A dog crate is like a home away from home for your pet — you want it to be a comfortable yet safe space for when your dog is feeling overwhelmed or to assist with house training. Picking the perfect crate for your dog, and for you, is essential to save money and time.
Dog crates have evolved from the simple wooden crates used during the Second World War. We tend to want the best for our pets — after all, they are part of the family.
Our reviews of the 10 best small dog crates highlight each one and describe its pros and cons. The buyer’s guide will discuss basic features to look for when buying a crate since not all are created to fit the personal needs of you and your dog.
A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2021:
|Best Overall||AmazonBasics Folding Dog Crate||
|Best Value||MidWest Homes Small Dog Crate||
|Premium Choice||Petsfit Portable Mini Dog Crate||
|Carlson Compact Single Door Dog Crate||
|New World Folding Small Metal Dog Crate||
The 10 Best Small Dog Crates:
1. AmazonBasics Folding Dog Crate – Best Overall
For a versatile dog crate that is great for traveling, the AmazonBasics is one to consider. It is a soft-sided crate, so you won’t want to put an anxious dog in here that likes to chew, but it has a PVC frame and is made of polyester fabric, so it will wear well.
This 26-inch crate is suitable for a small dog up to 30 pounds, and it has a door at the top and a mesh one on the front, with mesh windows on the sides. We like that it sets up in seconds and folds up for easy transportation and storage. The crate measures 26.3×18.1×18.1 inches.
On the downside, there is no handle on this crate, but it does come with a one-year warranty.
2. MidWest Homes Small Dog Crate – Best Value
The MidWest is the best small dog crate for the money, since it offers many features that make it easy to use. This 22x13x15-inch crate is ideal for small dogs no more than 7.5 pounds. It is wire mesh and comes with a divider pane, dog tray, carrying handle, and four roller feet.
We like that it is easy to set up, with no tools required, and it folds flat, making it easy to transport and store, especially since it only weighs 10 pounds. There are two doors with a heavy-duty slide bolt latch, and it comes with a one-year warranty.
We found that the divider is difficult to place in the crate, as well as remove, and may not hold up to aggressive dogs, but the bottom plastic tray is easy to clean. The Midwest is rated second since it is not as easy to use as the AmazonBasics crate.
The Petsfit is a great size for a small to a medium-sized dog weighing up to 40 pounds, as the dimensions are 30x24x25 inches. We like that it is made from quality materials that have the potential to last for many years.
No tools are needed for setting up, and it is easy to fold and place into the carrying case. There is a handle on the top and three mesh windows on the sides, with two that roll up for openings. It comes with a soft fleece mat that is machine washable, and there are pockets along the rear wall that are great for storing dog-related items.
On the downside, we found that others have had issues with the zipper breaking after only using for a few months. But it does come with an Amazon return policy that will fix quality problems within 30 days. Even though the Petsfit offers great features within a good product, it is pricier overall, which is why it isn’t rated number one.
4. Carlson Compact Single Door Dog Crate
The Carlson crate is the perfect size for small breeds and puppies up to 25 pounds, as the dimensions are 24x18x19 inches. It will fit a dog up to 22 inches long and 16 inches, though this won’t leave any space to allow your dog to move around.
We like that the crate folds flat, allowing easier portability. There is one door and it has a multi-point locking system. It comes in a light pink color, which may be an advantage for some and a disadvantage for others, depending on your preferences.
We like that it is made of steel and weighs only 12 pounds. It comes with a removable floor pan that is washable and resists stains. However, the paint on the wire is not durable and chips off easily if chewed on.
5. New World Folding Small Metal Dog Crate
This crate is suitable for dogs between 11 to 25 pounds, as it measures 24x18x19 inches. Assembly is easy and requires no tools, and you can fold it up for transport or storage. The included leak-proof plastic pan appears durable and cleans easily. There is a heavy-duty slide-bolt latch that prevents your dog from playing as an escape artist.
The E-coat black finish is durable and does not wear easily, which is nice if you have a dog who likes to chew. The New World comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty. On the downside, there is no handle to assist with carrying when it is folded, nor is there a latch to keep it closed.
See our review of the best dog crates of the year!
6. 2PET Foldable Dog Crate
This crate offers versatility, since it can be used for travel and/or training purposes, as well as indoors and outdoors. It has an inner steel frame that allows it to be strong yet lightweight. The cover is a soft Oxford 600D fabric that is water-resistant and machine washable.
We like the full-frontal zipper design that makes it difficult for your dog to chew on, and there are bone-shaped mesh windows on three sides of the crate. It’s also nice that the company donates a portion of every sale to pet shelters and charities and that it offers a one-year warranty.
The crate size is 20x14x14 inches and will hold up to 15 pounds. It also zips open on the top, and there are two handles that make this crate easy to carry when your dog is inside. Unfortunately, the 2PET is a little more expensive than others on our list, and the interior bottom pad is on the thin side.
7. Petmate 41038 Compass Dog-Crate
This kennel is ideal for dogs weighing up to 20 pounds, as it measures 25x17x15 inches. It is made of durable plastic, with a wire door that is double-hinged and has turn dial latches that make it easy to open, close, and remove. Setup is a simple process: You simply snap the parts together, no tools needed. On the downside, you need to make sure to get the top and bottom pieces lined up correctly in order for the screws to fit properly.
