Are Metal Dog Crates Safe for Extra-Large Dogs?

Your extra-large dog will be safe in a metal dog crate so long as long as your pet fits comfortably inside and you take a few steps to ensure his comfort. Large and small dog owners report injuries to their dogs that occur not because of the crate, but because of the dog's behavior while inside it. Adding bumpers or padded covers inside the crate reduces or eliminates most metal crate injuries.

Common Injuries in Metal Crates

  • Bloody or cut noses
  • Broken teeth
  • Tail injuries
  • Fur rubbed off
  • Bald spots
  • Pinching of skin
  • Cuts

How Dogs Get Injured Inside Metal Crates

Dogs wag their tails. But contrary to what owners may believe, dogs don’t control their tail wagging. When your dog wags his tail inside a crate, he can’t keep it from hitting the metal sides of the crate—often resulting in injuries to the tail.

Dogs may also bite or claw at the bars of their crate if they want out. This results in their breaking off teeth or bloodying their noses or paws.

Since dogs like to curl up or rub up against something when they sleep, their rubbing against metal bars may rub off fur or pinch skin. Putting a large or extra-large dog in a metal crate may cause more of these kinds of injuries simply because the dog has less room than a smaller animal and is more likely to contact the sides of the crate.

Solutions for Preventing Injuries in Metal Crates

Using a metal crate is one of the best ways to keep your dog safe. You must make sure, however, to get a crate large enough for your dog to move about comfortably.

Also consider using "crate bumpers" that attach to the inside of the crate, usually with Velcro. Bumpers help reduce or eliminate most metal crate injuries by providing soft, thick padding to the lower section of the crate and covering the metal bars.

When possible, cover the crate on the outside with a towel, sheet or cloth. This will keep your dog from digging, pawing or attempting to get out of the crate to join in activity outside the crate.