You can find dog crates in many different styles, sizes, materials and configurations but there are two basic types of dog crates available and used by most people. One is a molded plastic dog crate with small wire mesh windows and a wire mesh door. The other is all wire mesh with a metal or plastic pull out tray on the bottom. Some of the other types available may be more aesthetically pleasing such as wood, wicker or soft sided, but the wire mesh and plastic dominate the market because they are very durable and affordable and can last for years.
Dog Crate Sizing – One very important consideration is getting the proper size dog crate. It shouldn’t be too large or too small. Your dog should be able to stand up and lie down comfortably with some room to spare and be able to turn around easily.
I have both types of crates only because I've accumulated several over many years. I use the plastic ones for puppies for a couple of reasons. They are more enclosed and more “den like” and secondly, they are easier to clean out. They usually have a handle but when you get into the larger sizes, they can get a bit heavy and awkward. I have a couple of sizes to accommodate a growing puppy.
I switch to an open mesh crate when the dog gets bigger, basically because I already have those in larger sizes and they fold flat and have a handle for easy transport if you need to bring it along. Not all wire mesh crates have a handle, but they can all be quickly disassembled and stacked flat to take with you. If you’re willing to buy more than one, I recommend starting with the plastic one.
You can then move to a larger sized wire mesh dog crate. Some of these have a wire partition available to change the interior size as needed. This is a good choice because you can buy an oversized crate that your puppy will grow in to while still maintaining the proper size as he grows. I still use one that's at least 25 years old.
Dog Crate Pads:
When you buy a dog crate, as I mentioned earlier, get a dog crate pad for the bottom. This is so important for your puppy’s comfort while at the same time providing support for his or her joints. There are many types and styles available, from microfiber to designer, from poly fill to memory foam, hypoallergenic, waterproof, chew proof, orthopedic, etc. You can spend as much or as little money as you want on a pad. Just make sure it has adequate support and is either washable or has a removable washable cover. They are sized to fit your crate so it’s a good idea to buy one with your dog crate. I’ve found that you get what you pay for when it comes to dog crate pads so do yourself and your puppy a favor and buy a good one
Dog Crate Covers:
If you use the wire mesh style dog crate, you might also consider a dog crate cover. If you will be crating your dog for a time, at perhaps a picnic or some other outdoor event, a dog crate cover can provide protection from the elements. It can also help to provide that “den” feeling that puppies like. These are also available in a wide range of styles and materials. You can find custom, decorative, insulated, and waterproof dog crate covers. You should also consider one of these when you buy your dog crate so it fits properly. As I mentioned earlier, I like the portability of the wire mesh dog crates as I move to the larger sizes because of their ability to fold flat. I’ve always had large dogs and they require a large crate. If you have a small dog, you can stick with the molded plastic dog crate and you don’t have to worry about a cover.
If you're on the fence about using a dog crate go to: http://doggy-stuff.ncc-de.com/should-i-use-a-dog-crate/
To learn how to crate train your puppy go here: http://doggy-stuff.ncc-de.com/how-to-crate-train-a-puppy/