How To Pick The Right Crate For Your Shiba Inu (Explained)

Picking the right size crate for my future Shiba Inu was real struggle. I wasn’t sure if I should grab a starter crate that can be swapped out as she grew up or if I was better starting with an adult-sized crate.

36” Crates are the perfect size for Shiba Inus. They provide plenty of space for adult Shibas to sit, stand, and comfortably turn around in. And the space available to a Shiba can easily be adjusted with the included divider, allowing the crate to scale to their needs.

After a bit of research, talking to other Shiba Inu owners, and taking her to the pet store to see things in person, I figured out exactly what I wanted to do and have shared everything I was able to learn down below.

dog crate for shiba inu

What Size Crate Do Shiba Inus Need?

Shiba Inus are a medium-sized dog breed that do best in 36” crates. You can tell if your current crate is to big, or small, by checking the following:

  • Can my Shiba sit in their crate?
  • Can my Shiba Inu stand in their crate?
  • Is my Shiba able to comfortably turn around in their crate?
  • Can my Shiba Inu stretch out while lying down in their crate?

If your current crate checks all of the above boxes, then you are good to go. While 36 inches sounds oversized, the included divider helps adjust the current space available to your Shiba Inu. Shibas, like other dogs, prefer smaller spaces because they feel more safe and more secure.

The included divider is a great way to shrink an otherwise oversized crate for a puppy, that can be adjusted to their shifting needs as they grow up. Making it better to buy one larger crate for your Shiba Inu to grow into instead of wasting money buying two different crates. One for them as a puppy and another for when they’re an adult.

If you already bought a 30” crate, or have one from a previous friend or pet, don’t worry. While 30” crates are smaller than their 36” counterparts, it’s not by much. Your Shiba, especially if they’re female due to their overall smaller size, with have no issue comfortably using a 30” crate.

The 3 Most Common Types Of Crates

There are three common types of dog crates, each with there own advantages and disadvantages.

Tip – Take your Shiba Inu’s collar off before they go in their cage for extended periods of time. There is a chance their tag, or collar, can get caught in the side of their crate.

Plastic Crates

Plastic and resin crates are durable enough for both travel and everyday use, but are more expensive than their wired counterparts and don’t usually come with a divider. Which is a big deal if your Shiba Inu is a puppy. Plastic crates are easy to clean, have plenty of ventilation, and most are even airline approved. 

Soft-Sided Crates

Soft-sided crates are commonly used by pet owners who love to travel both by car and by air. While they aren’t the most durable option, they can be extremely convenient while your Shiba Inu is a puppy.

Unfortunately, that convenience is short-lived, most soft pet carriers aren’t meant to be used for adult Shiba Inus, being too small for them to sit, turn around, or comfortably lay down in. And because of that, soft-sided crates aren’t recommended to Shiba Inu owners.

Wire Crates

Wired crates are even more durable than their plastic counterparts. What’s even better is most wired crates come with a divider, allowing you to adjust the space available to your Shiba Inu as they grow, and most can even fold so they can be stored easily.

Some even come with the option to purchase versions with additional doors, unlike soft-sided or plastic crates.

The Best Crate For Shiba Inus

Best Everyday Crate – MidWest Homes 36” Dog Crate

midwest 36" dog crate

If I’ve learned anything from owning a Shiba Inu, it’s that simplicity and durability are king. And this simple wire crate from MidWest Homes as served me well. You’re able to fold it, making it easier to travel with, and even comes with an included cage divider, which I highly recommend using while your Shiba Inu is a puppy.

midwest dog bed

While it comes with a tough plastic tray for a bottom liner there are plenty of options at slide when it comes to slide in dog beds, my favorite dog bed to use in my Shiba’s crate is also from MidWest Home. It fits perfectly, is comfortable, machine washable, and it’s almost always in stock on Amazon.

Another bonus for MidWest Home’s crate is the option to grab a crate with an addition side door, instead of the standard front swinging one. I haven’t used it much but when I have it’s made my life so much easier, especially when I’m shifting furniture or moving.

midwest dog crate cover

While optional, MidWest Homes also makes a dog crate cover that fits snuggly around the crate. The front velcros shut to help block light, is surprisingly durable, is also machine washable, and is always around on Amazon.

Best Travel Crate – Petmate Sky Kennel 28″

petmate sky kennel travel carrier

Petmate’s sky kennel is one of the best hard pet carriers on the market. It’s durable, making it a great replacement for your regular crate while you are away from home. And with most adult Shiba’s do best with a 36” crate, their 28-inch option strikes that perfect middle ground between roomy. You don’t want your Shiba’s travel carrier to be too small, otherwise they’ll be stressed and uncomfortable, but not too big, or they may be jostled around during your trip.

Can You Use A Travel Carrier As A Crate?

While most people don’t recommend using your Shiba’s travel carrier as their primary crate, there are some exceptions.

If you are traveling with your Shiba Inu, especially for several days at a time, then their pet carrier is a good option if you weren’t able to pack their regular crate. But the type of travel carrier you have makes a big difference.

Soft-sided pet carriers, the ones you see most people use on airlines or on road trips, aren’t built to handle everyday wear and tear like their hard-sided counterparts. Hard-sided pet carriers are more difficult to store and transfer, like a regular wire crate, but usually make up for that with an included pair of wheels.

Hard-sided travel carriers are a substitute for your Shiba Inu’s everyday crate. Just be sure you check for any abnormal wear or chewing.

Summary Of How To Pick The Right Crate

Shiba Inus are a medium-sized, high-energy, and at times chaotic dog breed that love having their own space. A durable 36” crate is perfect for them, my recommendation being this one from MidWest Homes on Amazon. Simplicity and durability are key with this breed and I’ve had zero problems with this one.

I do recommend taking your Shiba’s collar off before they go in their crate for extended periods of time, especially if they have a hanging tag. The last thing you want is your pet freaking out because they got caught on the side of their cage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Size Crate For A Shiba Inu?

36” Crates are the perfect size for Shiba Inus. They provide plenty of space for adult Shibas to sit, stand, and comfortable turn around in. And the space available to a Shiba can easily be adjusted with the included divider, allowing the crate to scale to their needs.

How Do I Choose The Right Crate For My Puppy?

Your dog’s create needs to be durable, easy to lock, and adjust to your growing puppy’s needs. Shiba Inus, even as puppies, do well in 36” wire crates. The space available to your puppy can be easily adjusted with the included divider and provide plenty of space for adult Shibas to rest comfortably.

Is It Better For A Dog Crate To Be Too Big Or Too Small?

A dog’s crate needs to be large enough for them to comfortably sit, stand, and stretch out in. Dogs have a preference for smaller spaces because they feel more safe and secure. Most crates come with a divider that can be used to adjust the space available to your dog as they grow.

Should I Cover My Dog’s Crate Over Night?

Covering your dogs crate, especially at night, can help them sleep while keeping them warm. Just be sure you don’t completely cover their crate to the point that you block airflow. Your Dog still needs ventilation so the can comfortably breath. Breathable yet durable fabrics are best.

Colby Adkins

I am a proud Shiba Inu owner who is just looking to share any tips, tricks, or advice I have to help others.

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