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Best Heavy Duty Dog Crate

Last Updated: January 24, 2020
Jack Campbell
Product Review by Jack Campbell

You want the best for your dog, but many dog owners are unsure of how to transport their pets effectively; and if you keep your dog confined during the day, it can be a nightmare to come home from work to find they have escaped.

If your dog escapes within your home they can cause damage, but if they escape during transit, or if their cage is outside, its possible they can go missing or worse.

That’s why purchasing a heavy duty dog crate is one of the best investments you will make for your dog’s well-being.

At Heel Boy Heel we recognize the importance of keeping your pup comfortable, while ensuring their safety and protecting your valuables from being destroyed; that’s why we have done the research for you.

After looking at all the products on the market we have carefully selected what we think are the five best heavy duty dog crates available today. Following on from that we have also composed a comprehensive buyers guide to help you make the best decision.

Our Reviews
1

MidWest Homes for Pets Dog Crate

MidWest is featured as the cheapest option on the list, costing less than half the price of other crates; and this is definitely reflected in the build quality. The cage is collapsible, lightweight and features a convenient carry handle.

The Midwest provides a good temporary solution for veterinary visits, or if you are leaving your dog with family during a vacation but I wouldn’t recommend it for use as a permanent dog cage.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Collapsible
  • Carry handle
  • Divider
  • Cheap

Cons

  • Not very sturdy
  • Wire cage
2

SMONTER Heavy Duty Dog Cage

SMONTER has released what can only be described as a direct competitor to the ProSelect. Very similar in their design there are one or two differences to be found.

First is the addition of a top door, providing greater access to your dog during transit to provide them with food and water, or remove them from confinement. Secondly is a security lock mechanism designed to make it difficult for dogs to access and open.

Overall construction is solid steel, with spacing between the bars designed to prevent dogs from potentially hurting themselves by biting the structure. I would, however, say that the ProSelect seems to be slightly sturdier, but that shouldn’t take anything away from the SMONTER as it is still solid steel construction.

Pros

  • Top loading door
  • Solid steel
  • Locking castor wheels
  • Removable tray
  • Tricky locks

Cons

  • Not as solid as the Pro Select
3

LUCKUP Heavy Duty Dog Cage

LUCKUP is the first budget heavy duty dog crate to feature in our rundown. Again the design is similar to both the ProSelect and SMONTER crates.

As this is a budget option money has been saved with the materials during construction, with LUCKUP opting not to use steel. However, construction is still solid metal and features a top-loading door and a smaller barn style door on the side entrance.

Again, there are lockable castor wheels for easy transport and the LUCKUP features two removable trays instead of one, making cleaning after accidents a little easier. LUCKUP have also provided more sizing options than any other brand, with sizes ranging from 38’’ to 48’’ there is a crate for every breed.

Overall, the LUCKUP is probably the best option for dog owners on a budget and certainly stands up against higher-priced competitors.

Pros

  • Locking castor wheels
  • Top loading door
  • Removable trays

Cons

  • Not made from steel
4

Homey Pet 49'' Stackable Heavy Duty Cage

Homey Pet has created a fantastic heavy duty large dog crate for owners of multiple dogs; as the crates can be stacked atop each other. Two options are available, one with a top-loading door and one without; personally, we feel that cages with a top-loading door provide more benefits to both dog and owner.

The crate can also be collapsed for storage if need be, but because of this, it loses some of the sturdiness other products offer. The Homey Pet is more suited for home use than for traveling, although it can be fitted with castor wheels for transport.

The plastic bottom of this crate actually makes sense when compared to the grated floor of other product, and it much easier to keep clean.

The side door has a smaller barn-style opening at the bottom for owners to provide food and water easily.

Overall, I would imagine that the Homey Pet is more suited to owners with multiple dogs that need a solution to cage them separately.

Pros

  • Good for large breeds
  • Locking castor wheels
  • Removable trays
  • Stackable

Cons

  • Wire cage
5

Pro Select Steel Empire Dog Cage

The Steel Empire range from Pro Select are some of the most durable dog cages available on the market today. Virtually indestructible, the Pro Select is available in a number of sizes to suit many breeds.

20-gauge steel construction is reinforced with 0.5’’ steel tubes will survive whatever your dog has to throw at it, even if your dog is somewhat of an escape artist.

A grated floor with removable tray is a welcome addition, allowing you to quickly and easily clean up any mess or accidents your dog may have. Locking castor wheels make transporting the crate between rooms or during transport a breeze.

