Best plastic dog crates for travel and everyday use

If your dog is crate trained, chances are that it treats the crate as a safe, secure and secluded habitat. In most cases, a dog crate caters well to the dog’s natural instincts and is particularly useful for housebreaking, leaving the pet home-alone and traveling.

There are different types of dog crates, each type with its own advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will look at one such type of dog crate – the plastic dog crates. Plastic dog crates can not only be used at homes or for car travel, but they can also be used as airline-approved hard-case pet carriers.

But which are the best plastic dog crates available in the market?

In this article, we will look at answering exactly the same question and share some of the best plastic dog crates available in the market. We will look at how these crates can be helpful for your pet and also list the factors to consider before picking the best plastic dog crate for travel and everyday use. So, buckle up and read on!

Best plastic dog crate list

Some of the best plastic dog crates and kennels for travel and everyday use are listed below:
PictureProductSize** 

Petmate Ultra Vari Dog KennelXS: 21" x 16" x 15"
S: 28" x 20.5" x 21.5"
M: 32" x 22.5" x 24"
L: 36" x 25" x 27"
XL: 40" x 27" x 30"
XXL: 48" x 32" x 35"



Gunner Kennels G1 Plastic Dog CrateM: 29.5" x 20.5" x 24.5"
Other sizes available.

Petmate Compass Plastic Pet CrateXS: 19" x 12.7" x 11.5"
S: 24.6" x 16.8" x 15"
M: 28" x 20" x 19.2”
L: 32" x 21" x 22.9"
XL: 36" x 23" x 26.7"
XXL: 40" x 26.1" x 29.7"


SportPet Designs Travel Dog CrateS: 24" x 16" x 16"
M: 27" x 20" x 19"
L: 32" x 22" x 23"
XL: 35" x 24" x 27"
XXL: 39" x 27" x 30"
XXXL: 48" x 32" x 36"
RuffMaxx Portable Plastic Dog CrateM: 32" x 22.5" x 24"
L: 36" x 25" x 27"
XL: 40" x 27" x 30"


AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Pet KennelS: 19" x 12" x 10"
M: 23" x 15" x 13"
Petmate Sky KennelXS: 21" x 16" x 15"
S: 28" x 20.5" x 21.5"
M: 32" x 22.5" x 24"
L: 36" x 25" x 27"
XL: 40" x 27" x 30"
XXL: 48" x 32" x 35"


Aspen Pet Porter Plastic Pet CarrierXXXS: 19" x 12.6" x 10"
XXS: 23" x 15.2" x 11.8"
XS: 24.1" x 16.7" x 14.5"
S: 26.2" x 18.6" x 16.5"
M: 28" x 21" x 22"
L: 32" x 23" x 24"
XL: 36" x 25" x 27"
XXL: 40" x 27" x 30"
XXXL: 48" x 32" x 35"


MidWest Homes for Pets Spree Plastic Pet CarrierS: 19" x 12" x 13"
M: 22” x 14 x 15”


IRIS Deluxe Pet Travel CarrierXS: 18.1" x 11.4" x 11.2"
S: 21" x 14.7" x 14.5"
M: 26.4" x 18.5" x 20"
L: 34.2" x 24.4" x 32.2"


** The crate sizes mentioned above are based on exterior dimensions. Interior dimensions would be about 2-4 inches less. Check the product details for the exact interior dimensions.

What is a plastic dog crate and why do you need one?

Plastic dog crates are specially designed hard-case dog kennels made of heavy-duty, scratch-proof plastic. The plastic dog crates are one of the many canine containment products that include wire dog crates, dog carriers and outdoor dog kennels. Plastic dog crates are also sometimes referred to as “plastic dog kennels” or “travel dog crates” because of their design and purpose.

Plastic dog crates consist of a hard-case two-piece (or more) plastic body with a fiber or metal door. The crate has small openings/windows around the body for air circulation. Some plastic crates also have a handle, allowing them to be used as pet carriers for small pets.

Like other such products, plastic dog crates cater well to the natural instincts of dogs as its primitive natural habitat is a den. These plastic dog kennels provide a safe and secure private space to the pet and can be useful in housebreaking, daily confinement, traveling and handling behavioral issues in pets.

Plastic dog crates are different from standard wire crates in many ways mainly because of their design. Plastic dog kennels are generally less open and offer more privacy to the pet and provide better insulation than the wire cages. This also helps in handling separation anxiety and other disciplinary issues in pets. However, limited ventilation means that such crates can trap odors and need more frequent cleaning and maintenance.

Furthermore, because of their lighter weight and unique design features, plastic dog crates and kennels can often be used as hard-case pet carriers for airline (as both carry-on and cargo-hold – Collapsible metal wire crates are allowed on airlines) or car travel or even as a pet carrier for a quick trip around the town. In addition, some crates can be converted into open dog beds by removing the top portion.

To summarize, the major pros and cons of plastic dog crates are listed below:

Pros
  • Limited visibility helps in managing behavioral issues and separation anxiety among canines.
  • Hard-case, airline-approved design allows them to be used as pet carriers for dogs, cats and other small pets.
  • Plastic body and design provide better insulation during the winter season.
  • Lighter weight and unique design features make them suitable as containment product during car travel as well.
  • Most plastic dog crates have a two-piece design which can be converted into a dog bed by removing the top.
  • Most plastic dog crates are secure and more difficult for dogs to get out of as compared to metal dog crates.
Cons
  • Limited ventilation and air circulation may make them uncomfortable in summers and for dogs with a thick fur coat.
  • Such crates may not be suitable for growing puppies as there is no provision of adjusting the size with a divider.
  • Limited ventilation means that plastic dog crates can trap odors. Cleaning and maintenance can be more difficult.
  • Plastic crates can be costlier than simple, metal wire cages.

