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For some dogs and their people, being left alone at home can be a really stressful experience. New rescues can be particularly susceptible to separation anxiety, understandably being unsure of whether or not their new family will return to them.

Best Heavy Duty Dog Crates Comparison

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ProSelect Empire Cages - Medium

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Last update on 2017-10-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

They may howl and bark, which is disruptive and leaves you feeling stressed when you leave the home. They may chew up and destroy shoes and books, or scratch at walls and doors, leaving you as a pet parent frustrated and annoyed.

However, separation anxiety can take a more sinister turn if your dog starts chewing or relieving itself on more dangerous objects, such as power bars, prescription pills or electrical sockets.

Although we would all love to leave our pets happily lounging on the couch, this isn’t a reality for everyone, especially in the early stages with a new puppy or rescue. But what is a concerned pet parent to do?

Jump on the Crate Train

Crating your pet provides many advantages to both you and your furry friend. If you have a particularly rambunctious pup, you may want to consider a heavy-duty dog crate and accessories.


Now, as pet parents, we may hate crating our dogs, but it is important to think of a crate as a training tool like you think of a leash or a collar. They may not love it at first, but no one in their right mind would take a new puppy or rescue dog out without a leash.

Let’s take a look at how a crate can benefit you and improve your pooch’s quality of life? Well, let’s take a look.

For Rover

Dogs are den animals. In the wild, they live in caves or holes in the ground. Creating his own little cave appeals to his “wild side”.

Dogs feel safe in an area where they are able to see the only exit/entrance. A used piece of your clothing and a tasty chewing treat will further enhance the role as a sanctuary.

A crate can go a long way for potty training your puppy. Dogs are tidy by nature and a dog will instinctually avoid soiling an area that it is confined to.

For Pet Parents

  • We feel that the potty training argument is a perk for both pup and pet parents!
  • You get to leave the house without worrying about your dog’s safety all day.
  • If your dog has recently had surgery and is on vet-ordered bed rest, you can rest assured it isn’t over exerting itself while you are gone if it’s crated.
  • Your favorite expensive boots are safe at last.

There are many crate options available to you. A soft-sided crate, while comfy, is not an appropriate choice for a puppy or an adult dog that has never been crate trained. You will want to invest in a proper, resistant, heavy-duty dog crate while your dog adjusts. Before we talk about the best options, there are some other facts about crating that any dog mom or dad needs to know.

Size It Up!

Size really does matter when it comes to crating a dog. Choosing the wrong size crate can really mess up what instinctually makes a crate a sanctuary for our furry friends.

It is our nature to want to give our pets as much space as possible, as this is what we as humans would want if we had the be contained.

However, dogs are not people and if the crate is too big, any potty training benefits will be lost on your dog. Also, a potty-trained dog that is ‘acting out’ will be more likely to soil its crate if it is too large. It cannot be able to go to the bathroom in one corner of the crate and then get away from it in another.

Too small is just as bad. Your pooch should be able to sit and stand, lie down and turn around comfortably in its crate. In nature, a dog would never pick a den that was too small for it, so make sure its sanctuary doesn’t feel more like a prison cell.

No matter the size of the crate, it’s important to consider timing.

How Long Is Too Long?

time

The answer to this question will largely depend on how old your dog is. However, if your dog ever has an accident in its crate because it simply couldn’t hold it anymore, it has been left too long. It is important for the crate not to become a stressor for the pooch.

An adult dog can probably stay in a crate for about 4-5 hours. If this dog has never been crate trained, this time needs to be worked up to. For example, start by putting it in there for 15 minutes at a time and then work up by 15-minute intervals.

If the dog is quite elderly, it may not be able to hold its bladder for 5 hours. Remember, your dog should never be forced to soil its crate.

For a puppy, a good way to judge the amount of time they can be left to their own devices is how many months old they are. For example, if your puppy is 3 months old, it can be crated for a maximum of 3 hours. However, as mentioned, no dog should be in a crate for more than 5 hours without a break.

There’s No Place Like Home

You do want your dog to feel safe and comfortable in its crate, which means you’ll want to throw in some items it genuinely likes.

If your dog is doing long days in its crate, it’s a good idea to attach a water bottle to the crate so it doesn’t become dehydrated. A bowl works too, but there’s a chance it will step in it and be forced to spend the rest of the day in a soggy crate.

Like denning, chewing is a natural instinct for dogs. A good chew toy can provide a distraction as well as reducing stress in your dog. Including a bone (one that doesn’t have pieces that chip off) or a Kong full of tasty treats can go a long way in further reducing anxiety. We also find that introducing this type of treat just prior to leaving can distract the dog while you make your exit, preventing the separation anxiety trigger.

