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I’ll start this post off by pointing out that I don’t typically use dog crates. I work from home, so it’s not like I have to worry about making sure my dogs aren’t getting into anything when I’m out of the house. And when I am out of the house, I usually take Janice and Leroy with me. Then when we get back, the whole house is their crate!
I have decided, though, to make an exception. Janice, as I told you in How Long Do Dogs Stay Pregnant?, has very likely been bred assuming that Leroy isn’t firing blanks! I’ll be buying her a crate.
I hope you enjoy these stories that I tell you. Some of them are instructive, some are sad, and some (I think) are just laugh-out-loud funny. This is going to be one of the funny ones.
Regular readers know that Janice sleeps on the pillow next to mine. Leroy usually occupies the lower end of my bed.
Anyway, with Janice’s last litter, I’d been pretty busy, and I hadn’t taken the time (my bad!) to provide her with a whelping pen. So where do you suppose she had her puppies?
She started out under my desk. Got the first puppy cleaned off, picked it up, and took it into the bedroom. Jumped up on her pillow, and proceeded to give birth to five more puppies.
On my bed.
Oh, the mess! So, I speedily started setting up a pen for her and the puppies, downstairs in the mudroom. I moved the puppies down, put in a dish of food and another of water for Janice, and of course, made sure that there were plenty of blankets.
All good, right?
Not so much. I woke up in the middle of the night to find Janice back on the pillow, and six puppies nursing on her. She’d brought them all back upstairs.
Of course, I do it all for dogs, so I figured, “How bad can this be?”
It was very, very bad. Not so much in the early stages, when the puppies were just staying with Janice, and she was cleaning them up. I figured, “Okay, this is really disgusting, but it will be over soon.”
It wasn’t. Not until my mattress was totally destroyed, and I’d been awakened dozens of times in the night picking up wandering puppies and giving them back to Janice was it finally over.
I mean it, stop laughing!
No, don’t stop laughing. It is funny! Laugh a lung up if you like.
Now, let’s get to what I’m going to do. I’m going to find Janice the best collapsible wire dog crate. I’ve been looking at several, and I think I can find one that will suit her.
Why Are Collapsible Wire Dog Crates So Popular?
The great thing about collapsible wire dog crates is that they don’t weigh much, and they’re so easy to set up. They’re easy to take down, too. There are other advantages, as well.
1. Your Dog Can See What’s Going On
I don’t know about your dog, but Janice isn’t much one for wanting privacy. She loves to be with me and Leroy, and she’d much rather be able to see her surroundings than be stuck in a solid-sided crate. I think that when she’s ready to have her puppies, assuming that I’ve sort of gently “nudged” her in the direction of the crate, she’ll be more than willing to see it as her “safe space” and I’ll be able to have my bed back!
2. The Air Circulates
Janice will be having her litter in April, but she’ll be taking care of them into June and July, when the weather gets warm. A collapsible wire dog crate allows the air to circulate, so she and the puppies will be comfortable.
3. Collapsible Wire Crates Fold Up
Janice is a big dog, and when the crate is set up, it’s going to take a fair bit of space. Once the puppies are weaned and in their “forever” homes, though, I can simply take the crate down, fold it up and stick it in a closet until I need it again.
4. Collapsible Wire Dog Crates Are Strong
Boxers are big dogs, and if they want to get out of a plastic crate, or a nylon crate, they’ll manage it. With a collapsible wire dog crate, I don’t have to worry about Janice deciding that she would still prefer the “puppies on Ash’s bed” scenario. She’s not going to muscle her way out of a good, strong collapsible wire crate.
So, these are the benefits of collapsible wire dog crates, at least as far as Janice is concerned. Everything good has a downside, though, so let’s talk about that.
Problems with Collapsible Wire Dog Crates
The main thing you might have to worry about with a collapsible wire dog crate is that the mesh could be either too small, or too big. With a big mesh, small dogs can end up with their legs stuck outside the crate. With a too-thin mesh, there’s a possibility of getting a paw stuck and the nails torn.
Also, with cheap collapsible wire dog crates, you might find sharp points and corners that could cut your dog, or for that matter, you.
Ideally, you should take a really good look at any collapsible wire dog crate you might be thinking of purchasing. Make sure there’s nothing that could cause injuries. Remember, cheaper isn’t necessarily better, and it’s always better to spend a bit more if it means keeping your dog safe from injury.
The Best Collapsible Wire Dog Crates
Now that you know what to look for and what to avoid, here are the crates I like best:
1. Pro-Select Wire Dog Crate
This crate has much to recommend it. It’s strong and durable, and comes with a top and bottom latch so you can be sure your dog will stay safe inside. The Pro-Select wire dog crate also comes with an easy-to-clean removable plate and a divider, so if you have a puppy, he won’t feel overwhelmed; he can grow into the crate and you can remove the divider when he’s full-grown.
The Confidence two door crate also comes in numerous sizes, contains a scratch-resistant tray made of steel (so it won’t break like a plastic tray) and even comes with a pillow so your dog can rest comfortably inside.
The Midwest Ultima crate comes in a variety of sizes, so no matter how big or small your dog, you’ll find one that’s just right. The rounded corners on this crate make it virtually impossible for your dog to hurt himself, and there are three doors, so you can easily access your dog from just about any angle.
The Carlson Secure Metal dog crate is another sturdy offering that also comes with a metal tray. It only has one door, but this isn’t necessarily a “downside.” Most of the time, you won’t need more than one door in your dog’s crate, and when you have just one, the crate folds up more easily than crates that have multiple doors.
The SmithBuilt Premium wire crate is actually not so much a crate as it is a playpen. That said, I think it’s worth mentioning here. If your dog isn’t likely to jump out of a pen, he might really appreciate having nothing confining over his head. I wouldn’t use this for Janice, of course, but for a small breed that just needs to be tucked away from time to time and doesn’t need confinement on the top, as well as on the bottom and sides, this can work very well. It’s much like traditional collapsible wire dog crates in that it folds up very easily for storage, but you don’t have to worry about folding in the top and bottom.
Although I don’t typically use dog crates, I know that sometimes, there’s something to be said for having a place where your dog can hang out, especially if she’s about to give birth! Trust me, a crate is a lot better than your bed.
Some dogs also really enjoy having a “house within the house” where they can go for quiet time. I guess what I’m saying is that a good collapsible wire dog crate can meet your dog’s needs, and yours as well.
Collapsible wire dog crates come in all kinds of sizes, so I had no trouble finding one for Janice. I chose the Carlson, but I’m not recommending it above all others; it really depends on what your dog needs. Crates can be used for house-training, keeping your dog safe while you’re out of the house, and yes, providing a good place for a dog to give birth. The Carlson is right for Janice, but any of the above could be good for your dog.