Should You Buy A Soft Crate For Your Dog?

Soft Dog Crates: Pros & Cons

Dog owners have many choices when it comes to dog crates. They can be made from plastic, metal, wood, or fabric which are otherwise known as soft crates.

Dog crates are meant to provide a dog with a safe place at home or when traveling. Gusto has stayed in a crate as a puppy when I have had to leave the house and no one was home to supervise his activities and in the car as a safe, secure place to rest.

For the sake of this discussion, let’s review the pro’s and con’s of soft fabric dog crates.

Pros of Soft Dog Crates

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to Assemble and Disassemble
  • Plenty of ventilation
  • Increased visibility
  • More comfortable padding
  • Usually have storage pockets
  • Great for travel
  • Fabric can be replaced if torn or destroyed by chewing dog
  • Washable
  • No sharp edges
  • No one can drop food in or poke at your dog
  • Doors roll up and can be secured
  • Less expensive than hard crates
  • Folds down flat for easy storage

Cons of Soft Dog Crates

  • Lightweight – can be blown around if used outside at events
  • Dogs can shuffle their position by wiggling inside the crate
  • Houdini dogs can escape by opening the zipper
  • Fabric can be chewed and torn by dogs
  • Not for puppies or destructive dogs
  • Not always allowed at dog sporting events


So Should You Buy A Soft Dog Crate For Your Dog?

Yes, if you have a dog that is happy staying in a crate while traveling or in the home. No, if you have a puppy that likes to chew, a dog with separation anxiety, or a dog that has been successful at escaping a crate in the past.

Will I Buy Another Soft Dog Crate For Gusto?


Gusto has been able to unzip an unsecured front zipper on his Noz2Noz Firstrax soft crate. When that zipper was secured, he ripped through the mesh window and escaped. He didn’t do this because he didn’t like the soft crate. He did this because he wanted to be free in the house.

The good news is that I can fix the mesh that Gusto tore. I can replace the wire crate in the car with this soft crate so that he will be more comfortable. In case of an accident, Gusto’s body and limbs will stay inside the soft crate and the give and take of the fabric will lessen the likelihood of severe bruising that would happen if he were in a wire crate.

Do you and your dogs like soft crates? Why? Do you prefer one brand over another brand? Leave your comment below and…

Come back for more Miracle Living With Gusto!




13 Replies to “Should You Buy A Soft Crate For Your Dog?”

  1. We are firm believers in crate training, though none of my dogs need them anymore. When we do use a crate, it’s to train a puppy or a new foster dog, so the priority is on containment and safety (especially when dealing with large dogs with uncertain pasts), so we always go with super sturdy wire metal crates. I did buy a soft crate for the cats that I rescued from that state Park in GA, though one of them definitely figured out the zipper while I was driving down the highway… so now I’m a bit hesitant to use it again. LOL

    1. Oh, yes…I had a kitten get under my brake pedal as I was going down a hill and needed to brake…that kitten taught me a lesson about containing cats for both of us to be safe!

    2. Funny how the soft crate I have only has a snap to hold the zipper closed on the front of the crate…not the top. Schatzi learned to unzip the top so I had to use a safety pin. Finally, she took the doors off by unzipping the seams themselves. What a girl!

  2. Houdini dogs seem to be able to escape ANY crate. I’ve seen a dog take a wire crate apart. Unless they are content being there, they will try to get out.

    1. So true Jana! Schatzi escaped a wire crate with camlocks on both doors. When we arrived home, both doors were still locked and the crate was intact…so wish I had a video camera running that day!

  3. My life revolves around pitties so there is no way a soft crate would work with them — but I am a big believer in crates in general and think every dog should have one. Ours always loved having their “safe place” to go to.

  4. I’d never thought of a soft-sided crate although neither of our dogs are crate trained. I tried, but they cried and I stopped! Although Henrietta does ride in a crate in the car so she is safer.

    1. I think so from the standpoint that the pet is totally enclosed. With a wire crate, if the pet is jostled in an accident, it may be possible for a paw or limb to go through the wire and be injured. Airline crates are ideal protection but they would be very hot for double-coated dogs to travel in.

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