5 Best Heavy Duty Dog Crates (Kennels, Cages) in 2019 (Buying Guide & Reviews)

In a hurry? Then check out Guardian Gear ProSelect Empire Dog Cage as our best pick.

A serious dog requires a serious crate, so let’s take a look and figure out which is the best heavy duty dog crate.

In this article, we’re going to review the following top 5 picks:

How to Choose Heavy Duty Dog Crate?

Not every dog crate is created equal. For those with particularly large or stubborn dogs, the average cage just won’t be enough. As such, we will be looking at heavy-duty products only. Although a cage may seem like a very simple device, there are plenty of things that can go wrong.

Consider Your Dog’s Size and Breed

Siberian husky puppy in the cage

By considering the size and breed of your dog, you can get a better idea of how hardcore a cage you really need. Obviously, the hardest cases will be the largest dog breeds like Greyhounds, Wolfhounds, Mastiffs, Great Danes, etc. These dogs are capable of muscling their way out of all but the strongest of cages. Dogs with particularly strong jaws, like pit bulls and rottweilers, can also present special problems, as they are capable of breaking thin steel bars.

Dogs like that will require a stronger cage than a small dog with a belligerent attitude. While a feisty little dog requires a stronger cage, you won’t need to get the strongest thing on the market.

Ease of Cleaning

Of course, you will have to clean this cage from time to time. This is especially true if you are using the crate for potty training purposes. You need to look at any potential buy and determine how difficult it will be to clean. Many kennels have a tray that simply slides out, but this isn’t always as good as it sounds.

Many times, kennels of that sort will make you remove the tray through a thin slot. If there’s a big heaping pile of poo on the tray, you can probably imagine the result. So, since you can’t pull the tray out, you have to get on your hands and knees and lean into the cage to physically remove the offending substance. This is not a good design.

Some of the better cages will instead have a grate for a floor. In these models, the tray is located underneath. This design is ideal for catching urine, but less than ideal for fecal matter since it won’t easily go through the bars. Of course, cleaning up poo will never be a pleasant thing.

Look for Wheels

If you consider moving this heavy crate from room to room, then you should look for a model that includes caster wheels. They usually come with a locking mechanism to keep it from moving, or you can even remove them for greater stability.

Are These Cages Humane?

It is very unlikely that your dog will be harmed in any way as a result of being kept in a small cage for a short time. The exceptions would be highly neurotic dogs that might throw themselves against the cage repeatedly. A determined chewer could also hurt their teeth on the metal bars. This is why you should do a test and make sure that your dog isn’t claustrophobic.

Claustrophobia can occur in dogs just as it often occurs in humans. To see if your dog has this problem, just do a simple test. Put them in a confined space for a short amount of time and watch them closely. If the dog begins to freak out, immediately release them. A little barking or whining can probably be dismissed, but if it continues non-stop, then you might have a problem. Claustrophobia, also called confinement anxiety, is sometimes an indication of health problems.

Also, please remember that a dog should never be kept in a confined space for more than an hour or two at a time. Not only do they need to take the obvious bathroom breaks, but they also need a chance to stretch their legs a little bit.

Top 5 Heavy Duty Dog Crate Reviews

Let’s take a look at five specific types of heavy-duty dog crates. While some of these products are quite similar, they all have unique qualities that make them preferable to their cheaper and weaker counterparts.

1. Luckup Heavy Duty Dog Cage

This cage is made from squared steel bars and is coated with a top layer that makes it resistant to rust and corrosion. This coating also improves the appearance and makes this thing look less like a cage for hauling condemned criminals.

One of the real stand-out features of this cage is the locking mechanism. There are three latches in all, and they are made from big, beefy pieces of steel. I think even the largest dog would have a hard time with this one. Another interesting feature is the fact that this cage opens from either the top or the front.

This top door is a double-edged sword. While it does make cleaning easier, it also creates another potential point of escape. While the door has two locks, the roof only has one. Big, strong caster wheels round out the features nicely.

