Mesh kennels provide a cozy hut for your furry friend, often creating a stronger sense of security than metal wire crates. Both types of cages have advantages and disadvantages, depending on your pooch and your lifestyle. Ultimately, though, the type of kennel you pick out for your furry chum depends on what he prefers.
Mesh crates aren’t nearly as sturdy as wire varieties. This may not be a big problem if your four-legged buddy is mellow and is over the chewing stage. But if he still gnaws away on everything in sight, he could chew a hole in the soft-sided crate and make a quick escape. You may want to hold off on a fabric kennel until Bandit gets out of the teething stage, which ends as early as 6 months old, explains the ASPCA website.
Mesh crates are more den-like than metal kennels because they are mostly covered in solid fabric. The tops are covered and the walls have a mixture of mesh areas and fabric, making your barking buddy feel like he’s safe in his own private room. If Bandit is one of those dogs who won’t sleep unless all the lights are off and everything is secure, a mesh crate could work better for your lifestyle. Metal crates give him his own space, but he’s wide out in the open and might not fall asleep right away. Covering the metal crate with a towel or sheet can help, but don’t cover the entire cage or he won’t have much air flow.
Both mesh and metal type kennels are convenient to travel with if Bandit goes everywhere with you. But if you’re always on the go, a mesh crate might be a better option for you. Many metal wire cages collapse and can fit into the trunk of a car, although they can be tough to break down and quite heavy if you have a big crate. Soft-sided mesh crates are lightweight and often break down quickly, like a tent. If your pooch is smaller and can fit into a fabric carrier, all you’ll have to do is put him inside and take him -- and the carrier -- right along with you.
Since both mesh and metal crates come in a variety of sizes, you can find just the right dimensions in either variety to suit his needs. Bandit’s kennel needs to be large enough for him to stand up and turn around in, but not any bigger, according to the Humane Society of the United States. If Bandit’s crate is too big, he could turn it into a two-room house. He may use one side as a potty and the other for his sleeping area. The issue is that if he’s still growing, you surely don’t want to get him a new kennel every few months. Metal crates are more versatile; you can easily block off the back half of the crate, and some varieties even come with a removable wire wall barricade to allow you to use the same crate as your dog grows. Fabric cages are more difficult to block off during his growth spurts because you don't have solid walls to attach a barricade.
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.