G3 Medium Kennel in Purple
Pet Safety

What to Look for in a Dog Kennel

Searching for “dog kennel” on the internet, you are quickly faced with the complexity of what the market has turned into. Do you buy a metal crate? What size should the kennel be? Is it designed to be easily washed out? Will it fit where it needs to go? What other issues should be considered?

Here we break down some of the fundamental questions about what you should be looking for in a crate. 

Step One: The Size of a Kennel

A dog kennel should not be too big and not too small. So what does that mean? The simplest explanation is that a dog should be able to turn around and sit up within the interior of the kennel. Any larger than that and a dog could begin to get in trouble. The size of the dog’s kennel is a key component in successfully training a dog to relax and feel comfortable in the kennel. The size also factors in when considering where that kennel will be placed. The market is saturated with kennels that have a lot of unnecessary bulk that can eliminate their use in tighter spaces like inside of vehicles. But to our next point, it is also important to not compromise a dog’s safety. 

Read: How to Measure and Find the Perfect Kennel Size for your Dog

Step Two: Choose a Safe Kennel 

Have you ever watched a crash test video? That is what you should be thinking about when it comes to dog safety in vehicles. Dakota 283’s roto-molded design allows for enough elasticity to absorb a high-impact event while preventing a dog from being crushed. Metal kennel designs often fail in this regard due to the rigid properties of the material. 

Consumers must also be wary of many cheap plastic designs that break under little pressure. We all know that saying “you get what you pay for,” and that holds true when talking about the safety of plastic kennels in vehicle accidents.

We have worked to find that perfect sweet spot between structure and space to make our kennel safe while also making it practical in size. Our kennels are designed to take the toughest of impacts to keep your dog safe. 

Step Three: The Right Kennel Door

Unless you have had a simple spring-loaded kennel door fail on you, this one may not seem obvious. The internet may not be the easiest place to shop when it comes to this feature. But take a simple trip to your local pet store and start tinkering with kennel doors; you may leave quite concerned. 

Not all kennel doors are created equal. The Dakota 283 design uses a time-tested latch system that has been developed over many years. Unfortunately, cheaper kennels often have mechanisms that will fail. Examples include wire kennel doors and cheap spring-loaded plastic kennel doors. A clever or strong dog can make short work of many of these designs. Dakota 283 has even developed the Hero Kennel for military and law enforcement dogs that require superior door systems.

Step Four: Cleaning a Kennel

Cleaning a kennel is something that needs to happen on a regular basis. When dogs are having fun, that usually means messy things are happening. The ability to just hose a kennel out can go a long way. When shopping for a kennel, look to see if the kennel materials can be easily hosed down and drained. Will it create dangerous rust? Will it drain properly so that no cleaning solutions or grime is left behind? 

Our kennels feature a drainage hole in the back of the kennel to facilitate easy cleaning to keep your dog clean and healthy. We also feature our patented Dakota Guard™, which is an FDA- and EPA-approved additive that’s proven highly effective against MRSA, salmonella, listeria, E. coli, staphylococcus, many “gram-positive” and “gram-negative” organisms, and dozens of other common dangerous organisms and keeps them from building up on the surface of the kennel. This is a unique feature that you will only find with Dakota 283. 

Step Five: Kennel Accessories

Need to stack your kennels? Need straps for your kennel? How about a puppy insert for a larger kennel? What about a quality kennel pad that properly fits? These are all things that you may find yourself wanting in addition to just the kennel as a single item. Not all kennel designs account for accessories, especially cheap designs. 

Dakota 283 has put a lot of investment into making our kennels versatile in this regard. Not only do we offer our own accessories, but Dakota 283 can fit a wide range of third party kennel accessories to make that kennel perfect for you and your dog.

Step Six: The Cost of a Kennel 

I will be honest. Quality kennels are not cheap. You may find yourself looking at the prices of kennels that meet the above criteria and start realizing that this is an investment. I would point out how much we pay for our own beds, couches, and so on. But the biggest concern is more than that. It is safety.

Safety means high-quality material, superior assembling, and quality control. It involves testing in controlled circumstances and even testing by professional dog people throughout the country. Those are the things Dakota 283 has done to make sure that not only is your dog safe, but that you also have a product that will last over time. We have even designed our Forever Inserts to allow owners to buy a single kennel that accounts for puppy to adult growth. Our pets are worth the investment. 

Step Seven: A Kennel You Like to Look at 

Some kennels will live in our homes. Some will live in our vehicles. And while some may be a bit more hidden from the eye, we will often find ourselves looking at a kennel. This has less to do with safety and other factors that we have accounted for, but you do have to live with your purchase. 

While your dogs may see in black and white, you may not. Our flagship G3 kennel design that comes in four sizes is also available in eight colors! These color choices allow you to further customize your kennel experience. Want something bold like pink? We got you. A minimalist at heart? Check out the dark granite.

Yes, buying a kennel can be more than we bargained for. But it is a serious investment that should take our time and consideration on behalf of our four-legged friend. Follow the above steps and you will be able to account for some things you may not have considered and set you and your dog up for kennel success. 

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