Pros:

  • Sturdy bars
  • Innovative locking mechanism
  • Large drip-tray underneath
  • Big, sturdy caster wheels
  • Top door makes cleaning easier

Cons:

  • unattractive appearance
  • Top door creates a potential weak point
  • Top door creates a potential choking hazard

2. Guardian Gear ProSelect Empire Dog Cage

This is another one that looks like a jail cell, but this one does look a little nicer. The frame is made from a mix of square and tubular steel, and it’s pretty solid. The 28 gauge bars would be difficult for even a full-grown human.

When buying anything made of steel, it should be remembered that some steel is inferior. In the case of this cage, we see nothing but stainless steel. This is great because stainless steel is the very best when it comes to resisting corrosion. Unseen corrosion has caused many dog cages to fail without warning. The Guardian Gear is also coated with a corrosion-resistant plating that is made to look like hammer-forged steel.

This cage has casters, and I like the fact that they are removable. The latches are made in a traditional “deadbolt” style, which is reassuring. However, some dogs will learn how to unlock these latches.

Pros:

  • Strong and weather-resistant
  • Grate and tray for easy cleaning
  • Removable casters

Cons:

  • Quite expensive
  • Bottom tray is a little too shallow
  • Some dogs can get past “deadbolt” latches

3. Haige Pet Your Pet Nanny Heavy Duty Dog Crate

This one makes me think of a birdcage, and it does present a better aesthetic than a boxy cage. I’m not sure about this kind of roof design for a dog cage, but it does give dogs a little more room to stand. However, I would be concerned with the possibility of a dog bumping their head on a long ride.

The main feature of this carrier is the lock. It takes three steps to unlock the door or to remove the roof, so there is no way that your dog is going to figure a way past this lock. The dark finish on the steel is nice-looking and seems to be thickly applied.

Pros:

  • A little more head room
  • 3-Step locking mechanism
  • Casters are lockable and removable
  • Grate and tray system

Cons:

  • Top bars should be padded for bumpy rides
  • Bottom tray is a little too shallow
  • Casters aren’t that large

4. SMONTER Heavy Duty Dog Crate

The best thing about this cage is the fact that its bars are solid steel tubes. This is even better when you consider that this is one of the cheaper options on our list.

Solid bars are much better because thin bars can bend. This means that a dog can stick a part of their body through the bars and get stuck. Dogs have been known to get their jaws or heads stuck in the thin bars of cheap cages. When this happens, they will probably thrash about, until they break the bar. From there, the dog figures out the trick and escape becomes a certainty.

Pros:

  • Solid tubes for bars
  • Available in multiple sizes
  • No problematic top door
  • Latch is made from high-quality stainless steel
  • Attractive design

Cons:

  • Caster wheels are too small
  • No warranty
  • Plastic tray is too thin and weak

5. Impact Collapsible Aluminum Dog Crate

This is the smallest carrier on our list, and also the most expensive. Its high cost is due to the fact that this carrier can collapse to a very small size within minutes. I can’t help but be reminded of a safe deposit box when I look at this thing.

Another thing that is different here is the fact that the cage is mostly made of aluminum. Right away, we can see that this is not suitable for large dogs or particularly strong dogs. That being said, small dogs would probably be fine. The latches and other connecting pieces are all made of stainless steel, so that should help.

Pros:

  • Collapses to less than eight inches in height
  • Collapses quickly and easily
  • Secure keyed entry for the door

Cons:

  • Not enough ventilation
  • Not suitable for large dogs
  • Keyed entry is somewhat inconvenient

Conclusion:

The Guardian Gear Empire Dog Cage from Proselect turned out to be the best heavy duty dog crate. There were several reasons for this choice. First, we disqualified the cages that included a top door. A top door creates a potential choking hazard as well as a second potential avenue of escape. This cage also had very large and sturdy wheels as compared to the others.

Finally, there is the fact that this heavy duty dog cage has a standard deadbolt latch, but a very well-made one. “Gimmicky” latches that promise revolutionary results are often a disappointment.

We hope this article has been helpful, and that you have found the best crate for your dog.

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