Just to recap, plastic dog crates serve a distinctive purpose and can be extremely useful in housebreaking, traveling and handling behavioral issues such as aggression and separation anxiety in dogs. They can also be useful as pet carriers for a quick trip to the park or vet, especially for small dogs.

In the next sections, we will look at some of the best plastic dog crates available in the market and buying advice on how to pick the best plastic dog crate for your pooch.

Note: If you are looking to use your plastic dog crate as a cargo-hold carrier for air travel, make sure you check with the airlines beforehand to ensure that the crate meets all the requirements.

Which are the best plastic dog crates for travel and everyday use?

Petmate Ultra Vari Plastic Dog KennelPetmate Ultra Vari Dog Kennel, Heavy-Duty, No Tool Assembly, 4 Sizes, Taupe/Black

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Material & Design: BPA-free, ABS Polypropylene plastic shell with a chrome-plated steel door and metal wing nuts.
Recommended Usage: Everyday household usage and airline or car travel.
Size:

  • XS: 21″ x 16″ x 15″ for pets up to 15 lbs.
  • S: 28″ x 20.5″ x 21.5″ for 25-30 lbs. pets.
  • M: 32″ x 22.5″ x 24″ for 30-50 lbs. pets.
  • L: 36″ x 25″ x 27″ for 50-70 lbs. pets.
  • XL: 40″ x 27″ x 30″ for 70-90 lbs. pets.
  • XXL: 48″ x 32″ x 35″ for 90-125 lbs. pets.

Price: $ to $$$ depending upon the size.
Features:

  • Heavy-duty dog crate with the shell made of high-quality, eco-friendly ABS plastic, chrome-plated steel wire door, wire windows and covered door posts. Made in the US.
  • Environment-friendly construction with 25% recycled material.
  • The new design provides 360-degree ventilation and visibility with wire windows on the sides and plastic vents on the back.
  • Features a raised interior with a leakproof moat at the bottom that keeps the pets dry in case of an “accident”.
  • XS and S size dog crates offer a foldable carrying handle. All plastic kennels include tie-down holes for securing the crate.
  • All crates meet the IATA air travel requirements for cargo-hold carriers.
  • Extremely easy, no-tool assembly with bolts and wing nut fasteners.
  • Available in six sizes and one standard color combination. Suitable for almost all dog and cat breeds. Backed by a 1-year manufacturer warranty.

Details:

Petmate has been at the forefront of dog containment products for over 50 years and Petmate plastic kennels are the probably the most popular plastic dog crates in the world and there is a good reason for that. The company offers a variety of plastic kennel models for all situations and purposes. The Petmate Ultra Vari Plastic Dog Kennel is one of their best-selling plastic dog crate for everyday household use and travel. Like other Petmate plastic kennels, the Petmate Ultra Vari Plastic Dog Kennel is made in Arlington, Texas under strict quality control measures.

The Petmate Ultra Vari Plastic Dog Kennel features a high-grade, BPA-free ABS Propylene plastic shell. The manufacturing process is eco-friendly, and the plastic is 25% recycled. The kennel has a one-way chrome-plated steel wire door with a secure latch and four covered door posts to prevent chewing of hinges by the pet. The secure latch provides a strong lock for the door while also being easy to open with one hand.

The crate has full-sized wired windows on each side and inbuilt plastic vent on the back for 360-degree ventilation and visibility. The additional plastic vents are an improvement on some of the previous models of the Vari range of products.

One of the most unique features of the Ultra Vari crate is that it has raised interiors. The interior moat at the bottom of the crate helps in containing the urine and keep the pet dry in case of an “accident”. This feature makes this crate a popular choice for housebreaking.

Another popular feature of this crate is the hassle-free, no-tool assembly. The crate can be assembled easily by setting up the two parts over one another and tightening the wing-nut fasteners and bolts.

All the Ultra Vari plastic dog crates meet the IATA air travel requirements for cargo-hold carriers, though you must check with the airlines beforehand. All the plastic kennels include tie-down holes for securing the crate.

The Petmate Ultra Vari Plastic Dog Kennels are available in six sizes and a standard Taupe/Black color combination. The crates are suitable for all dog and cat breeds from 10 lbs. to 125 lbs. And like other Petmate plastic crates, they are backed by a 1-year manufacturer warranty.

For its excellent quality, superior design and performance, the Petmate Ultra Vari Plastic Dog Kennel is our Editor’s pick for the best plastic dog crate in the market. With its high-quality construction and distinct design improvements over the previous models, this plastic dog crate is a perfect choice for everyday use as well as for car and airline travel.
Pros
  • High-quality plastic dog crate made of eco-friendly ABS plastic shell with a chrome-plated metal door and windows. Covered door posts provide extra protection from chewing by the pet.
  • Wire windows on each side and plastic vent on the back provide ample air circulation and visibility.
  • Raised moat on the interiors helps in containing the urine and keeping the pet dry in case of an “accident”.
  • Extremely easy, no-tool assembly with bolts and wing nut fasteners.
  • Meet the IATA air travel requirements for cargo-hold carriers with extra tie-down points.
  • Available in six sizes for 10-125 lbs. pets. Backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty.
Cons
  • Construction-quality and door design are not as sturdy as that of the Petmate Sky Kennel, though still more durable than most other plastic dog crates.
  • The crate only has a one-way door with single side latch.

