5 Signs A Dog Crate Is Too Small (And What To Buy!)

Choosing a good dog crate comes down to knowing what your specific dog requires. This includes what will be placed inside the crate, where it’s going to be set up, and how it will work out for the dog.

These details are what matter the most but sometimes a dog crate is just not big enough. You will immediately want to look for signs a dog crate is too small.

A dog crate might be too small if the dog can’t turn inside, it’s difficult to stand up, sleeping is cramped, the dog is nervous, and/or health issues related to the back are popping up.

It’s essential to act fast as a dog owner to avoid a situation where the dog crate is too small and leading to serious health repercussions.

This article will look at the main signs a dog crate is too small and likely needs to be changed.

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Signs A Dog Crate Is Too Small

1. Dog Can’t Stand Up Inside

This is a simple visual cue to look for when a dog crate is too small.

When a dog enters, it will want to walk a little bit and likely is going to remain standing. It is rare for a dog to want to immediately lie down when it is inside a confined space.

When a dog can’t stand inside a crate, this means it is starting to become small. A dog needs enough space to happily stand inside without feeling restricted. This is a minimum that you have to account for as a dog owner.

This is one of the common signs a dog crate is not big enough.

Keep this in mind when your dog enters the dog crate while growing.

signs dog crate is too small

2. The Sides Are Pressing Against The Dog’s Body

Just like you want the dog to be able to sit up inside the crate, you also want to account for the sides.

The dog’s body should not feel restricted from the sides. This means the cage should not touch the dog’s side when it is standing right in the center of the crate.

There has to be enough space for the dog to easily turn inside the dog crate without touching anything. When the sides begin to press against the dog’s body, this is what starts to make it nervous and trapped.

This is the feeling you want to avoid with dogs as it will cause them to whine.

3. The Dog Can’t Stretch With Its Paws Out

Let’s assume a dog tries to lie down and then wants to stretch out.

This is normal for dogs and they will often do this to loosen their muscles after resting for a bit. If the dog’s paws hit the edge of the dog crate when stretching, this means it is starting to become too small.

A small dog crate will often have this type of issue pop up.

Always make sure the dog can easily lie down inside the dog crate and also stretch out if necessary. This is a must.

signs dog crate is too small

4. The Dog Is Whining And Anxious Inside

You will want to account for what the dog is doing when it is about to enter the crate or when it is inside.

Most dogs are not going to be shy to let you know how they feel. Some may try to obey because you are higher up the hierarchy, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be upset. Some dogs try refusing to enter or are quite reluctant.

This is a sign you want to look for and not ignore.

If your dog is doing this, it means the dog crate is not ideal for your pet. It is time to upgrade the dog crate as soon as possible.

5. The Dog Is Dealing With Back And Spinal Issues

This is an unfortunate sign and one that shows you have taken a long time to change the dog crate.

This happens when the dog is spending too much time in the same spot within the crate because it is restricted. This can put a tremendous amount of stress on the dog’s joints, back, and spine all at once.

When this happens, the dog’s growth can be stunted and it might also end up dealing with serious health issues.

Look into this when it comes to keeping a dog happy in the crate.

Final Thoughts

These are the main signs a dog crate is not big enough and needs to be changed as soon as possible.

A dog crate is too small when it is difficult for the dog to stretch out, stand up, sit up, or the sides of the dog crate press against its body.

These are key details that matter a lot when it comes to keeping a dog happy.

Read More About Dogs:

  1. Finding The Safest Dog Crate
  2. Should A Dog Be Able To Sit Inside The Crate?
  3. How To Entertain Dog In A Crate
  4. When To Put An End To Crate Training For Dogs
  5. Tips For Letting Dog Out Of Crate At Night