A few personal items of yours are a nice addition to a crate. However, choose something you aren’t too attached to the first few times. Your dog may rip it to shreds if it’s quite destructive. We know a few dogs that are quite partial to a worn sock.

A bed or pad in the crate will ensure your dog gets the comfort it deserves. However, with a destructive or anxious dog, it is important to pick a bed it can’t destroy.

It’s also important to note that some of the crates we feature in this article have a grid-and-tray system for easier clean up. If this feature is important to you, you shouldn’t cover the floor with a bed or matt.

There are a variety of chew proof dog beds and pads to choose from. A handy tip is that many of the good ones come with a guarantee… meaning the company will replace it if your dog obliterates it. Here are a few examples:

  1. K9 Ballistics Original TUFF Dog Bed

This dog bed comes in several sizes and has a 90-day chew-proof guarantee. If the dog hasn’t destroyed the bed in three months, you’re probably safe.

  1. Dog Gone Smart Pet Products Repelz-It Ninja Bed

Water-resistant and weatherproof, this dog bed also comes with a 3-month chew-proof guarantee.

  1. Orthopedic 4″ Dog Crate Pad by Big Barker. Waterproof & Tear Resistant

This crate pad is tear proof to protect against diggers. This pad is machine washable and fits most standard crates.

  1. K9 Ballistics TUFF Crate Pad

This is a decently priced crate pad for more moderate chewers. It comes with a 90-day chew-proof guarantee.

People with destructive dogs often doubt claims of being chew-proof or indestructible. It may seem that your dog could chew through a steel wall if it truly wanted to! That’s why with products like these beds, it’s great to have a guarantee of quality.

Thwarting the Great Escape

If you’re reading this article, you may also be concerned about your dog damaging and escaping from its indestructible dog crate. After all, they are an expensive investment and no one wants to worry about their precious pooch swallowing or cutting themselves on wire or sharp bits of plastic.

To protect your dog from damaging its indestructible crate, you have to pick on that is, in fact, escape proof. Look for high-quality materials and “firmly welded bars and connections”. You also need locks that cannot be chewed from the inside.

A good rule of thumb for escape-proof dog crates is that they are airline approved. This means that they can travel on a plane because they are crush and impact proof.

Finally, the best way to ensure that your dog doesn’t damage its crate is to ensure it is not stressing it out. This means:

  • Not leaving it in there too long. As we mentioned before even an adult dog should not be crated for more than 4-5 hours at a time.
  • Give it something to do. A chew toy is a great distraction and will prevent your dog from getting bored.
  • Exhaust the pooch. Your dog should be crated when it is well exercised and tired. It will likely just sleep is this case. It’s not really fair to crate a dog that has just woken up from its night’s sleep without taking it for a nice, long walk or a wrestle at the dog park first.

Man’s Best Friend

You may think this subtitle refers to your canine companion. But, if you have a destructive or anxious dog, these escape-proof dog crates will truly be your very best friends.

  1. ProSelect Empire Dog Cage
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ProSelect Empire Cages - Medium
  • 20-Gauge Steel Cage - This ProSelect Empire dog cage is extremely strong with reinforced 0.5-inch diameter steel tubes and 20-gauge steel
  • Medium-Sized Cage - This cage features interior dimensions of 35.75 inches x 23.5 inches with 24.5 inches of height; a large sized cage is available too

Last update on 2017-10-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This model of heavy-duty dog kennels is specifically designed to confine powerful dogs and its manufacturers claim that it may be the world’s strongest dog cage. So what does that mean exactly?

It has a tough reinforced steel frame that is strengthened even further by extra welding at stress points. The door also has two latches that are inaccessible to your dog and made of metal.

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This crate scores high on the visibility and airflow as your dog will have a full 360-degree view. It also has a grated floor and a removable tray, which makes it much easier for you to clean if your dog relieves itself in its crate (as long as you don’t cover the floor with a bed).

This indestructible dog cage is rustproof, so you can use it outside, but may get too hot on a scorching summer day since it is made of metal.


It comes in medium and large size. Ok, so now you might be wondering, how much is this crate going to cost me? Although you’ll get top-notch quality, it will cost you a pretty penny (as will most heavy duty dog cages).

However, if your dog’s chewing and scratching is destroying a regular crate, then one expensive crate is worth the same as 4 or 5 cheaper models.

Although heavy due to its robust structure, this cage has wheels on it so it’s easier for you to move around. Even strong, high-energy and highly stressed dogs are seemingly unable to escape this crate.

The crate is easy to assemble although you probably will not want to be taking it apart and reassembling it on a regular basis. This crate is meant to be more of a permanent fixture to your home until the day your dog no longer requires crating.

The bottom line? This crate is expensive but worth the investment and the peace of mind if you have a strong, destructive dog.

