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Having a crate-trained dog is always a good thing, as there are going to be times in your pet-owning life when you will need to take them out and beyond their comfort zones – to the vets, on an airplane, on vacation, or long road trips in the car. A crate is a great way to keep your pooch calm and secure as well as create its own safe space. But some pooches don’t take to smaller crates or are simply too much for a standard design. Which is where the heavy-duty dog crate comes into its own.
Larger and made from super-durable metal with dog-proof locks, an indestructible crate can be the perfect carrier for a large, boisterous, or more aggressive dog. They can also be used for pooches who are anxious, are prone to scratching and chewing, or like to do a ‘Houdini’ and work out how to escape. Picking the right heavy-duty crate depends on your dog and how you want to use it – whether that’s for regular travel or for keeping it at home. We take a look at what makes a really great heavy-duty crate and review 10 of our favorites.
One look at the Empire Dog Cage and you can see it has superior strength and a quality design. Made from 20-gauge steel, the frame has reinforced tubes to create a secure kennel for your larger dog. With steel bars on all sides, there are sufficient gaps for your pooch to see out and allow for air to easily flow through, creating a comfortable space. And if your pet has a reputation of being a bit of an escape artist, then this crate will keep them secure, thanks to the heavy-duty welds and secure dual door latches. Underneath the floor grate there is also a convenient removable tray so you can keep the whole cage fresh and clean. While it is not the cheapest indestructible cage you can buy, the ProSelect Empire is one of the strongest and is sturdy but light enough for prolonged travel. And the removable casters work to make your dog-transporting life that little bit easier. A comfortable cushion or pad in the bottom would enhance the cage but as a super-solid heavy duty crate that lives up to its promise and is available in two sizes, this is our best buy.
The Smonter heavy duty dog crate is a smart looking and strong dog kennel at a pretty smart price. Using a Y-shaped pattern in the bars, it not only looks good, but creates a bite-proof design to help gently repel and keep the mouths of chewing dogs nice and safe. Made from steel, it is also coated with a non-toxic finish to protect it against rust and wear. This cage also works hard to be escape proof, thanks to the strong steel bars and double locks, complete with safety buckles. But this indestructible crate is not all about keeping your pooch locked away; it’s also built for easy access and interaction with your dog. The cage features a double front door which opens up the front nicely – a welcome touch for when you are at home and want your dog to be able come and go as they please. Add in a removable plastic bottom tray and 360-degree rotating wheels, and you have a versatile and easy to clean chew proof dog crate to keep your pup safe and secure.
If you are looking for a secure barrier or play area for your lively pup, then it is worth checking out this versatile heavy duty playpen from Yaheetech. Ideal for young puppies or boisterous older dogs, the design of this playpen gives you numerous options that can be used indoor or out. Made from rust-resistant coated iron for durability, the clever panel design lets you configure it in many ways, including rectangle, square and circle, for maximum contained fun. The playpen comes in eight panels (other multiple panel sets are also available) complete with a secure latch, hinged door and is easily assembled and disassembled. And while each wire crate panel is independent, they easily fold down together for quick transport and convenient storage. Not a heavy duty cage to transport your dog in, but the perfect way to create a safe and secure play space they can also sleep in. And for around $150, as one of our best heavy-duty crates, it is great value too.
Made from commercial grade stainless steel and coated to protect it from rust and corrosion, this is a heavy duty dog crate that means business. Designed for larger dogs, there is plenty of space inside this indestructible dog kennel, while the reinforced 20-gauge bars keep your pet safely contained. The bars are a decent width apart too, allowing plenty of fresh air and good viewing for your curious pooch. We really like the two-door front design plus crate top lid, which is ideal for working with lively puppies or energetic breeds. But when you need them secure and contained, the door and roof locks come complete with two slide-bolt latches that are clawing paw and teeth proof. Underneath the floor grate you get two of the all-essential removable trays for quick and easy cleaning and the whole cage can be hosed down after a long trip or pet stay. The SmithBuilt Heavy Duty Dog Crate is a large beast but that shouldn’t put you off as the four rotating wheels make it convenient to roll and move around, locking when you want to secure the whole cage and your doggo safely in one place.
For tall, large or high energy, anxious dogs, you need a crate that keeps them safe as well as feeling secure. And, with this dog cage from Sliverylake, you get a well-made crate that ticks all the essential boxes. The steel square bar design has been created to give extra stability, with the bars closer together to repel chewing and biting – or paws looking for a sneaky chance to escape. There is plenty of room inside for your pet to calm down and get comfortable, and the grated floor with plastic under tray means they can keep fresh and clean throughout the day. This is also a good choice crate to have in the home to create a safe space for your pet if they have anxieties or are reactive to noise. The single front door opens nice and wide if they need to come and go, while the roof lifts up for easy access. Double latch locks keep everything secure and your dog inside when it is time to settle down. With lockable wheels and a folding design, this crate is also ideal as a heavy duty dog kennel for traveling or fun overnight camping trips with your pet.
