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Metal Cage FAQs


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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What are the different types of cages?
Easy-to-assemble metal cages are available in two types: square-back (non-foldable) and fold & carry (foldable for easy transport). Drs. Foster & Smith offers a wide variety of metal cages, including Classic, Basic, Elite, and Color Series. Drs. Foster & Smith also offers take-anywhere tent-style cages made from canvas or nylon, which set up quickly, and are ideal for traveling, camping, or any time you want to give your dog a place of his own.
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How are metal cages used?
A metal cage will provide your dog with a safe, secure, indoor refuge of his very own. Some people think a cage is unreasonable or unfair - a kind of "doggie jail." However, the exact opposite is true. Dogs are instinctively den animals who prefer a space of their own. When used appropriately, cages are beneficial and calming - a great solution to giving your dog a private, quiet space.

A metal cage is also extremely helpful in housetraining puppies since dogs will generally not soil the area in which they sleep. Metal cages also help in teaching your puppy to control his bladder. And since metal cages safely contain dogs when you're away, they help control destructive behavior resulting from teething, stress, or separation anxiety.
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What size cage should I choose for my pet?
Before you select a cage, you must measure your pet to be sure you select the right size. Measure from the floor to the top of your pet's shoulder, and add 3 inches; this is the minimum height for your pet's cage. Next, measure from his head to the base of his tail, and add 3 inches; this is the minimum length for his cage. Make sure that your pet can comfortably stand, sit, turn around, and lie down in it. You can always add a divider panel if necessary, and reserve the remaining space until your pet grows into it. As a general rule, when selecting a cage for an adult dog, if you're not sure which size to select, lean toward a larger size.
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What are divider panels used for?
Divider Panels are used primarily in housebreaking puppies. A divider panel is a wire grate inserted in the cage to make the cage smaller. With housetraining puppies, the smaller the cage, the less likely the puppy will soil it (since dogs do not like to soil the area in which they sleep). A divider panel allows you to buy one cage for the life of your dog, then move and eventually remove the panel as your puppy grows. Once your puppy is full grown or reliably housebroken, the panel may be removed from the crate.
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What exactly is wire gauge?
Wire gauge is a number used to express the thickness - and therefore the durability - of the wire used in a cage. Remember, the smaller the number, the thicker the diameter, and the stronger the wire. For example, a 7-gauge wire is stronger than a 9-gauge wire.
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Which cage is best for extremely active dogs?
Because wire gauge and wire spacing determine the strength of the cage, you should look for a cage with a smaller wire-gauge number and small wire spacing when choosing a cage for your active dog. While our cages are all designed to withstand normal abuse, cages such as the Drs. Foster & Smith Classic Crate 2 Door cage with its multi-point locking system, and the Drs. Foster & Smith Elite Classic 3 Door Dog Crate are good choices for extremely active, rambunctious dogs.
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Which cage is best for large-breed dogs?
Many cages include a large or extra-large size designed specifically for larger breeds. As always, measure your dog to help ensure that you select a spacious, comfortable cage. Once you've measured your dog, select an appropriately sized cage with the desired wire gauge, wire spacing, door configuration, color, and so on. If you're unsure of which cage to choose, you can always contact Drs. Foster & Smith for assistance.
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What is a cam lock?
Cam locks, the strongest locks available, are intended to foil practically any escape attempt with a turnkey style that features "teeth" that "grab" the cage. While easy for humans to open, cam locks are designed to be virtually impossible for pets to open.
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Can cages be stacked?
We recommend stacking cages no more than two high to help ensure safety and stability. Always make sure to carefully read the instructions accompanying your cage.
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Do your cages rust?
Drs. Foster & Smith has selected cages known for their durability. As such, our selection of cages is designed to resist rust. However, to best prevent rust, keep your crate indoors, dry, and free of damage.
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What are floor grates used for?
Vinyl-coated floor grates, which are easily added to your dog's cage, keep him two inches above waste, water, or spills - preventing him from being forced to lay or walk in messes. Floor grates also let you easily remove your dog's cage tray/pan for cleaning without disturbing him.
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How durable are your floor trays?
Our Polyethylene Cage Trays are the most durable available. In fact, they're guaranteed for life. Sized to fit most cages, these high-density, nontoxic, lightweight polyethylene trays feature seamless construction for easy cleaning and sanitation. Their curved edges deter chewing; their color won't wear like metal trays; and they will not dent or rust like metal trays.
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Should I take my dog's collar off before caging him?
You should always remove your dog's collar when he is inside a cage, since it is possible the collar may become caught on the wire and hurt your dog.
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Do I need to continue using my cage after my dog has been housebroken/cage-trained?
Chances are your pet will become very comfortable in his cage, and - when the door is left open - he'll come and go under his own free will. He'll look to his cage as a cozy refuge - a place to "hide out" when he's stressed, tired, or simply wishes to be alone. If your dog shows little interest in his cage once he's housebroken/trained, and has found his own special "home" (under your dining room table, for example) you may not need to keep the cage. It all depends upon your unique dog.
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