Gunner Kennels G1 Medium Dog CrateGunner Kennels G1 Medium Dog Crate | Crash Tested Pet Travel Crate, Escape Proof, Heavy Duty Dog Box | Dog Kennel Fits Small and Medium Breed Dogs

Material & Design: Double-wall rotomolded ABS plastic shell with aluminum frame door and stainless-steel hardware.
Recommended Usage: Everyday household usage and airline or car travel.
Size:

  • S: 24.5″ x 18.6″ x 20.5″ for pets up to 30 lbs.
  • M: 29.5″ x 20.5″ x 24.5″ for 30-45 lbs. pets.
  • I: 34″ x 23″ x 30″ for 45-75 lbs. pets.
  • L: 40.2″ x 28″ x 34.5″ for 75-110 lbs. pets.

Price: $$$$ to $$$$$$ depending upon the size.
Features:

  • Premium-quality portable dog crate for travel and everyday use. Made in the USA and patented design.
  • Made of heavy-duty, double-wall rotomolded ABS plastic with stainless-steel hardware. Waterproof and weatherproof. 5-star crash tested by Center for Pet Safety.
  • Features an escape-proof reversible door with custom welded, powder coated and reinforced aluminum frame.
  • Equipped with a paddle latch lock, backup and safety latches, built-in tie-down points and kayak-grade handles.
  • Costlier than most other dog crates but a buy-it-for-life item. Available in four sizes, standard tan color and backed by a lifetime warranty.

Details:

The Gunner Kennels G1 Dog Crate is the Rolls Royce of plastic dog grates, if there is ever such a comparison. Be it car travel, camping, hunting or simply everyday use, this dog crate is the best option.

The Gunner Kennels G1 Dog Crate features a solid, double-walled, rotomolded ABS plastic body. It has high-quality weather-proof stainless steel hardware. The crate is made in the USA and individually tested for premium quality and functionality. It is one of the few pet products that have been crash tested by the Center for Pet Safety and given a five star rating.

The best feature of the Gunner Kennels G1 Dog Crate is its patented, escape proof design. It is equipped with an escape-proof reversible door with custom welded, powder coated and reinforced aluminum frame. The door has a paddle latch lock. Furthermore, in order to keep the crate from moving during travel, it has backup and safety latches, built-in tie-down points and kayak-grade handles.

The Gunner Dog Crate has hexagonal mesh on the windows to keep the pet secure in the crate, while providing ample ventilation to the canine. It keeps the dog cooler in summers and warmer in winter.

The Gunner Kennels G1 Dog Crate is available in four sizes for dogs up to 110 lbs. in weight. The crate comes in a single tan color and backed by a limited lifetime warranty – a testament to its excellent quality.

For its rock-solid quality, escape-proof design and performance, the Gunner Kennels G1 Dog Crate is our Editor’s pick for the best premium plastic dog crate in the market. If you are looking for a truly BIFL dog crate for all your travel and everyday use, then Gunner Kennels G1 Dog crates is what you should look at.
Pros
  • Premium plastic dog crate with an un-parallel construction and design. Made in the US.
  • Features a double-walled rotomolded ABS plastic construction with weatherproof hardware.
  • Patented design with an escape-proof, reversible aluminum frame door with paddle latch lock.
  • Hexagonal mesh on the door and windows keep the pet secure. 5-star crash test rating by Center for Pet Safety.
  • Equipped with built-in tie-down points, additional safety latches and kayak-grade handles.
  • 360-degree ventilation with in-built vents on the sides and back.
  • Available in four sizes for dogs up to 110 lbs. in weight.
  • Available in a single color and backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
Cons
  • Considerably costlier than other plastic dog crates, but you get what you pay for.

Petmate Compass Plastic Pet CratePetmate Compass Fashion Kennel Cat and Dog Kennel

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Material & Design: BPA-free, ABS plastic with a chrome-plated two-way door. Rounded plastic vents on the sides and back.
Recommended Usage: Everyday household usage and car travel.
Size:

  • XS: 19″ x 12.7″ x 11.5″ for pets up to 10 lbs.
  • S: 24.6″ x 16.8″ x 15″ for 10-20 lbs. pets.
  • M: 28″ x 20″ x 19.2” for 20-30 lbs. pets.
  • L: 32″ x 21″ x 22.9″ for 30-50 lbs. pets.
  • XL: 36″ x 23″ x 26.7″ for 50-70 lbs. pets.
  • XXL: 40″ x 26.1″ x 29.7″ for 70-90 lbs. pets.

Price: $ to $$ depending upon the size
Features:

  • Innovative, newly-designed plastic dog crate with increased ventilation, bigger door and easy assembly.
  • Made of eco-friendly, sturdy yet lightweight ABS plastic body with chrome plated door and built-in plastic vents.
  • Extra-large, two-way door provides easy access to the crate. The door has secure spring latches with extra snap-fitting attachments at top and bottom for reinforcement.
  • Better ventilation and visibility with openings/vents on all sides. Features extra bottom side ventilation holes for airflow during travel.
  • Extremely easy to assemble and disassemble. No tools required. Features slide assembly with four wingnut bolts for extra security. Sliding top and bottom makes cleaning easy.
  • Fulfills most air travel requirements for domestic flights, but not as sturdy as other airline-approved crates, so not suitable for use as a cargo-hold carrier.
  • Available in six sizes for 10-90 lbs. pets and 3-4 color combinations. Backed by a 1-year manufacturer warranty.