Our Premium Pick really does look like a home from home, thanks to its attractive pointed roof design. But look beneath the surface and you have a seriously heavy duty dog crate that will give you and your pet many years of use. Made from corrosion-resistant stainless steel, coated in a non-toxic protective finish, the crate is durable enough for most dogs and their boisterous behaviors. The steel bars are close enough together to repel chewing but still give adequate space for a good view out and plenty of ventilation. And the roof design gives your pet that little extra head space, while keeping him feeling safe and cozy. The single access door is pretty wide and is secured with two steel locks with added safety buckles to keep your pooch safely where you need them to be. And it is really easy to move around, thanks to the four 360-degree wheels, which can be locked when you need the crate to stay in place. Cleaning is a breeze too, thanks to the under-floor plastic tray which is quick to remove and clean. Yes, this cage is at the top end of our best heavy duty dog crates review, but for style, quality and durability, it gives your pooch a premium abode.
If you are looking for a hassle-free dog cage that is both tough and easy to assemble, then Luckup’s heavy duty crate could be made for you. While it is a substantial steel-framed crate, it is surprisingly easy to put together, making it a good choice if you need to store it away after use. The strong frame is coated with a non-toxic finish which protects it from corrosion as well as canine teeth abuse, and the bars are spaced to help prevent anxiety chewing or destructive behavior. It is pretty heavy, but the four locking caster wheels make it easier to move and transport around. Access is via a wide front door which boasts three secure latches and safety buckles and there’s a neat top door for when you need to access or interact with your contained dog. He should be comfortable inside too, with plenty of floor space to move around, and a removable litter tray underneath so you can ensure his crate space is always fresh and clean.
Not the largest crates in our review but for value and versatility, we really like these stackable two-part cages from Homey Pet. Designed to fit on top of each other, you get two crates that can be used together or on the their own. Each crate is 37 inches tall and made from metal wire for security and visibility. Each wire crate features a secure lockable front door with a safety chain as well as a lifting lid for easy access and you also get eight caster wheels so you can choose to move the stackable crates together or on their own. There’s also two plastic trays under the grid floor so you can keep each crate clean. Suitable for pets weighing up to 70 pounds, these are sturdy and durable metal wire crates that are perfect for puppies, small dogs and animals or the multi-pet household. You can also buy a collapsible version for traveling.
With its double front door and lifting lid, the ITORI heavy duty metal crate is one of our best choices if you are looking for easy access to interact with your dog. While you want your crate to keep your pooch safe and secured, access to your dog in the crate is a good way to help soothe and keep them entertained. The lid flips open for direct access while the wide-open door means your dog can come and go when back in your home. This all helps to get your pooch to associate their crate as a safe space as well. But for when you need to keep them contained, this heavy duty dog crate knows its job. It is made from reinforced stainless-steel, with durable welding to stand up to even aggressive dogs. The bars are also spaced for optimum view while helping to deter chewing or biting. To keep them safe, this crate comes with double door latches and the whole crate is coated in an attractive black powder coating to keep it protected. This is one of the heaviest cages in our best heavy duty dog crate review but with four removable wheels and an easy slide under tray for quick cleaning, its weight shouldn’t be a problem.
Designed to fold neatly down into a flat panel, this is a convenient yet durable heavy duty dog cage from Walcut. It is also smart-looking too, thanks to the stainless-steel frame and dark powder coating. And, despite its large size, it is not so heavy, and helped by the removable casters, is easy to move and whizz around. A great option for traveling pet families, this heavy duty crate will fit neatly in the trunk or can be stored in the garage when not in use. Inside, the floor space is decent for most sizes of dogs and there are two removable and washable bottom trays for good doggy hygiene. Access is via a wide opening front door, secured by slide bolt locks, while the lid flips wide open for easy reach, when your pooch needs feeling or a little extra attention. The latches could be a little stronger, but they do hold and for a convenient, easy to assemble and take on the road heavy duty crate, the Walcut is worth a doggy try out.
What to Consider When Buying an Indestructible Dog Crate
A heavy duty crate needs to live up to its name. Here are the main things you need to look for:
The size of your pet and how you intend to use your new indestructible dog crate will influence its overall size. It goes without saying that the crate needs to be a sufficient size to comfortably house your dog; he needs to be able to happily sit, stand and lie down as well as turn around inside. But if you also want to use your new tough dog crate for traveling, it needs to conform to any size restrictions you may encounter with your airline carrier.
Material and build
Strong metal is the only material to choose for a heavy duty crate as it needs to stand up to any abuse your pooch may give. The most common metals are steel or aluminum, with steel the most durable and secure. Aluminum is a good option for less boisterous dogs or if you want to travel as it is a little lighter. Whichever you choose, make sure it is protected and rust-resistant to ensure it has a long life. The build of the crate is also significant, as it needs to be able to contain large, anxious, escape driven and even aggressive or destructive dogs, so look for a model which has thicker bars than a standard crate.
