|Dog in a soft crate (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
There are many reasons why you should get a crate for your new dog. Crates can restrict dogs who might be prone to separation anxiety or possible destructive behavior. They also become your dog's bedroom where they can go to take a nap away from the busy people world, hang out with a good bone, or sleep at night amidst the comforting smells of their own space.
When choosing a crate you should consider the size of your dog now, or if a puppy, the size they will grow in to. They should be able to circle around in it, but it shouldn't be so big that they can "go" in the corner of it and not sleep in the mess.
Whether the crate should have wire or soft sides is up to you and your circumstances. The soft-sided crates can potentially be warmer, especially if it's located outside. The wire crates offer more air movement, but they're not as cozy. Some dogs prefer that their wire crates be covered on top or the side to create a more cave-like atmosphere. These days crates can look like wood furniture. That beautiful new end table? - A dog crate!
Crates have pans at the bottom that can be removed and this is important for ease of cleaning. Your dog's crate should be made homey with a pad that's the right fit for the crate. Toys can be rotated, but make sure they are indestructible. If your dog likes to chew up squeaky toys until he swallows the squeaker, this would not be a good toy to leave with him in his crate. The best option for water (if urination accidents are not a consideration) is to use a watering system that hooks onto the side or door of the crate. That way they won't be stepping in it or knocking it over.
Another issue to think about before buying a crate is whether it is portable or not. This is not a problem for small dogs, but if your dog is bigger, you need to see if the crate will fit in your vehicle. It should at least fold flat so you can take it along and put it back up at your destination.
Choosing the right crate for your dog is important. If you take into account the size of your dog, the material the crate is made out of, what you should outfit it with, and whether it is portable, you will find a satisfying solution for both you and your dog.