Best Travel Dog Crates For Small Dogs


puppy in a box labeled

Traveling with your dog is a blast, but it’s important to make sure you are prepared for this undertaking.  Some dogs, especially small ones, will feel more relaxed and safe while traveling in a familiar and comfortable space.

That is why you should consider folding dog crates for your K-9 companion on your next trip!

Some owners choose to use hard kennels for traveling with their dogs, but these can be clunky and uncomfortable for your pet.  Foldable crates are great options because they are lightweight, comfortable, and easily packable!

Choosing the right folding dog crate

If you travel with your dog, whether on long trips or short trips like to the vet or the park, you should consider using a folding dog crate. 

When it comes to choosing the right crate, you should consider the following factors:

1.  Size.  The first and most practical factor to consider is if the crate is the right size for your dog.  Most manufacturers provide size specifications and give advice on how to measure a dog for sizing.

Make sure you measure for comfort too.  Your dog’s crate should leave her with some space to stand or adjust her position. 

After all, you wouldn’t want to travel in a cramped box all day just because you simply fit in it!

2. Weight.  Hard kennels are generally heavy, and while some folding dog crates can be heavy too, most are pretty light. 

Also, check the folding crate’s weight specifications to make sure it can hold your dog.  Small dogs, like Shih-Tzu, usually don’t have a problem with being too heavy for a crate!

3. Comfort.  The level of comfort required for your dog’s crate depends on your dog.  We think it’s best to err on the side of comfort, even if your dog isn’t particularly a diva.  Some crates do not come with any soft sides or padding .  If the crate you like is not padded but has a hard resting surface, you should consider getting a dog bed or blankets to provide comfort.  If you do this, make sure you don’t sacrifice too much space and make the crate cramped!

4. Visibility.  Some dogs are more comfortable being in a crate if it offers a lot of visibility.  Others prefer a more enclosed space.  Consider your dog’s personality and what she would prefer.  If you’ll be traveling in public spaces, like an airport, consider how visibility will affect your dog’s behavior in these places as well. 

5. Durability.  If you have a rowdy dog, a soft folding crate may not be the best option.  Fortunately, not all folding crates are made of fabric.  Some are more heavy-duty and able to stand the test of chewing or scratching.

To help you make an informed decision on what type of folding dog crates will be best for your dog, we’ve picked out three of our favorites to examine. Check them out below!

1.  Petnation Port-A-Crate

Why we love it:

  • It weighs a very light 6.15 pounds.
  • It is collapsible.  It requires no tools or parts to fold or collapse. 
  • It uses heavy-duty mesh windows that allow air to flow and provide comfort. 
  • It is water-resistant and easy to clean

The Petnation Port-A-Crate is the one my that dogs have been using for years.  We bought it specifically for traveling, and we chose it because of its good reviews.  We were not disappointed.  We use it for many car trips.  When we stay in hotels, our pups are comfortable sleeping in it.

Our dog, Max, likes this crate more than his brother Rufus because it is more of an enclosed space and reminds him of his favorite hiding space at home -- under the bed!

Also, when we travel somewhere with our pups, we use this Petnation Port-A-Crate alongside the MidWest Foldable Playpen.

The Foldable Playpen is an outdoor kennel that provides our furry friends with a safe and spacious area to run around in.. 

The Petnation Port-A-Crate is a great choice for smaller dogs who love comfort and security, but if your dog needs more visibility, you might want to consider other options, like our next favorite option...

2.  MidWest Homes Dog Crate

Why we love it:

  • It is tough.  If you have a rowdy dog, this one will last him a long time.
  • It allows full 360° visibility. 
  • It is easy to assemble and break down and does not require any tools. 
  • It is easy to clean. It will dry quickly since it is not made up of water-absorbing fabrics. 
  • Its double door versions come with a divider.  Two of your little friends can travel in the same crate, but can also have their own space if they need it!

The MidWest Homes iCrate is a great solution for dogs, like Rufus, who get anxious when they can’t see what’s going on.  Rufus would whine a little when in less-visible crates, but he feels more relaxed in this one.

Although setup and breakdown do not require any tools, it is not as simple as other options that simply collapse. 

If that’s not your thing, then the first option may be better for you, or perhaps you should consider this third one…

3.  Arf Pets Soft Crate

Why we love it:

  • It features three entrances, allowing a lot of versatility for interacting with your dog while she’s in her crate, such as feeding or petting. 
  • It has large heavy-duty mesh windows.
  • It is easy to clean. The fabric is water resistant and the base is removable. 
  • It is collapsible and requires no tools to set up or break down. 

The Arf Pets Soft Crate comes with a bit of a higher price tag, but it has a great balance of the features that we like in the first two options.  It is comfortable and lightweight, allows a medium range of visibility, and is easy to collapse and set up.

Making your final choice on a dog crate

Now that you have a better idea of what to look for in a folding dog crate, you are more prepared to make a decision!

Again, think of who your dog is and what kind of space she will feel most comfortable in, and think of what will be easiest for you to set up and to pack away. 

Happy crating!

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