a Dog Carrier/Crate on eBay

Now that you know which dog carrier/crate you want you can find them quickly and easily on eBay. To start shopping, go to the Pet Supplies category the Dogs portal. Click on the Carriers & Crates sub-category portal.

While you shop, don't forget Harnesses, Coats, Leads,  Treats and Collars.


The Categories list on the left side of each page will help you narrow down your listings by item type. You'll find links for material:Metal, Fabric, Plastic, Rope and Wooden

Product Finder

Use the Dog Carrier/Crate Finder to quickly narrow down item listings by brand, model and condition (new or used).

Keyword Search

Search eBay listing titles for specific words. For example, if you want to find New Dog Carriers / Crates, type the keywords "Dog Carriers / Crates New" (without quotation marks) into the Search box. Click, "Search title and description" to expand your results. Visit eBay's Search Tips page for more tips on searching with keywords.

If you can't find exactly what you want, try browsing eBay Stores or tell the eBay Community what you’re looking for by creating a post on Want It Now, or save a search on My eBay and eBay will email you when a matching item becomes available.

Buy Dog Carriers and Crates with Confidence

Make sure that you know exactly what you’re buying and understand how eBay and PayPal protect you.

Know Your Item

  • Read the details in the item listing carefully.
  • Remember to add delivery costs to your final price. If you’re buying a high value item, check that the seller will insure it until it is delivered to you.
  • If you want more information, click the “Ask seller a question” button on the seller’s profile or the “Ask a question” link at the bottom of the item listing page.
  • Always complete your transaction on eBay (with a bid, Buy it Now or Best Offer) otherwise you will not be covered by eBay Buyer Protection.
  • Never pay for your eBay item using an instant cash wire transfer service like Western Union or MoneyGram. These are not safe ways of paying someone you do not know.

    Know Your Seller

    Research your seller so that you feel safe and positive about every transaction.

  • What is the seller’s Feedback rating? 
  • How many transactions have they completed?
  • How many positive responses do they have?
  • What do buyers say in their Feedback? 
  • Are they positive about the seller?

    Most top eBay sellers operate like retail shops and have a returns policy.

  • Do they offer a money-back guarantee? 
  • What are their terms and conditions?

    Buyer Protection

    In the very unlikely event that you do not receive your item or it is not as described, eBay Buyer Protection coversyour purchase price plus original delivery cost.

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