Pros Cons
  • Built specifically for powerful, destructive dogs
  • Easy to assemble
  • Awesome airflow and visibility
  • Rust proof
  • Pricey
  • Metal can get hot in the sun
  1. Impact Case Collapsible Dog Crate X-Large
Impact Dog Crate (Collapsible), 450 Model, X-Large, Tan in Color
  • Crate Size - 450 (see reference chart in images) * 20% lighter than comparable crates
  • Door: 19.8x14.8 * ID:40Lx24Wx28T * OD: 40.5Lx24.5Wx28.5T (Including airline rails/corners) * When Collapsed: 40.5Lx24.5Wx7.5T

Last update on 2017-10-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This sturdy dog crate is a strong, collapsible, aluminum frame unit. It is designed for a medium to large-sized pet. It is also simple to clean in case of accidents.

Despite its solid build, this dog crate is 20% lighter than comparable products and is approved for airline and rail travel. It is very easy to assemble and take apart and comes with a handle to help transport it when collapsed.

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Instead of bars like our other featured products, this crate features extra large holes for airflow. This also restricts your dog’s field of vision, which may stress it out or calm it due to less distraction – every dog is different.

It features a marine-grade door lock to keep your dog in. The manufacturers, however, don’t recommend this crate for an “escape artist” dog or one who has severe anxiety issues, recommending their stationary kennel instead.


These crates are stackable, so great if you are a shelter, rescue agency or have show dogs and are looking to contain multiple dogs. This crate features a powder coat, which directs heat away from your dog on a hot summer’s day.

As with most crates in this style, this kennel is pricey, but again, they are designed for destructive animals and are worth it if this is a concern for your family.

This crate is a great buy if you have a larger, destructive dog to contain, but you also need the versatility to travel with your dog on occasion. Although sturdy, it is still lightweight, making it easy to transport and store, which is a rare plus among heavy-duty cages.

Although expensive, it has high client satisfaction ratings and the company seemingly provides amazing customer service.

Pros Cons
  • Easy to clean
  • Lightweight
  • Approved for airline and rail travel
  • Stackable
  • Expensive
  • Not meant to contain a Houdini dog
  1. SmithBuilt Heavy Duty Dog Cage Crate Kennel
SmithBuilt Heavy Duty Dog Cage, 48-Inch, Black
  • Superior, commercial-quality materials and manufacturing
  • Side and top doors for easy access

Last update on 2017-10-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This escape-proof dog crate is made out of reinforced steel and opens from both the side and the top to make getting your pet in and out of the crate easier. We also like this feature because it increases the likelihood of being able to free your dog in case of a car accident.

This cage features wheels, two of which are locking to make it easy to move, but also possible to be locked still in your home. It also has a grated floor and tray for easy clean up.

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The finish is rust and corrosion proof, which makes it ideal for lifetime use, but be wary of leaving your pet out in the sun in any metal crate.

This crate is the least expensive of the three heavy-duty crates featured here, although some users reported that the locks are not as resilient as they would have liked. Many clever mutts are seemingly able to teach themselves how to open the latches.


It comes in three different sizes, with the largest able to accommodate even an XL dog breed. The cage is attractive and offers optimal airflow and 360-degree views for your dog.

Although made of strong steel, the bars are hollow and it is possible for some very determined dogs to bend and crush them.

This crate is great value and quite durable. It is probably the most attractive option on this list and super simple to clean. If you have a dog that is extremely destructive and hell bent on escaping his crate, the locks on this model may be a bit too simplistic.

Pros Cons
  • Opens from top and side
  • Easy to clean
  • Cheapest of these crates
  • Good visibility
  • Dogs can teach themselves to open the locks
  • Bars are hollow
  • Dogs are able to bend/crush bars

To sum it all up…

In conclusion, if you’ve reached this point in the article, you’re probably a frustrated and exasperated pet parent and need a heavy-duty crate. Make sure you pick the right size of crate for your pet and set it up in a way it will enjoy.

Only crate your pooch well exercised, distracted and for a maximum of 5 hours.To select the best crate for your pet, you have to consider your dog’s destructive tendencies, your needs, and your budget.

The ProSelect Dog Cage would be our choice for a known escapee with severe destructive habits.

If you travel with your pet or are an industry professional, the impact Case Collapsible Dog Crate may be your best option.

If you’re on a budget and your dog is destructive, but not to such a severe degree, the SmithBuilt Heavy Duty Dog Crate is a great containment option.

These crates may be a more expensive initial investment, but they are well worth it in the long run. After all, what could be more important than keeping your pet happy and secure? It will also save you the heartache of finding your favorite possessions ripped to shreds, or, even worse, your pet injured.