Everyone has their own preference when it comes to crates. Out of all of the different styles of crates available, most people favor either the wire or the plastic ones, but which one is better? Let’s discuss how each type of crate typically holds up to a few common situations.
Training and Introduction: If you have a young puppy, a wire crate offers an advantage, as most come with a divider to section off the crate, which will be a big help with potty training. The divider will allow the crate to grow with the dog, meaning you only have to buy one crate and it will be appropriate for all stages of your dog’s life. A plastic crate simply cannot compete with the versatility of a wire crate in this situation, the winner: Wire Crate
Clean Up: This one can be a tricky one, and it really depends on what you’re cleaning up. If you are simply cleaning up dirt and hair, you can’t beat the ease of sliding out the bottom pan of a wire crate. However, if you are cleaning up something a little more messy, you can’t beat the nice deep bottom of a plastic crate. Plastic crates can also be dragged outside, if needed, much easier than a wire crate as some of the pans of larger metal crates do not fit through a door without tipping them to the side. When we tip to the side, liquids and some solids tend to spill onto the ground, the winner: Plastic Crate
Traveling: Wire crates are great for traveling because they fold flat very easily. Although plastic crates do come apart, and the top and bottom pieces can be placed inside each other to save room, but they do take up more space than a folded wire crate. However, most/some plastic crates are approved for airline travel, where wire crates are not, the winner: Plastic Crate
Security: If a dog has an issue with being in a crate, I find that dogs are more likely to get out of a wire crate. There are several gaps in between the panels (front and side, side and back, etc) of wire crates that can be escape points for some dogs. The latches also tend to be less secure and can be opened from the inside by some dogs. Although plastic crates are by no means escape proof, the tend to be more secure as the door is main point of escape. I have seen dogs chew through the side of a plastic crate but that usually takes several days and evidence of the chewing can be noticed long before the dog has successfully escaped, the winner: Plastic Crate
Price: Depending on the size of your dog, both the plastic and wire crates aren’t exactly exactly cheap. However they are worth the money, a good crate can outlast your dog with proper care. Based on comparing similar sized crates, a plastic crate will usually cost a bit more then a similar sized wire crate, the winner: Wire Crate
As you can see, there are pros and cons to each type of crate. Depending on the size of your pet and your lifestyle, make sure you get the crate that works best for you and your dog. For what it’s worth, we use plastic crates whenever possible.