Details:

The Petmate Compass Plastic Pet Crate is a relatively newly-designed plastic pet kennel from Petmate. Focusing specifically on convenient entrance and exit, better ventilation and visibility and easy tool-free assembly, the Petmate Compass Plastic Pet Crate is truly an innovate, budget plastic dog crate to consider.

The Petmate Compass Plastic Pet Kennel features a BPA and BPS-free ABS plastic body that is reasonably sturdy. The plastic is fully recycled, in case you are worried about the environmental impact. The crate features a chrome-plated, steel wire door and built-in plastic vents. All these design features make the Compass plastic crate lighter than most other plastic dog crates. The small models of the crate also include a foldable carry handle on the top. The crate is made in the USA.

One of the best features of this plastic pet kennel is the versatile, two-way door. The door can be opened on either side (left or right) and has spring latches with extra snap-fittings on top and bottom for reinforcement. Petmate claims that the design of the door makes the entrance about 20-30% larger than most other pet crates in the same category.

The Petmate Compass Pet Crate offers excellent ventilation and visibility. It has built-in vents on both sides and back as well. And that is not all. The crate features extra bottom-side ventilation holes for better airflow during travel. The vents are molded and not sharp, making them safe for the snout of the pet.

Another convenient design feature that makes the Petmate Compass Plastic Pet Kennel a suitable choice is that it supports a tool-free assembly. The crate features a slide assembly and includes four wingnut bolts for extra reinforcement. This removable sliding top and bottom makes cleaning easy and also allows the crate to be used as a pet bed whenever required.

With respect to the air travel, the Petmate Compass Plastic Pet Crate is advertised to meet most of the airline requirements for domestic flights (you should always check with the airlines beforehand if they have any additional requirements). However, because of thin plastic construction, the crate is not as sturdy as other air travel crates such as the Petmate Ultra Vari Plastic Dog Kennel and Petmate Sky Kennel. So, we would recommend using the crate for airline travel only if you have a docile, small to medium-sized cat or dog (even then some alteration to the crate may be required). The crate is, however, perfect for everyday household use and car or any other type of vehicle travel.

The Petmate Compass Plastic Pet Crate is available in six sizes for pets ranging from 10-90 lbs. in weight and up to 36-38 inches in height. The crates are available in 3-4 vibrant and stylish color combinations. And like other Petmate products, the Petmate Compass Plastic Pet Crate is backed by a 1-year manufacturer warranty. Furthermore, it is extremely well priced and cheaper than many other plastic pet crate models.

For its decent quality, innovative design and great value-for-money, the Petmate Compass Plastic Pet Crate is our value pick for the best plastic dog crate. If you are looking for a well-ventilated, easy-to-assemble and convenient-to-maintain plastic dog crate for everyday use or car travel and do not want to spend a fortune, then you should definitely check out the Petmate Compass Plastic Pet Crate.
Pros
  • Smartly-designed, lightweight plastic dog crate made of eco-friendly ABS plastic shell with a chrome-plated metal door.
  • Extra-large two-way door makes access to the crate easy. Extra snap-fitting attachments provide extra security while traveling.
  • 360-degree ventilation with inbuilt plastic vents on the sides, back and even bottom.
  • Easy, tool-free assembly with sliding attachments.
  • Competitively priced and backed by a 1-year manufacturer warranty.
Cons
  • Not as sturdy or durable as heavy-duty plastic crates. Not recommended for long flights with active pets.
  • Some users have reported missing items (wingnuts) or broken shell when delivered.

SportPet Designs Travel Dog CrateSportPet Designs Plastic Kennels Rolling Plastic Wire Door Travel Dog Crate - Medium

Material & Design: BPA-free ABS plastic with an epoxy-coated steel wire door and metal screws. Removable caster wheels (except Small).
Recommended Usage: Everyday household usage and airline or car travel.
Size:

  • S: 24″ x 16″ x 16″ for 15-20 lbs. pets.
  • M: 27″ x 20″ x 19″ for 20-25 lbs. pets.
  • L: 32″ x 22″ x 23″ for 30-50 lbs. pets.
  • XL: 35″ x 24″ x 27″ for 50-70 lbs. pets.
  • XXL: 39″ x 27″ x 30″ for 70-90 lbs. pets.
  • XXXL: 48″ x 32″ x 36″ for 90-125 lbs. pets.

Price: $ to $$$ depending upon the size.
Features:

  • Hard-sided, heavy-duty plastic dog kennel made of high-quality, BPA-free, ABS plastic, with steel metal door and screws. The plastic is recycled and eco-friendly.
  • All models (except Small) come with removable caster wheels for easy transportation. Foldable plastic handles are also included.
  • Features built-in vents that provide a 360-degree ventilation and visibility. The side windows are made of steel wire (except Small).
  • Interior moat at the bottom helps in keeping the spills away from the pet in case of an “accident”.
  • All crates meet the IATA air travel requirements for cargo-hold carriers.
  • Comes with a set of dog food and water bowls and pet travel kit with 4 live animal stickers and animal nuts and bolts.
  • Available in six sizes and one standard color combination. Backed by a 1-year manufacturer warranty and satisfaction guaranteed commitment.

