Why use a soft dog crate?
Soft dog crates have a huge advantage over metal crates when it comes to portability, weight, and ease of storage. They are collapsible and very easy to chuck into any large cupboard, closet, and even car trunks.
They are lighter than metal or plastic dog crates, so carrying your dog to anywhere will be easier. They are also suitable for indoor and outdoor use, air or land travel and can be a comfy bunk for your dog inside your home.
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Factors to consider when purchasing a soft dog crate
Size and Dimensions
The best soft dog crate for your dog should suit their size and build. You have to consider the height of the crate and its depth and width. It should be comfortable for your dog to stand or sit in, and also have enough wiggle room so they can change positions inside the crate.
Soft-sided dog crates are not as stiff and hard as plastic or wire crates. The only section that should be sturdy enough to bear the weight of your dog is the flooring. But when it comes to the frames, they should only have the ability to keep the sides standing in place while in use.
Most standard soft dog crates only have one opening, just like plastic crates. But if you’d like more ways for your pet to enter and exit the crate, there are also soft dog crates in the market that have 2-3 doorways for the convenience of your dog.
Ventilation is an important feature to remember if you live in a really warm or humid area. Metal and plastic dog crates can’t handle extreme heat as well as soft dog crates. That’s because most soft dog crates are made with breathable mesh and weather-resistant PVC and polyester, making air flow through them without much obstruction.
Padding and Cushion
Not all soft dog kennels have very comfortable flooring. Some have padded floors and mats, but if your dog is in for a long car or plane ride, your dog will thank you for giving them a thick pad or cushion to rest on during travels. These can be purchased separately.
Visibility and Windows
If your pup gets a little nervous when they can’t see much from inside their crate, then you should get a soft crate that has wide windows. Most soft dog crates already have this feature, so you won’t have a hard time looking for one. Rolled up doors and windows are also the most common type in the market, but there are some that are a lot firmer and serve as flaps rather than rolling windows.
The great thing about soft dog crates is that most of them are sold already assembled. You only need to unfold them and lock the frames in place and you’re good to go. However, some do need a little assembly, sometimes needing tools, to set it up. If you prefer a particular crate that needs assembly, then you should set aside time for that and remember to follow the instructions provided with the crate.
A lot of soft dog crates nowadays come with their own bag for storage. These are perfect for collapsible crates that you can easily bring anywhere. If you travel often or don’t have much space at home, then these types are the best for your pooch.
Other features (Pockets, weatherproof, easy to clean, airline approved)
Since there are soft dog crates in the market that can be used for outdoor activities, then features like pockets, weather-resistant materials, and easy to clean features are a must-have. If you love hiking or camping with your dog, then you should consider getting a crate with these features.
Locking System and Security
No matter how behaved your dog can be, it’s always better to be on the safer side, so look for soft dog crates with zippers that can be locked together or even interior straps where you can attach the leash of your dog. There are also soft dog crates with seatbelt attachments for pups that love going on car rides.
When NOT to use a soft dog crate
Soft dog crates are made of softer and weaker materials compared to metal or plastic crates. So no matter how cool a soft dog crate can be, if your dog is destructive, it’s a big no-no for them.
Also, dogs with separation anxiety are not suitable for soft dog crates. Although they have good ventilation and big windows for your pup, dogs with anxiety may try to chew or scratch their way out of the crate.
Dogs who are not crate trained are not suitable for soft dog crates. They might try to scratch or chew on the soft interior of the crate. Not to mention that dogs show unexpected strength sometimes and their unruly behavior may end up destroying your soft crate.
Unlike metal and plastic crates that have durable construction and wire doors/locks, soft dog kennels only have zippers to keep them closed. Your smart escape artist dog might learn how to unzip them or just barrel their way out of its flexible doors
Best Soft Dog Crates in 2019
Lightweight and Collapsible Soft Crate – Noz2Noz Soft Krator Indoor/Outdoor Crate
The main feature of this soft dog crate from Noz2Noz is its ease of use and light weight. Made from tightly woven but breathable mesh fabric, the Soft Krator Indoor/Outdoor Crate is perfect for any trained dog. It is also already assembled and all you have to do is unfold it, snap the frames together and voila! A comfortable crate for your dog.
The Noz2Noz Soft Krator Indoor/Outdoor Crate is suitable as a camping bed for your dog, or as a cozy space for your pooch in the comfort of your home. It has a roll-up zipped door on the front and top for convenience. This soft crate also has rounded corners, so it won’t scratch your furniture if you need to move them around.
Aside from its light weight and easy to unfold design, the Noz2Noz Soft Krator Crate also has a water-resistant base for easier cleanup. You can even remove the cover from the steel frame and throw them in the washing machine for cleaning.
