Finding A Quality Dog Crate & Mat – The Crate is the Easy Part

Last Updated on 2021-05-03 by Admin

Before covering the crate specifics, it might be valuable to get a little more information on what a crate can do for Your dog. And also, address some views that others might have when You mention that You plan to crate the dog.

Common View On Crating Dogs

When I got Annie, I was totally against locking up my dog. Dogs should be free to roam etc. And I must mention here, Annie is my first dog.

My wife had many dogs before. She had the experience but understood my view. In the end, she knew better from experience. She just mentioned that it might be useful to have a crate. That way, Annie would not wander off at night and get in trouble. Like biting into electrical cables, furniture etc. The door could be left open during the time we were around. That made sense to me.

A Dog Lovers View On Crating Dogs

Today, my views have changed. That is what experience does. It is not about locking a dog up. The most crucial reason to crate train a dog is to reduce stress for situations that require the dog to be in a crate.

Here is a list of situations when Annie had to be in a crate:

  • When Annie got fixed, she stayed the day at the Veterinarian.
  • At the doggie daycare, for resting periods. I was out of the country because of a family emergency.
  • When we were on a road trip, Annie had to be in a crate when we were not in the motel room
  • As a puppy, to protect her from wandering around at night and chew on electrical cables, furniture, etc.
  • Visitors that are afraid of dogs, and various service people for phone, fire alarm and window inspection

But there is one more reason to crate a dog. Its to provide a private space for the dog. A place where the dog goes to sleep and nap. A place to withdraw to when not feeling well. Annie does not destroy things at home. The door on the crate is never closed. She goes in and out whenever she wants to. It is her Condo, that is how I look at it.

Crate Training And What To Expect

Crate training can be a breeze as it was with Annie. Or a long-drawn-out process. It depends on the dog. Introducing a crate to puppies is easier than to get an older dog adjusted to a crate. Also, dogs that had trauma and bad experiences in their lives may not like crates. Then again, some rescue dogs are already used to a crate. It depends on many things. Below are some does and don’ts.

NEVER do the following:

  • Never force a dog into a crate
  • When the dog goes into the crate for the first time, don’t go and lock the crate door
  • Never use the crate as punishment, by locking the dog forcefully in the crate
  • Never rush the dog to accept the crate

INSTEAD do the following:

  • Be patient, have the crate set up and then ignore it
  • Let the dog’s curiosity get the better of him/her
  • Make it a game where you play with a toy or treat. Throw it and let the dog get it. Occasionally throw the treat in the crate
  • Put one of the dogs favourite toy in the crate
  • Give lots of for the dog to get accustomed to the crate
  • Leave the door always open in the beginning
  • Close the door just a short time first, then increase as the dog gets more comfortable

Finding A Quality Dog Crate & Mat

As I’m writing this section, I remember, when we got Annie as a puppy, we had a large size create. As Annie grew, we had to replace it. It was getting too small for her. When You have a puppy, a large crate looks big. But once they grow, You find that it is too small.

Finding a quality dog crate & mat took us a while. We found a quality crate quickly, find a quality mat took a couple of months.

Determining The Right Size Of Crate For Your Dog

When considering a crate, there are several things to consider. One is height. A dog should be able to stand in the crate and have plenty of head clearance. Remember, if you put a mat on the crate’s bottom, it will take 1 to 4 inches of head-space away.

As for the width, the dog should be able to turn easily in the crate. The length should also accommodate the dog when stretched. Annie, my Boxer girl, has an XL sized crate. She can stand in it, turn and has plenty of room.

The below crate is the same size as the one Annie has. She can stand, turn and stretch out. The crate comes in various sizes if XL is to large for Your dog.

Disclaimer: I like to make you aware that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, should you decide to purchase one of the products through the links below, I would earn a commission at no extra cost to You.

XL Dog Crate

XL Dog Crate | Midwest iCrate Double Door Folding Metal Dog Crate | Divider Panel, Floor Protecting Feet, Leak-Proof Dog Tray | 48L x 30W x 33H Inches, XL Dog Breed, Black

Available from the following Amazon Location:


  • Excellent size for Medium Dogs
  • Good Quality for Home Crate
  • Double doors, more options to get in and out
  • Can be Folded for storage


  • May not fit in the trunk of some car’s

Right Size Of Mat For The Crate

It can be frustrating to get a mat that fits nicely in the crate. It took me a while to get a nice fitting one. We want a mat that fits the crate perfectly, no room for the mat to slide around. A good fit makes it more comfortable and safe for the dog. There should be no extra space between crate wires and the mat to get stuck in.

Annie has a mat in her crate to make it much more comfortable. Without a mat, Annie would lay on a plastic sheet that comes with the crate. Laying on a hard surface gives the dog those black spots on the elbows and knees that you see on many dogs. I want to avoid that.

For Annie, the crate is her private space. She goes to the create for a snooze and sleeps in the crate at night. So I want her to be comfortable.

A Mat That Fits

For the crate mentioned above, a Washable mat sized 47 X 29 inches, and 2 to 4 inches thick would fit perfectly. Unfortunately, I could not find a good quality mat at a reasonable price that would fit the crate .
The mat I got for Annie is no longer available. Finding a quality dog crate & mat should be straight forward. The crate is the easy part. A proper fitting, waterproof and durable mat at a reasonable price is harder to find.

If You live in the USA, then look at, which might be something of interest. The mats are Made in the USA. They also do custom mats, but most of those types of mats make noise when the dog walks on them. I have no affiliation with For those living in Canada have a look at this item it come is the right size.

On top of a mat like that, I have Annie’s bed, which cuts down the noise. Annie’s bed has an oversized rim for her to hang her head over.

Don’t forget the Water

You may also want to consider a water dispenser for the crate. If you leave the house for shopping or work, then the dog has access to Water. Having access to Water will be especially important in the summer heat. Dogs that are fed kibble also should have easy access to Water as the food is dry. That is less of an issue with dogs that eat home-cooked or Raw food. Cooked and Raw food contains a lot more Water that can be absorbed.


When You get a crate, it is essential to remember to make it comfortable. One more aspect of the crate is its location in the home. Dogs will always run to the door when the doorbell rings, or someone comes and goes. For that reason, Annie’s crate is in a place where she can see the front entrance.

When Annie got spayed, we saw how beneficial it is to have a large enough crate close to the door. When she was in pain, and had that special collar on, she could see when we came and went. And instead of her coming out of the crate, we went to her and petted her. That avoided the running from another room to go and see what is going on. Finding a quality dog crate & mat can be frustrating, especially finding that snug fitting mat.