RuffMaxx Portable Plastic Dog CratePetmate Ruffmaxx Outdoor Dog Kennel 360-degree Ventilation Camouflage 3 sizes

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Material & Design: BPA-free ABS plastic with an epoxy-coated steel wire door.  Plastic windows and  an inbuilt compartment for extra storage.
Recommended Usage: Everyday household usage and airline or car travel.
Size:

  • M: 32″ x 22.5″ x 24″ for 30-50 lbs. pets.
  • L: 36″ x 25″ x 27″ for 50-70 lbs. pets.
  • XL: 40″ x 27″ x 30″ for 70-90 lbs. pets.

Price: $ to SS depending upon the size.
Features:

  • Heavy-duty, hard-shell dog travel crate made of high-quality BPA-free, ABS plastic, with steel wire door. Cheaper than most other dog travel crates of same size.
  • Built-in plastic vents provide a 360-degree ventilation and visibility.
  • Had a single-sided steel wire door with a spring-loaded latch for easy operation.
  • All crates meet the IATA air travel requirements for cargo-hold carriers. Comes with metal nuts and bolts for reinforcement during travel.
  • Features a built-in compartment for added storage.
  • Available in three sizes and four stylish color combinations, including the popular Camo color. Backed by a 1-year manufacturer warranty.

AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Pet KennelAmazonBasics 23-Inch Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel

Material & Design: BPA-free plastic with steel wire front door.  Two-door design with side and top door.
Recommended Usage: Everyday household usage and non-airline travel. (May work as a carry-on pet carrier in airlines)
Size:

  • S: 19″ x 12″ x 10″ for pets up to 10 lbs.
  • M: 23″ x 15″ x 13″ for 10-20 lbs. pets.

Price: $
Features:

  • Hard-sided, two-door plastic dog crate designed specifically for small dog breeds. Also works well with cats, birds and other small animals.
  • Made of high-quality, BPA-free plastic with a coated steel wire side door. The side door has a spring-loaded latch.
  • Two-door design with a door on the top and sides. The top door can open on either side.
  • Features a 360-degree ventilation and built-in handle for easy, one-handed transportation.
  • Comes with four latches on the top and screws that can be used to further secure the top and bottom.
  • Competitively priced at under $20 for the small crate and under $30 for the medium crate. Tool-free, 5 step assembly.
  • May work as a carry-on pet carrier but not as a cargo-hold carrier.
  • Available in two sizes. Backed by a 1-year manufacturer warranty.

Petmate Sky KennelPetmate Sky Kennel Portable Dog Crate Travel Items Included 6 Sizes

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Material & Design: High-grade, BPA-free ABS plastic shell, metal wing nuts and strong steel wire Interlocking door for secure latching during travel.
Recommended Usage: Everyday household usage and airline or car travel.
Size:

  • XS: 21″ x 16″ x 15″ for pets up to 15 lbs.
  • S: 28″ x 20.5″ x 21.5″ for 25-30 lbs. pets.
  • M: 32″ x 22.5″ x 24″ for 30-50 lbs. pets.
  • L: 36″ x 25″ x 27″ for 50-70 lbs. pets.
  • XL: 40″ x 27″ x 30″ for 70-90 lbs. pets.
  • XXL: 48″ x 32″ x 35″ for 90-125 lbs. pets.

Price: $ to $$$ depending upon the size.
Features:

  • Hard-shell plastic dog crate with heavy-duty steel doors and non-corrosive metal wing nuts. Made of high-quality BPA-free, recycled, ABS plastic. Made in the US.
  • 4-way vault type interlocking door is designed specifically to keep the crate securely locked during travel.
  • Built-in vents on the sides and back provide a 360-degree ventilation and visibility.
  • XS and S size dog crates offer a foldable carrying handle. Large plastic kennels include tie-down holes for securing the crate.
  • All crates meet the IATA air travel requirements for cargo-hold carriers.
  • Comes with a pet travel kit with 2 “Live Animal” stickers, clip-on bowls and ID stickers.
  • Available in six sizes and one standard color combination. Suitable for almost all dog and cat breeds. Backed by a 1-year manufacturer warranty.

Aspen Pet Porter Plastic Pet CarrierAspen Pet Porter Heavy-Duty Pet Carrier with Secure Lock, 9 Sizes, 13 Colors

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Material & Design: BPA-free ABS plastic with an epoxy-coated steel wire door and metal screws.
Recommended Usage: Everyday household usage and airline or car travel.
Size:

  • XXXS: 19″ x 12.6″ x 10″ for pets up to 10 lbs.
  • XXS: 23″ x 15.2″ x 11.8″ for 10-15 lbs. pets.
  • XS: 24.1″ x 16.7″ x 14.5″ for 15-20 lbs. pets.
  • S: 26.2″ x 18.6″ x 16.5″ for 20-25 lbs. pets.
  • M: 28″ x 21″ x 22″ for 25-30 lbs. pets.
  • L: 32″ x 23″ x 24″ for 30-50 lbs. pets.
  • XL: 36″ x 25″ x 27″ for 50-70 lbs. pets.
  • XXL: 40″ x 27″ x 30″ for 70-90 lbs. pets.
  • XXXL: 48″ x 32″ x 35″ for 90-125 lbs. pets.

