Soft-sided dog crate for large elderly dog? Will my dog be safe?
March 31, 2009 8:56 PM   Subscribe

Who has used a soft-sided dog crate for a large dog? Will it provide secure confinement for short periods? We are moving from NJ to the west coast. Our elderly dog is too frail to travel by air, so we will drive a 6-day road trip. For the road trip, I need a portable crate that will stow in our car trunk. We need the crate to set up in motel rooms. I want dog to have his "den". We do not plan to leave him alone, but there could be situations where he has to be kept confined for his safety.

Dog is 70 lbs. He's a slim shepherd mix, tall and long-legged. At home, he sleeps comfortably in a 48 inch metal crate.

This is the crate I want to buy.
I would order the 43" model. The carry weight is 27 lbs.

I spoke with the vendor. This is considered a light duty crate. She said a motivated dog can chew through the nylon. Our dog has never been a chewer. If he feels threatened, he would lunge and struggle.

My concern about confinement is if we have to admit someone (housekeeping, etc.) to our motel room. Or if we are moving stuff in our out of the room. I don't want my dog to escape out an open door. I want a crate that will keep him safely in place for short periods.

Any opinions on using this soft-sided crate?
posted by valannc to Pets & Animals (13 answers total)
For the road trip, I need a portable crate that will stow in our car trunk...

You're putting the dog in the boot?
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:03 PM on March 31, 2009

I hope not (and assume not!) but that is how it reads.
posted by slightlybewildered at 9:05 PM on March 31, 2009

Response by poster: The dog rides in the back seat. He wears a car safety harness that allows him to sit up or lie down. He's very comfortable.

I need a crate that will fold up and stow in the trunk while we are driving.
posted by valannc at 9:06 PM on March 31, 2009

Phew! Chalk me up as slightly bewildered for a moment there too!

I was just thinking, if he's an elderly dog, are the chances of him pissbolting from the room when the door cracks open really that high?

I think that soft crate looks perfectly okay, so long as it's filled with comf and treats and he's only in there for the bare minimum of time. Try and use all the stuff from his present crate so it smells familiar and reassuring. I've only ever used hard crates, myself, for my cats, but I know a few people who have used similar-sounding soft crates for dogs and cats of all ages and I've not heard of any issues.
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:11 PM on March 31, 2009

We got a soft-sided one that folds up like a pop-up tent. The problem was that it wiggled a bit as the dog entered and turned around. It also did not have quite as much height as our other crates. The result was that our dog (50 lb labradoodle) never liked it.

We have a wired sided one that folds up flat that works very well for us. I think it is similar to this one. It is very sturdy when set up and easy to put up and take down (once you get the plastic pan out). It folds up very flat but with the same dimensions as the pan - should fit in your trunk just fine. Depending on your dog, you might want to bring along a blanket or large beach towel to cover the top and sides to make it more den-like. Our dog is very comfortable with this one - we used to put him in it at night. Now we leave it open and he will still wander into to nap (although he likes my daughter's bed even better).
posted by metahawk at 9:14 PM on March 31, 2009

Best answer: I have this one for my retrievers and the nylon is sturdy enough for the "give me attention" paw scratch and hasn't shown any signs of wear. We have used it for motels and dog shows and it is indeed a lot more convenient and portable than the fold away metal crates that weigh 50+ pounds. Almost everyone with large dogs uses something similar while on the road for obedience and agility trials.
posted by hindmost at 9:18 PM on March 31, 2009

I have a significantly smaller (but young and very determined) dog, and have used this before with some success. However, if a dog wants out and was left unattended for a while, I think he could probably chew his way out of pretty much any soft sided crate in a matter of minutes. As far as the lunge and struggle situation, mine has a zipper, and probably wouldn't give way easily (though I think excessive struggling could easily knock the crate onto it's side)
posted by mjcon at 9:26 PM on March 31, 2009

I own and use a wide variety of crates. The crate you linked will do exactly what you want with the limitations you already know about. Happy trails!
posted by acorncup at 10:18 PM on March 31, 2009

We have one of the nylon tent-like things. It was great until the dog figured out that he can, from within, roll it all over the house.
posted by neuron at 10:44 PM on March 31, 2009

Best answer: When I moved cross country I used one of the pop-up tent crates and it worked fine. My dog is also 70-ish lbs. and he did not mind the wobbliness at all. Actually I think he was relieved to have 'his' spot to go to every night after being in the car and strange places every day. Fortunately he did not learn how to roll it like neuron's.
posted by bradbane at 12:24 AM on April 1, 2009

Response by poster: Thank you all. I feel reassured. I will order the crate.
posted by valannc at 5:25 AM on April 1, 2009

I think I would order the crate and then set it up at home a few times, and let your doggie use it a few times so that it has his smell and is not strange to him the first time you set it up in a motel.
posted by jvilter at 6:05 AM on April 1, 2009

I have one of those that I keep in the back of my car (it has cool little loops that I can attach with bungee cords to the tie down anchors of my SUV). Before you pay for shipping, etc. - if you haven't already - Target sells them in their pet aisle for wayyyy cheaper than what you linked and they're just about identical. If nothing else, check them out before dropping the big bucks.
posted by dancinglamb at 6:49 AM on April 1, 2009

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