We like that it meets airline cargo specifications, is made in the U.S.A., and comes in four different colors. The kennel is durable enough for a dog near the 10-pound range, though a heavier dog near 20 pounds will not have as much room.
8. topPets Portable Soft Pet Crate
The topPets is another soft-side foldable crate that is good for traveling and easy to store when not in use. The dimensions are 24x16x16 inches, and it is suitable for small dogs up to 20 pounds. The frame is steel with an injection-molded lock mechanism that is supposed to make it easy to put together but can be difficult to set up the first time.
The outside fabric is durable enough for smaller pets unless your dog has anxiety separation or is a puppy who likes to chew on things. We like the carrying straps and the large mesh windows on all three sides (the door has a mesh opening as well).
The included pad is on the flimsy side but does provide comfort from the hard ground. The crate folds up easily and is lightweight. A disadvantage with topPets, however, is that the zippers do not appear to be durable or high quality.
Related article: The best heavy-duty dog crates of the year
9. Aspen Training Retreat Crate
This crate is made for house training your puppy and can be folded up to transport to different locations. It measures 24x17x20 inches and is ideal for puppies less than 30 pounds. We like that it comes with a leak-proof removable pan and a divider so it can grow with your puppy.
It is made of wire that is covered in a rust-resistant coat for added durability. There are doors on the side and on the end that allow for easier access to your pet. The set-up instructions are clear and easy to understand, but the divider is difficult to get into place.
On the downside, it is not sturdy enough for travel and is best used for training your puppy. The latches are hard to open and close, and we found this crate that may not fit a 30-pound dog very comfortably, as it does run on the small side.
10. Zampa Pet Portable Crate
Last on our list is the soft-sided Zampa crate that is made to provide comfort to your dog while being portable. It is made for small dogs and measures 19.5×13.5×13.5 inches and has bone-shaped windows on three sides, though the mesh windows do not provide much light, making it somewhat gloomy inside. Unfortunately, this crate does not come with a foam pad for the base.
We like that it sets up fast, folds up easily, and stores in a carrying case. We found the fabric is not as durable, and it is not water-resistant, meant for indoor use only. There is a high degree of tension when trying to open and close the zipper. Finally, the Zampa is more expensive than other soft-sided options on our list.
When looking to buy a small dog crate, some features and options make some brands better than others. In this next section, we will go over what to look for when buying a small dog crate so you can choose the one that works well for you and your dog.
Size: The size you need will be determined by the size and weight of your dog. There are varying dimensions for small crates, and you need to make sure the one you like will fit your dog comfortably, especially if your dog will be in it for a long period.
Some crate descriptions say it will fit a dog up to 20 pounds, but this doesn’t factor in frame and build.
Material: Our review list has soft-sided, metal, and plastic crates, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. Think about if the material is durable and if it is made of quality material to stand up to your dog’s habits.
Wire crates provide great ventilation, but some dogs may feel exposed and uncomfortable. Plastic crates are lightweight and better insulated, but they can’t fold flat and aren’t ideal for warmer climates. Soft-sides dog crates may offer protection and a cozier feeling for your dog, but they wear faster than others.
Cost: Most small dog crates are affordable, with some pricier than others. It depends on the features and quality of the crate. What you can afford will be a factor in the crate you choose to buy.
Ease of use: A crate that is easy to put together, clean, and store is something that will determine the type you choose to purchase. Foldable crates are nice for traveling and for storage, but perhaps you would rather have a crate that is more durable for daily use at home. Also, think about how easy it is to clean, such as washing the fabric or cleaning the bottom tray.
Disposition of your dog: If you have a dog that does not do well being separated from you, it would be wise to get a crate that can hold up to chewing or biting. Most soft-sided crates cannot handle the constant abuse from an anxious dog or a puppy that naturally likes to chew.
Our reviews list features the 10 best small dog crates on the market today. The first on our list is the AmazonBasics, a soft-sided crate that will hold up to 30 pounds yet is compact enough for travel and is easy to use. The MidWest home is the best value on our list — it’s a wire mesh crate that is easy to set up and use. The Petsfit is our premium choice; it may be a little more expensive but is made from quality materials and offers versatility for you and comfort for your dog.
We hope our review list helps you decide which small crate will be the best for you and your pet. It can be frustrating to find the perfect item, and there are many factors involved when making such a choice. We have faith that you will find the perfect crate that is ideal and will last for many years to come.
- A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2021:
- The 10 Best Small Dog Crates:
- 1. AmazonBasics Folding Dog Crate – Best Overall
- 2. MidWest Homes Small Dog Crate – Best Value
- 3. Petsfit Portable Mini Dog Crate – Premium Choice
- 4. Carlson Compact Single Door Dog Crate
- 5. New World Folding Small Metal Dog Crate
- 6. 2PET Foldable Dog Crate
- 7. Petmate 41038 Compass Dog-Crate
- 8. topPets Portable Soft Pet Crate
- 9. Aspen Training Retreat Crate
- 10. Zampa Pet Portable Crate
- Buyer’s Guide