Price: $ to $$$ depending upon the size.
Features:

  • Stylist, hard-shell plastic shell dog crate with metal doors and screws. Made in the US.
  • Made of high-quality BPA-free ABS plastic with a reinforced epoxy-coated steel wire door. The door is designed to open on either side.
  • Built-in plastic vents provide a 360-degree ventilation and visibility. Easy one-handed door opening latch.
  • Smaller kennel sizes offer a carrying handle. Medium and large plastic kennels include tie-down holes for securing the crate.
  • The plastic dog crates meet most of the air travel requirements for cargo-hold and cabin pet carriers. Check with airlines for confirmation.
  • Available in nine sizes and seven color combinations suitable for almost all dog and cat breeds. Backed by a 1-year manufacturer warranty.

MidWest Homes for Pets Spree Plastic Pet CarrierPet Carrier: Hard-Sided Dog Carrier, Cat Carrier, Small Animal Carrier in Blue| Inside Dims 17.91L x 11.5W x 12H & Suitable for Tiny Dog Breeds | Perfect Dog Kennel Travel Carrier for Quick Trips

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Material & Design: BPA-free plastic body with a coated steel door. Plastic latches.
Recommended Usage: Everyday household usage and non-airline travel (may be allowed as a carry-on pet carrier on airlines).
Size:

  • S: 19″ x 12″ x 13″ for pets up to 10 lbs.
  • M: 22” x 14 x 15” for 10-20 lbs. pets.

Price: $
Features:

  • Hard-sided plastic dog crate designed specifically for small dog breeds. Also works well with cats, birds and other small animals.
  • Made of high-quality, BPA-free plastic with a coated steel wire door. The door is designed to open on either side.
  • Features a 360-degree ventilation and built-in handle for easy transportation.
  • Competitively priced at under $30. Tool-free, 5 step assembly.
  • May work as a carry-on pet carrier but not as a cargo-hold carrier.
  • Available in two sizes and three color combinations. Backed by a 1-year manufacturer warranty.

IRIS Deluxe Pet Travel CarrierIRIS Medium Deluxe Pet Travel Carrier, Navy

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Material & Design: BPA-free ABS Plastic body with an epoxy-coated steel door and plastic/steel windows.
Recommended Usage: Home and airline or car travel.
Size:

  • XS: 18.1″ x 11.4″ x 11.2″ for pets up to 11 lbs.
  • S: 21″ x 14.7″ x 14.5″ for 11-25 lbs. pets.
  • M: 4″ x 18.5″ x 20″ for 25- 44 lbs. pets.
  • L: 2″ x 24.4″ x 32.2″ for 50-75 lbs. pets.

Price: $ to $$
Features:

  • Budget, plastic dog crate that can double up as a hard-case pet carrier. Made in China.
  • Made of BPA, BPS-free ABS Polypropylene plastic with an epoxy-coated steel door. Heavy-gauge plastic makes the crates more durable than many other models.
  • Provides ample ventilation through side windows and includes a foldable handle for easy transportation and travel.
  • Easy to assemble with simple instructions. The top is detachable to convert the crate into a pet bed.
  • The door supports one-handed latch operation and can open on either side (for XS, M and L models). The door latch can accommodate a door padlock.
  • All crates meet the IATA air travel requirements for cargo-hold carriers.
  • Comes with a detachable plastic food/water tray.
  • Competitively priced and available in four sizes and three color-combinations. Backed by a 1-year manufacturer warranty.

How to pick the best plastic dog crate for travel and everyday use?

With so many different options available in the market, including different models from the same manufacturer (Petmate has over 5), picking the best plastic dog crate can be a challenging task. What you need is a plastic dog crate that is comfortable to the canine, versatile enough to work as a containment enclosure at home or as a pet carrier for travel and fits your budget.

To pick the best plastic dog crate for your pooch, you need to look at the following major factors before picking the most suitable option for your needs:

  • Primary purpose
  • Construction material
  • Design
  • Crate Size
  • Cleaning and Maintenance
  • Additional Factors and Considerations

Primary purpose

Probably the first thing you need to consider before picking the best plastic dog crate for your canine is the primary purpose for which you are looking for such as pet containment product.

If you are looking for a crate for using around the house or a trip to nearby vet or park, then you can pick a model with convenience-related features such as top entry doors and lightweight plastic hinges and need not worry about airline-specific requirements. And if you have a small pet, such crates can also double-up as hard-case pet carriers for everyday travel.

Furthermore, if you are looking for a plastic dog crate for car travel, you need a crate that is made of tough, luggage-grade plastic and can be wrapped around with a seat belt or secured in any other way.

On the other hand, if you are planning to use a plastic dog crate for air travel, then you would need a hard airline-approved plastic pet crate. The crate would need features such as solid roof, additional tie-down points, attached feeding bowls and all-around locking system etc. The Petmate Sky Kennel is one example of an airline-approved plastic dog crate.

In summary, consider the primary purpose for which you are looking for a plastic dog crate before picking the best option. You can also look at getting more than one for your different needs – one for everyday use and one for airline/car travel.

Construction material

You should also look at the manufacturing material of the dog crate to ascertain its build quality and durability, especially during travel.

While the shell or container of the plastic dog crates is made of (obviously) plastic, the grade varies considerably. There is a trade-off between the thickness of the plastic shell and the overall weight of the crate. Domestic use plastic dog crates can have lighter, thinner plastic shells while airline-approved crates need to be made of high-grade ABS plastic that can withstand some abuse.

