If you own a dog, it's wise to have a dog crate on hand. It's useful for training, for travel and for trips to the vet. The Pet Porter and the Sky Kennel are two dog crates made by Petmate. Petmate no longer manufactures the Pet Porter, but it, like the Sky Kennel, is widely available online in a variety of sizes.
Sky Kennel's product line offers a bit more variety than Pet Porter's. Both lines have kennels with dimensions of 28 inches by 20.5 inches by 21.5 inches, 32 by 22.5 by 24 inches, 36 by 25 by 27 inches, and 40 by 27 by 30 inches. Sky Kennel offers a smaller kennel that's 21 by 16 by 15 inches, and a giant kennel that measures 48 by 32 by 35 inches. The sizes are labelled differently between the two product lines; Pet Porter's size labels are extra-small, small, medium and large. Sky Kennel's start with small, then medium, intermediate, large, extra-large and giant. Pet Porter's crates range in weight from 12 to 22 pounds. Sky Kennel's crates weigh between 7 pounds and 44 pounds.
Basic Features Are the Same
Both crates offer the same basic features -- they're made of durable, 25-percent-recycled plastic and outfitted with latching steel doors. As well, each has a trough in the bottom to collect liquid in case your pup has an accident. Neither crate is collapsible, but they separate into two haves and a door. The three largest Sky Kennels have dial-latch mechanisms for extra security, Pet Porters and Sky Kennels have two-prong squeeze-latch mechanisms. For ventilation, Pet Porter kennels have side vents in addition to the steel mesh door; Sky Kennels are vented on the back as well as on the sides and door. Both crates are approved for use on most domestic flights -- but if you're planning on flying your pup, you should confirm your airline's specific carrier requirements.
If you have a large breed of dog, look to the giant-size Sky Kennel, which holds up to 125 pounds. If your dog weighs more than 125 pounds, you may have to turn to a collapsible crate system, as neither the Pet Porter or Sky Kennel can accommodate a such a big guy. On the other end of the scale, the small Sky Kennel is perfect for a little dog, such as a Chihuahua -- it has a 15-pound capacity and won't give your pup too much space in his crate. In between the two extremes, both brands have the same weight capacity: 90-pound dogs fit in the large Pet Porter and extra-large Sky Kennel; 70-pound dogs are suited to the medium Pet Porter and large Sky Kennel; the small Pet Porter and intermediate Sky Kennel hold 50-pound dogs; the extra-small Pet Porter and medium Sky Kennel are suitable for 30-pound dogs.
Making a Choice
The Sky Kennel has a few little extras the Pet Porter doesn't, including snap-on food and water dishes and a "live animals" sticker for the carrier. However, there is a trade-off; the Sky Kennel is more expensive than the Pet Porter, given its extra features and the fact that it's a heavier carrier. Consider how you're going to use your dog's new crate. If it's more of a training tool and will stay parked in the TV room, it may not be necessary to spend more on a heavier-duty model. However, if he's going to be taking to the open road -- or sky -- the heavier option may be in order. Whatever crate you choose, pick one that is the correct size, neither too large nor too small. A dog should be able to stand, turn around and lie down on his side in his crate.