Choosing the right crate is crucial whether you are getting a Labrador puppy from a breeder or adopting an adult Lab from the shelter. A crate is a safe and secure spot for your dog where they can go to avoid stressful situations or get some quiet. It’s also a helpful tool for when you need to travel with your dog or go to the vet.
Choosing the right crate for your Labrador retriever should be a well-thought-out decision. In this article, we are exploring a couple of things to consider when buying a dog crate set.
Size of the Crate
First, you have to consider if the crate is the right size for your Lab. The right crate has to have just enough space for your dog to be able to move around and be comfortable in. Don’t think about getting a crate based on cost alone. The comfort of your Labrador should be your utmost priority.
Here are some common mistakes that you have to avoid when buying a crate:
Getting a crate that is too large
Many pet owners think that the bigger space their Lab has in their crate, the better. This isn’t all true. A crate that is too big would be counterintuitive to your Labrador’s crate training. Instead of seeing the crate as their sleeping area, they may see it as a place where they can also relieve themselves. They may also see it as an empty room that doesn’t provide them with a feeling of security.
For this reason, you must pick a crate that is just the right size for your beloved quadruped.
Getting a crate that is too small
As we’ve previously mentioned, the health and comfort of your Lab should always be your top priority. This means that you should also avoid getting a smaller crate that your dog won’t be comfortable in.
If the reason why you’re getting a smaller crate is to save money and space in your home, don’t worry. A big crate with a divider can help you section off a part that is just enough for your dog to be comfortable in and gradually increase the space as your Lab grows bigger. This way, you will not have to buy multiple crates, and you can still give your pet the comfort they deserve.
Types of Crate
There are different types of crates for dogs, and we understand that the variety of choices can be overwhelming. We suggest getting a crate that is dependent on your Labrador’s behavior and preference.
Below is a list of the common kinds of crates for Labs:
The Soft-Sided Crate or Cloth Crate
This type of crate is often made of nylon or a similar material. One advantage of the soft-sided dog crate is that it is very portable and easy to store. If your dog has already been crate-trained, then you might benefit from the lightweight nature and portability of a cloth crate.
The greatest disadvantage of soft-sided crates, however, is that they are easily destructible. Since Labradors are chewers, you will have to consider this. If you are still crate-training your Lab, then this is not the best choice for you as your dog may chew through the lining of the crate.
Wire crates are a portable kind of crates that’s perfect for Labs who like getting a view of the outside. If your Lab does not respond well to visual stimuli, you can cover it with an airy piece of cloth to obscure the surroundings.
One con to wire crates is that they are not very sturdy. If your dog is very energetic, they could potentially break out of the cage. If you do choose to buy a wire crate, make sure to get one that is sturdy and will hold up against the energy level of your Lab.
A plastic crate is probably the best option for travelling since it has a thick plastic barrier that will be difficult to break out of. Choose this one if you are often on the go and travel a lot with your Labrador.
Take note, though, that most plastic crates are designed for small to medium-sized dogs. Moreover, this type of crate does not provide many views of the outside other than the front opening. If your dog does not like this, then consider a different kind of crate.
There are also other specialized crate options for Labrador retrievers:
Heavy-duty crates are made for large dogs that cannot fit in other kinds of crates. They should never be used for punishment. Remember, the essence of crate training is to provide your pet with a safe space where they can relax.
Furniture crates are for Labrador retriever owners who want to integrate the look of their pet’s crates into the interior design of their homes. This crate type can be quite expensive, often imitating the appearance of a side-table and serving that purpose as well. This is only the right choice for Labs that are already used to being in a crate and not for those that are still being crate-trained.
So, which crate should I get for my Labrador?
The answer to that depends on you and your dog’s needs. Look over the pros and cons of each crate and choose the one that will suit your needs best.
If your Lab is extra energetic, don’t get the cloth crate as you may end up repurchasing anyway. If you need to travel with your dog quite frequently, then consider buying the plastic crate. You could even go for the more expensive furniture crate if that is what fits you best.
The choice you make with your crate should be personalized based on lifestyle. Make sure to consider the comfort and needs of your Labrador first before purchasing one. A crate is a haven for your pet, and you should treat it as such. Choose wisely!