Most of the options that we have listed are made of high-quality, BPA-free plastic only and offer a nice balance between weight and durability. Some plastic dog crates, such as the SportPet Designs Travel Dog Crate even offer removable caster wheels for easy transportation.

Some options such as the Petmate plastic crates use recycled plastic (the percentage varies from 25 -100% recycled) to minimize the environmental impact.

In addition to the plastic shell, the door of the crate is another important part. All the options that we listed feature an epoxy or chrome-coated steel wire door and having plastic or metal wing nuts/screws for securing the attachments. Plastic screws or wing nuts are generally not suitable for air travel and therefore you should keep this in mind before picking the right construction material. The SportPet Designs Travel Dog Crate and Petmate Sky Kennel are a couple of plastic dog crates that have all the airline approved features and hence are suitable for airline travel.

Check the construction material of the crate shell, doors and other additional parts before picking the most suitable plastic dog crate for your pet.

Design

In addition to a sturdy build and proper size, there are quite a few design features that can make a specific plastic dog kennel or crate a better choice over other models.

As discussed above, plastic dog crated are more secluded and enclosed than the metal dog crates. Still, they do need to provide proper ventilation through windows and vents, especially if your dog is going to be in the crate for more than a couple of hours. You would also need to ensure that the windows are designed in a way that the dog cannot hurt its snout by scratching it against the openings.

Most of the options that we listed have safe windows which have a safe separation between the vents and are molded and rounded to prevent such situations, while still providing ample airflow and visibility to the pet. In addition, if you have an aggressive chewer, it can chew upon the plastic window vents. For such pets, you would need to pick a crate which has metallic wire grills.

The design of the door and latch such that it is not easy for the pet to escape is also something to look for. Plastic dog crates have spring-loaded latches which are not easy for dogs to open. Moreover, some of the options that we listed have two-way doors that can open on either side – left or right, while others have only one-sided doors. Keep this in mind before picking the best model, especially if you have a place restriction in the house for the crate.

Finally, design features such as interior moat for keeping the crate dry, foldable handles, tie-down points for additional reinforcements, foldable handles and molded sides can also make a particular plastic dog crate a suitable choice. Our top pick – the Petmate Ultra Vari Dog Kennel is one of our favorites in terms of these design features.

Keep these design features in mind before picking the best plastic dog kennel or crate for your pet.

Crate Size

Once you have zeroed in on a specific model, it is important that you pick the crate of the right size. Most of the options that we listed are available in multiple sizes, so you can pick one as per your dog’s breed, measured size and weight.

In order to pick the right size of crate, you would need to measure the length and height of your pet. Based on your pet’s length and height, you would need to add 2-3 inches of additional space to give enough wriggle room to the pet. Most manufacturers provide their own sizing charts like the one below, to help you pick the best crate size. It is important to remember that the interior dimensions of the crate would be at least a couple of inches less than the advertised exterior dimensions.

Typical Plastic Dog Crate Sizing Chart
Typical Plastic Dog Crate Sizing Chart (Source: Amazon.com)

Always measure up your pet and pick the crate of the most appropriate size. When in doubt, pick a crate that is one size up. You can also check the following small video on how to find the right crate size for your beloved pet.

Cleaning and maintenance

To prevent any soiling or odor build-up due to an “accident”, you would need to clean the dog crate from time to time. While you can spray clean any dog crate, for thorough cleaning you would need to disassemble the crate. Therefore, it is important to pick an option that is easy to disassemble, clean and put together, especially if you are going to use the dog crate as a pet bed when not in use for travel.

While almost all the options we listed are easy to assemble and disassemble with a little skill, some models do offer tool-free assembly. Our top picks – the Petmate Ultra Vari Plastic Dog Kennel and Petmate Compass Plastic Pet Crate are two such plastic dog crates.

Based on your preferences, pick a plastic dog kennel or crate that is easy to assemble/disassemble, clean and maintain.

Additional factors and miscellaneous considerations

In addition to the major factors discussed above, there are some other miscellaneous considerations that can make a particular plastic dog crate a better choice over other products.

One such consideration is the accessories, if any, that come with the crate. Some of the options that we listed come with pet travel kits which make them specifically attractive, while other dog crates come with additional bolts and nuts for reinforcing. While it should not be a deal-breaker, check out the additional accessories included with the crate before picking the best option.

Another additional factor is the color combination in which the crate is available. Bright, vibrant colors are stylish and make the dog crate stand out and fashionable, especially if you are going to use it as a pet carrier for a trip to the park or vet. Many of the options that we listed are available in multiple color combinations, so you can pick one as per your preference.

Finally, one of the most important additional consideration is the warranty and post-purchase customer service support offered on the crate by the manufacturer.  While there is nothing like an indestructible plastic dog crate, the longer the warranty period, the more durable the dog crate would be.  Most travel dog crates that we listed are backed by excellent post-purchase support and warranties, so you can use such products for a long time without worrying about their durability. Just make sure you make your purchase only from authorized re-sellers and register your product after purchasing if required.

You can look at all these additional factors before finalizing the best plastic dog kennel or crate for your needs.

Accessories for plastic dog crates

Complete - MD Deluxe Pet Airline Travel Kit with Pad

Crate tray, beds and water and food bowls are generally the most common accessories you would need with plastic dog crates.

