Dog crates and kennels come in a lot of different shapes and forms and are made from a variety of materials depending on the intended use. Generally we can distinguish them between crates for indoor and kennels for outdoor use, but the borders are overlapping. What makes a great dog home for the garden in one climate, might be completely unsuitable in another for example. So lets look at other aspects instead:
The smaller the crate, the shorter it should be used, compared obviously to the size of the dog. Small and light crates make great transporters for short journeys. The larger the crate, the longer can the dog stay inside, provided it has enough water, food and a comfy place to sleep. Really big outdoor kennels with run are used for watch and guard dogs during the day on business premises. These dogs are working dogs on “night shift”, they spend the days in their kennels and the nights and weekends roaming free on the premises they guard against intruders.
Metal is the material most used in the production of dog crates and kennels, because it is durable and easy to clean. Metal crates are nearly exclusively made in a way that they can fold flat when not used. Plastic is used to make small dog pens and runs that are typically open to the top. When buying one look out that it is “chew safe” and that the paint / coat doesn’t come off. Apart of this, they are great to confine little and very small dog breeds to an area without having this oppressive “cage feeling” about them. A lot of transport crates are also made of plastic, making them that bit more steady than the next alternative. Fabric is used mostly for the above mentioned, smaller transport crates. They fold also flat together and are easy to wash. Because they are lightweight they are easier to carry but also less sturdy. Wood, wooden crates and kennels have gone a bit out of fashion, mostly due to the fact that dogs like to chew them! If you have a well disciplined dog that doesn’t chew what it shouldn’t chew, they can make a stylish addition for your garden.
Summary, before shooting off to buy the next best cheap or luxury dog crate, take a moment to think what you need it for and decide on the appropriate type regarding size and material before you buy!