Pros

  • Solid steel construction
  • Removable tray
  • Available in several sizes
  • Locking castor wheels

Cons

  • No top door

Best Heavy Duty Dog Crate: Buyers Guide

Your dog will spend a considerable amount of time within their dog cage, especially if you travel a lot. It is important to ensure that not only can the crate stand up to the rigors of daily use, but that your dog is comfortable and secure.

A dog crate is as much about keeping the dog confined as it is protecting their well-being. If you travel with your pup by air or sea regularly, you will already be aware that a solid crate that caters for your dog’s well-being is a must.

For inexperienced dog owner’s, it is worth noting that travel can and will be refused on flight’s and ferries if the stewards feel that the crate is not only unsecure but hazardous to your dog’s health.

First and foremost, your dog should have a comfortable amount of space available to them, regardless of the style of crate. Measuring your dog can be tricky, but you should at least measure their length and height.

The correct way to do this is to measure from the tip of the nose to the base of their tail then add 3’’, this will give you their length; tail doesn’t need to be measured unless it is excessively large.

For height you need to measure from the floor to the tips of their ears (if they point upwards) while they are seated. Add 3’’ again to account for movement.

To provide comfort for your dog during transit, you should provide a bed, or their favorite blankets to sleep on and soften the floor. It is also worth putting their favorite chew toys in with them.

Three ways that dogs escape their cage

Some dogs take to their new cage like a duck to water, while others will do everything in their power to escape. Different breeds have different temperaments and how your dog reacts will be unique to them.

If you are looking for a new crate, you need to consider the three main methods of escape:

Chewing

Dog caged made from wire have small connectors to keep the side panels affixed. Typically, these connections are quite insubstantial and take little effort for most dogs to demolish them and escape.

Using the latch

Many owners underestimate the intelligence of their dog, but if the locking mechanisms are accessible to them a large number can eventually figure out how to operate them.

Normally learned through trial and error, determined dogs will simply play with the latch until the door becomes unlocked; and it doesn’t take them long to remember how to replicate this consistently.

Force

If your crate is poorly made, flimsy, or you have a particularly strong headed dog they will often just muscle their way out of confinement. Corners on poorly made, or wire crates are the weak point, and exceptionally muscular breeds will have no problem bursting through and escaping.

Features of a good heavy-duty dog crate

Buying a heavy-duty dog crate can be a fairly substantial investment, but well made dog crates will last a lifetime. When comparing dog crates, you should keep these key points in mind:

Solid construction

Heavy duty dog crates need to be constructed from metal, preferably steel. Plastic and cheap wire cages can discourage some dogs from attempting to escape but will easily be overcome by determined pups.

A lot of dogs will feel separation anxiety when locked up too, which can cause normally calm dogs to attempt a jailbreak. It is always best to avoid plastic confinements, wire cages are suitable for short journeys in the car but ideally your dog crate will be made from quality materials.

Many dog crates are made from solid metal sheets and are the most secure, however you must make sure that they are properly ventilated. Ventilation must never be sacrificed for security.

Well ventilated

Comfort and wellbeing of your dog takes priority, no matter how unruly they may become when put in their crate. Crates that aren’t sufficiently ventilated can become damp and stuffy leading to health problems caused by bacteria.

Removable pan, and caster wheels

Since your dog will be spending extended periods in their cage, particularly during travel, accidents are bound to happen. Removable pans are ideal as they can easily be removed to clean up any accidents or spills in the crate.

Wheels are handy for transport, as well constructed heavy-duty crates can be fairly heavy; having wheels reduces risk of injury to you and your dog.

Inaccessible locking mechanisms

A number of dogs can learn to operate the latches found on most crates if given the opportunity. If your dog has difficulty reaching the locks, or is incapable of operating them, the risk of them escaping goes down.

Many professional dog handlers swear by slam latches, which automatically lock when the door is closed.

Recap

If you are looking for the best bang for your buck, I would definitely recommend the SMONTER Heavy Duty Dog Cage. For the features it boasts, and the price point that it comes in at it is hard to justify spending more.

While some users may have found the Pro Select to be slightly more solid in its construction, the SMONTER offers all the same features without the premium price tag.

Have you found these reviews helpful? Please let us know in the comments below, or if there is anything you think we have missed.

At Heel Boy Heel we aim to be the #1 resource on the web for all dog related subjects, so if there is anything you would like to see us cover, please get in touch and let us know.

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