With respect to crate trays and beds, most manufacturers offer their own dog crate trays and replacement parts, so you are better off picking those instead of picking other options from the open market.

For crate food and water bowls, you can consider the following options. These bowls have smart attachments that can allow the bowl to be securely attached to the crate door.

If you are planning to use your plastic dog crate for air travel, you would need a specific set of supplies that include identification stickers, zip ties, secure bolt attachments, travel bowls and pads etc. Instead of getting each item separately, you can consider getting one of the following pet air travel kits:

  • DryFur Deluxe Pet Airline Travel Kit: Best-selling pet airline kit with all the required accessories, food bowls and dog training pad. Guaranteed to be airline approved for domestic travel (International rules may vary). Available in multiple sizes – Small, Medium, Large and Giant. Assembled in the US.
  • Petmate Kennel Travel Kit for Pets: A high-quality pet travel kit made by the worldwide best-seller of plastic pet kennels, crates and carriers. The kit includes food and water cups, kennel pad, nuts and bolts, stickers and zip ties – everything needed for securing the pet in cargo-hold during travel.
  • You & Me Airline Travel Kit for Pets: Another air travel kit with all the necessary essentials for flying with the pet.

You would also need to consider getting a few dog potty pads, especially if you have a long trip. Check out our article on the best puppy and dog training pads for some of the best options available in the market.

Things to remember

As discussed above, plastic dog crates are a useful pet containment product that can be useful in housebreaking a puppy or re-homing an adopted dog, traveling with the pet – car or airlines, even handling behavioral issues such as aggression towards other pets and separation anxiety. However, improving your chances of success with dog crates in general and plastic dog crates in particular, is something that would require some tact and effort.

While covering all the information and advice on crate training and traveling with crates is beyond the scope of this article, there are a few tips you can follow. For some more detailed information and tips and tricks, you can check out some additional resources in our article on the best dog training guides. You would find The Power of Positive Dog Training by Pat Miller especially useful.

  • Do consider crate training your pet, especially if you have a multi-pet household. Most dog trainers, vets and behaviorists recommend that every pet owner must at least consider crate training for their pets. The earlier you start (not before 6-8 weeks) the better and easier it would be.
  • Irrespective of the type of crate you opt for, the size of the crate is extremely important. Always measure your dog and pick a crate that gives ample space for the dog to move around the crate. When in doubt size up. Metal wire crates come with dividers, so it is easier to adjust the crate size available to the pet. For plastic crates, you would have to improvise if you want to alter the crate size.
  • While dog crates are excellent containment options, you should not leave your dog in it for long hours. Dogs are active animals who need regular exercise and interaction. The general rule of thumb is to keep a dog no more than 5 hours (6-8 hours if the dog is comfortable and household alone) at one time during the day. Keeping the dog any longer in the crate can make it depressed or inactive. For night time, leaving the dog in the crate is ok if your pet is comfortable with it.
  • Before putting your dog in the crate, make sure it has done “its business” and does not hold or urinate/defecate in the crate. Most dogs would give you enough indications before getting into the crates.
  • Before using a dog crate as a pet container during travel, ensure that your pet is comfortable with the environment. Start 2-3 weeks before the trip and familiarize your canine with the crate, even if your dog is already crate trained. Plastic dog crates are more solitary with less visibility, and your dog may feel secluded in it.
  • If you are going to use the plastic dog crate for air travel, make sure you check all the requirements by the airlines beforehand. While many airline-ready options that we listed meet almost all the IATA requirements, it is a good idea to check with the airlines of any specific requirements or recommendations. The general IATA pet container requirements are listed here.
  • If you are using your dog crate as containment gear during car or vehicle travel, make sure you secure it with straps and tie-downs to avoid the movement during the drive. You would not want the dog to be uncomfortable in the crate and act as a distraction during driving.
  • If you have a puppy or a small breed dog and you are planning to use the plastic dog crate as a pet carrier, make sure that the handle is secure, there is no damage to the crate doors or latches and the crate is enclosed properly.
  • Plastic dog crates require more maintenance than other types of dog crates as the odor can build up quickly in them. Clean the crate regularly with running water – at least once every 2 weeks or so. You can also consider using a dog training pad if required.
  • If the interiors, windows and the door of the crate show signs of major scratching and damage by the dog, it means that your dog is not comfortable in the crate. You can consult a dog trainer or behaviorist for help. Many dog crate manufacturers also provide this support service over the phone.
  • If the canine shows aggression or is continuously whining in the crate despite being crate trained, consult your vet. It may be a sign of a health or behavioral problem with the pet.

Final thoughts on the best plastic dog crate for travel and everyday use

If you are a long time pet owner, chances are you would have thought about getting a dog crate for your beloved pooch. Dog crates are an essential tool that can provide a secure and secluded personal space to the canine. There are different types of dog crates, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

In this article, we looked at one such type of dog crates – the plastic dog crates (or plastic dog kennels as they are often called). Plastic dog crates help in restraining the pets during travel or when they are household-alone. Plastic dog kennels are also useful in handling behavioral issues and separation anxiety. We listed some of the best plastic dog crates and travel dog crates available in the market and shared some useful buying advice.

We hope that you found this article useful and it would help you in picking the best plastic dog crate for travel and everyday use. Please provide your feedback by commenting below or contacting us. Until next time, happy pet travel!

Image credits:Amazon.com