- Lightweight and folds flat
- Simply unfold and snap frames into place for quick use
- Made from tightly woven and breathable mesh
- Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
- Has water-resistant flooring for easy cleanup
- Roll-up windows with zipped closures
- Wide mesh windows for ventilation and relaxation
- Rounded corners to avoid damaging furniture
- 42-inch crates for large breeds
Best Lightweight Carrier/Crate for Small Dogs – EliteField Deluxe Soft Pet Carrier
For crate trained small dogs, the EliteField Deluxe Soft Pet Carrier is a great choice. They are airline approved, if you prefer bringing your pet with you even on your flights. Although it needs to be assembled, it’s pretty easy to do. You just have to follow its fold and zip up the corners to keep its shape without needing any tool.
It also has a sturdy and padded handle on the top for carrying the crate and even has shoulder straps so you can carry the bag on your shoulder. This makes it easy to carry when folded flat and for easy storage. The EliteField Deluxe Soft Pet Carrier also has a padded flooring which is also durable, and stable enough that it won’t sag when it is off the floor. It has mesh pockets on both doors for your dog’s necessities if needed.
The support board and floor padding are removable and washable. Its waterproof materials also make it easy to clean and suitable for outdoor use.
- Airline approved carrier
- Has comfortable padding for long travels
- Has sizes suitable for small dogs
- Removable and washable bedding with easy to clean features
- Includes a support board to keep its shape even when off the floor
- Includes a leash attachment inside for additional safety measure
- Extremely lightweight and easy to assemble
- Has handles and straps for carrying and storage
Sturdy Wire-Framed Soft Crate for Travelling – 2PET Foldable Dog Crate
2PET’s Foldable Dog Crate features a strong, steel tube frame that makes this carrier much sturdier than most soft crates in the market. You just have to lock these frames in place to assemble the crate. Easy as pie!
A great soft crate for adventurous dogs, 2PET’s carrier has water-resistant materials, tightly woven but breathable mesh panels, and a waterproof mat perfect for camping and hiking trips. This soft crate also folds flat and has straps for carrying when it’s not used. But they can also be great indoor crates as a comfy den for your dog.
- Steel tube frame for sturdier soft crate
- Foldable dog crate that requires minimum assembly
- Folds flat for easier storage
- Waterproof and lightweight feature makes it suitable for indoor and outdoor use
- Has top handle for carrying when not in use
- Roll up door and breathable mesh windows
Durable and Comfortable Soft Crate/Carrier – AmazonBasics Soft Sided Pet Carrier
The main feature of AmazonBasics’ Soft-Sided Pet Carrier is its complete mesh sides. It provides 360° ventilation and visibility that will definitely give your dog some comfort even when inside the crate. They are airline approved and can fit under most airplane seats. It also has a strap included for seat belt attachments to keep them safe inside your car.
The soft and cozy fleece flooring of this crate elevates the comfort your dog will have while inside this carrier. Although the carrier itself should be spot-cleaned only, the bedding is machine washable for easy maintenance.
AmazonBasics’ Soft-Sided Pet Carrier does not fold flat, but it’s still a pretty convenient and effective carrier with its adjustable straps attached along both sides of the crate and a clip attachment for one-shoulder carrying.
This carrier is also great for indoor use as a den for your dog inside your home.
- Wire-steel frame with breathable and durable mesh body
- Maximum ventilation and visibility
- Soft fleece bedding for comfort even on long trips
- Crate stands up and keeps its shape
- Airline approved and can fit under airplane seats
- Also has seatbelt attachment for car rides
- Has multiple handles and straps for convenience
Most Portable Soft Dog Crate – K&H Pet Products Classy Go Soft Crate
This soft dog crate from K&H Pet Products has an easy to assemble and collapsible design that includes its own carrier bag for portability, storage, and protection. No tools are necessary to keep this crate standing. It also keeps its shape through a tension rod that you snap into place to keep it upright. This is a great crate for both adventurous and calm dogs, since it can be used indoors and outdoors.
This crate also has 2 entrance points, front door and a huge one on the side. This makes it a great den for your dog to sleep on inside the home, as well as giving your dog plenty of ventilation and visibility for the duration of their stay inside the crate. The K&H Pet product soft crate is also equipped with a big pocket on the back where you can store their toys and other necessities, like leashes and toys.
- Wire frame that keeps its shape, which is also reinforced with a tension rod that you can lock in place
- Has a locking zipper to prevent any accidental escapes
- Folds flat and has its own carrying case for portability
- Has two points of entry for convenience, both can be strapped into place to keep them open
- Big pocket on the back to store necessities
- Windows and doors are made with mesh for breathability and visibility
- Carrier itself has small handles on both sides of the top if needed to be carried
In conclusion, soft dog crates are great as carriers and kennels for trained dogs with good behaviors only. They are wonderfully made to hold dogs for long periods of time without stressing them out. Most of them are also suitable for traveling, as well as easy to carry, and can be great personal spaces for your dogs at home. Their main features are their breathability, visibility, and comfort with their soft sides, padded floors, mesh panels. Soft dog crates will also greatly benefit dog owners who need lightweight carriers, while keeping your pet safe and comfortable while in transit.