Contrary to popular (or maybe unpopular) opinion, crates are not punishment for dogs. It’s not like a time-out, face the wall things that parents do to their kids when they misbehave. In fact, crates create a “home within a home” for dogs, a safe space which they can enjoy. Crates can be cruel ONLY if used with the wrong intentions.
There are actual benefits that crates provide both for the dog and its paw-rents (or fur parents). First, it allows a secure space for the dog to be safe when it is left unsupervised for a period of time.
Second, it prevents accidental ingestion of foreign objects. This serious and dangerous phenomenon has become more increasingly common. In fact, in a report by nationwide pet insurances, it states that foreign body ingestion is one of its most common claims which shows the severity of this pet safety issue. In 2018, more than $11.5 million worth of claims have been filed by policyholders for foreign body ingestion for both dogs and cats.
Crates help prevent this situation and keep your dog healthy and safe.
Third, crates also helps owners housebreak dogs. If you’re not familiar with the term, housebreaking is essentially house-training. It’s the process of training a domesticated animal like dogs that lives inside the house or a residence to excrete outdoors, or in a designated area inside the house (potty training).
Fourth, crates serve as a travel “house” for your dogs.
If you are still trying to introduce the crate to your dog, you can read about it more here: How to Successfully Crate Train Your Dog in 6 Easy Steps
Specifically for Shiba Inus who are known to be a very energetic breed and have a constant need for movement, crates provide a safe and comfortable travelling experience for them.
So if you have a Shiba Inu and you’re looking for a simple and quick guide on how to choose the perfect crate for your best buddy, we have compiled a little list for you.
What should you look for in a crate?
The most important factor and the very first that you should consider when looking for the best crate is size. As I have mentioned before, Shiba Inus are very energetic and they should have enough room to move. This is why it is very essential that you get the size right.
Most dog owners, trainers, and experts recommend that owners pick a crate based on the final adult size of their dog. That is, you can adjust the size of the crate for Shiba puppies using dividers.
Shiba Inus grow in a range of sizes but they are generally considered as a small breed. In average, a shiba inu can grow in height from 13 to 17 inches and weigh around 17 to 23 pounds. If by chance you already have an adult shiba and you’re buying a crate for travel, it’s best to measure your buddy to get the measurements right.
A few other things to take note of in terms of crate size is that you need to account for when the dog stands up and sits, turns around, and lays down. Put a 2 to 4 inch allowance so that they’ll be able to comfortably move around. Also, don’t forget to check the height and width of the door for a smooth entry and exit.
For Shiba Inus, the preferred crate size is a 36” large-sized crate but a 30” medium-sized crate will also do. It’s dependent on which one you prefer.
Material is an equally important aspect when it comes to picking the right crate. Material of the crate will dictate its level of comfortability and durability. In addition to that, it highly depends on the purpose of the crate. If the purpose is mainly for outdoor activities, make sure that the material has an anti-rust or anti-corrosion component since it will be exposed to many environmental factors that can easily deteriorate its quality.
For travel purposes especially air travel, lightweight, portable crates (soft with metal frame) are recommended. Additionally, it’s best to have wheels on the crate for ease of transport and a lockable front wheel feature for stability.
Here are some of the types of crates that can be found in the market.
- Wired Crate – This is the most common type of crate for training and housebreaking. It’s very popular among dog owners since it’s very easy to clean, durable, and since it’s wired, there is also a large airflow. Most dogs love that openness but in case your dog is not comfortable with that setup, you can just buy cover for the crate.
It’s also very portable because it’s foldable and it’s also very affordable. But the downside of wired crate is that it can be heavy and it’s not exactly fit for escape artists.
- Plastic/Resin Crate – This is the most preferred for travel and it’s an airline-approved crate. It’s very light so it’s easy to carry around. It also has a heavy duty version which is highly recommended for outdoor travel and for destructive dogs as well as escape artists.
- Soft-Sided Crate – This crate is made from fabric and mesh materials which is not as durable as wired or plastic ones. But it’s very lightweight and also portable which makes it a good travel partner as well.
- Wooden Crate – This is probably the least common of all crates and are only used indoors. It’s basically more of an aesthetic type of crate rather than a functional one.
Shiba Inus are great guard dogs and as such, they also need a very secure crate. Installing locks is a logical choice but you can also look for crate features like firm locking side bolt latches made of reinforced metals to ensure the security of the crate.
Generally, you can get a good quality crate at a price point of $100. The important thing to always remember when considering price for an investment like this is to always put quality above the price. This is mainly because you actually save more when you buy a high quality product that can last you for years than buying a cheap one which you need to replace after some time. But of course, stay on a reasonable range of prices because quality does not always mean that it’s expensive.
Shiba Inus require a safe, secure, and comfortable crate to ensure that they’re always having the best time and experience. So again here are the things that you should take note (that is, if you scrolled down directly to the end because you don’t want to read the whole thing, we still got you!).
First, consider the size of the crate and pick one that best fits the final adult size of your Shiba Inu. Be accurate with your measurements especially when you’re doing an online order. But the most recommended size is a 36” large size or a 30” medium size which you can easily resize for puppies.
Second, know the purpose of your crate. Is it for travel? Or just for outdoor activities? There are different types of crates that cater to your needs. Pick one that best serves your needs.
Third is security. Again, shiba inus are energetic and they like to move around a lot so make sure that you’re getting durable material to keep these dogs from escaping the crate.
Lastly is the price. Pay good money for a quality investment because it will definitely save you more in the long run (especially if you have the money to afford one).