While your new crate should be secure, it shouldn’t be a struggle to get your pooch in and out so look for a large door that is easy to access and can open wide enough for your dog to walk in and out (when you want him to, of course!) Some models also provide a flip top lid so you can feed or easily interact with your pet when he is safely inside.
While a good access door is essential, it also needs to fit tightly into the crate and feature sturdy hinges and reliable ‘dog-proof’ latches. Smart dogs can learn to undo simple barrel locks, so you need to up your game and look for more secure locking systems such as slam latches which are easy for you to use but impossible for your pooch to undo.
You should never sacrifice comfort and fresh air for security so ensure the crate has plenty of ventilation, either through the bars or via well-placed holes. Good ventilation will make sure your pooch can breathe easily and won’t over-heat, as well as see out, which all adds to the calm, comfort factor.
Easy to clean
While you want your indestructible dog crate to be tough, you also need it quick to clean so look for features that will make your life easier such as removable trays so you can take away the yucky stuff and give the whole crate a hose down.
If you plan to travel with your crate, then check how easy it is to move around. The metal construction is going to make it heavier than standard crates or plastic carriers but choose lighter aluminum if traveling is at the top of your plans. And look for a model which comes with wheels, for total portability. Just check that the casters also have decent brakes to keep it secure and stable when you are no longer on the move. And, for all crates, check how easy they are to fold down or store when not in use.
When choosing the size of a heavy duty dog crate, it is important to remember that your dog needs to be able to both stand up and lie down inside. They also need to comfortably be able to turn around and stretch out when lying on their side. To be sure, you will need to measure your dog’s height and length. To ensure sufficient overhead clearance, your dog will need a least an extra 2 inches above their head when both standing and sitting. They will also need an additional 4-6 inches to the internal length. When choosing your new heavy duty dog crate, you should also ensure you have enough space to store it in your home and it should fit in your vehicle if you are planning to use it for transport.
Why You Should Use Heavy Duty Dog Crates
Many dogs are perfectly suited to ordinary crates and are happy to make them their home from home. But there are situations and types of dog where a more heavy duty crate is the better option when you need that extra peace of mind:
Your dog is large or boisterous – with larger dogs that tend to be stronger, an ordinary crate just won’t be able to stand up to their size or strengthen, especially if they are also on the lively side. A heavy duty crate will be tough enough to keep them safe and contained. And, especially if they are a barker, noisy, reactive or even potentially aggressive, a sturdy crate will help to keep them confined when situations could be stressful.
They are prone to escape – all sizes of dogs have the potential to be escape artists, but some are just more skillful than others! If smaller crates simply won’t keep your pooch contained for long, opting for a heavy duty crate, complete with a pet-proof and secure door, will keep them safe and prevent them from running free when it is the last thing you want them to do.
They like to scratch or chew – dogs can be scratchers or chewers for a host of reasons, including anxiety, stress, poor training or boredom. Even smaller dogs can damage an ordinary plastic crate by scratching and chewing, costing you money and also putting your pooch at risk. Heavy Duty crates are designed to withstand doggy assaults and still keep your pet safe and secure.
You like to travel a lot with your pet – you want to keep your dog safe when traveling and a robust, tough crate is not only going to keep him contained in one place but also protect him from the hustle and bustle of what’s going on outside. Airlines and even ferry companies require you to use a quality crate when transporting your pet. And, especially if they are going into the hold, a durable heavy duty crate that is designed for easy transport is going to make traveling life for you and your dog safer and much more enjoyable.
The type of crate you choose depends on your dog, their size and their typical behavior.
Standard dog crates are ideal for calmer or smaller pooches as well as dogs who don’t have a habit of chewing or clawing. They are lighter and more portable and can be easier to use and carry around. However, the materials used for standard crates – typically plastic, lighter metals and even fabric – mean they are not as durable as an indestructible dog cage. They can be easily damaged by the more aggressive, boisterous or anxious dog and are a cinch to break out if you have an escape artist of a pet.
Escape proof dog crates take their containment job seriously and are made from much more durable materials and include secure locks and hinges to withstand even the cleverest and more determined dog. A heavy duty metal dog crate is also built to deal with chewers and scratchers as well as the repeated force of a strong dog, determined to get out. And, as they are built to be escape proof, they are made from tough materials such as steel so are heavier than standard crates as well as typically being much larger. This means they can be harder to move around than a standard crate and will take up more room in your home.
Our Top Pick
One of the best heavy duty dog crates you can buy, the Empire Dog Cage from ProSelect catches our Top Pick title. Made from reinforced 20-gauge steel, coated to be rust-resistant and with escape proof hinges and locks, this cage is ideal for larger pooches or boisterous dogs. This steel cage is chew-proof and comes complete with an easy to clean, removable tray to provide a large, comfortable space for your dog. Surprisingly light considering its size, you also get removable caster wheels for when you and your dog go on your travels. A solid investment that will last for years.