Have dog, will travel – the best soft crates to keep your pooch safe and happy while on the move

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  • Crate training has become a well-accepted training system for puppies in the home. Some dogs graduate to a basket as they grow up, however for certain circumstances, soft crates for dogs are be an ideal solution for canines of all ages.

    For example, you want to take your pooch to stay in a B&B, and need to make sure he doesn’t sleep on the bed. Or you’re heading to a point-to-point and during the picnic, your dog will be best confined in your car boot in a crate (with the hatchgate open) or even on the grass beside you, rather than stealing your pork pies.

    A soft crate is more than just a dog carrier – it should be large enough for your pet to be comfortable beyond a quick trip to the vet. Traditional metal dog crates are great in the home, but they aren’t often collapsible and so are impractical while on the move. Portable crates are the answer – they are lightweight and can easily be packed up and folded away, transported and assembled quickly whenever required.

    A couple of important aspects to consider would be whether the floor pad is easily washable, and buying a soft crate to allow for growing room if your pup is still maturing. If your dog loves to chew his basket, bear in mind a soft crate isn’t ideal and is best used just for short periods.

    Best soft crates for dogs: what’s the choice?

    Alaskan malamute in green soft crates for dogs

    Ownpets Four-Door Folding Crate

    Sizes: M or L | Colours: Green | RRP: £98.99 |

    If you like a splash of colour this could be the one for you. It is made of strong but lightweight steel pipes, with 600D Oxford fabric. The cloth cover is detachable and machine-washable. It is also robust enough not to break easily if scratched. There is a cotton pad on the base which is comfortable for dogs to sleep on.

    Easy to assemble and collapse with just four buckles and no tools required. It also features “anti-collision” protection pads on each of the corners to protect the crate from wear and tear.

    It has a “four-sided ventilation structure”, with the upper, back, front and right side of the cage equipped with breathable nets with non-slip zippers. These can be rolled up and fixed open if required. And there is a storage pocket for food and essentials.

    Comes with a one-year replacement service at no cost. The large size is for up to 20kg, but Ownpets also does a purple and blue three-door crate for large and extra large dogs.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk
    In the US? View now at amazon.com

    Amazon Basics beige soft crates for dogs

    Amazon Basics Folding Dog Crate

    Sizes: S (66cm), M (76cm), L (91cm) | Colours: Beige or black | RRP: From £51.93 |

    This is a really popular soft crate with very positive reviews. It has zippable front and top doors, with fastening straps for easy access, and a mesh fabric flap that can be rolled up and secured.

    It is soft, yet strong, with a lightweight PVC frame, and hand-washable, durable, water-resistant heavy-duty polyester fabric over the top, bottom and sides.

    It comes with mesh-fabric windows on three sides for good ventilation. Can be used at home, in the car or out on trips. Quick to set up and folds flat for easy transport and compact storage.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk
    In the US? View now at amazon.com

    Petsfit fabric crate

    Petsfit Pop Up Soft Crate

    Sizes: M, L | Colours: Black or grey | RRP: From £62.99 |

    A lightweight crate made from 600D Oxford fabric for durability. Quick and easy to fold up and carry around in its storage back.

    It has two doors with roll-up mesh flaps, and a top window to provide good ventilation and enable your dog to see out easily. The fleece mat can be removed and machine-washed. There is a large pocket at the back for treat and essentials.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk
    In the US? View now at amazon.com

    Empty dog carrier

    Henry Wag Folding Fabric Dog Crate

    Sizes: S–L | Colour: Grey | RRP: From £34.99 |

    This folding travel crate is designed for use both while travelling or in the home. It is lightweight and collapsible, and comes with a zip mesh access door, as well as zip assembly with no spare parts required.

    The inner floor pad is washable and comes with foam insulation.

    The crate has its own carry case and ground pegs if you want to keep your dog enclosed outdoors – handy at a picnic to keep those sausages safe!

    In the UK? View at amazon.co.ukviovet.co.uk or petsandfriends.co.uk

    Yellow labrador in dog crate

    All For Paws Dog Crate

    Sizes: M–XL | Colours: Grey | RRP: From £91.99 |

    This foldable and portable crate is easy to assemble within a minute without tools, and folds flat for easy transport and compact storage. For use in the home, outdoors and in the car.

    The crate has four big mesh windows which can be rolled up for sunlight and air. There is also an accessory pocket on the side to carry supplies.

    In the UK? View at amazon.co.uk

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