On Sale But Is It Safe: MidWest Homes for Pets Ovation Dog Crate
Discounted at Petco this week is the MidWest Homes for Pets Ovation Dog Crate (Single Door) all sizes, from $38-$77 ( 46%-60% off ) off list price.
Have a new puppy? Old crate seen better days? Let's take a look at this crate by Midwest Homes for Pets.
MidWest Homes for Pets is a large manufacturer of pet crates - for dogs, cats, rabbits, birds and ferrets (and similar). They also make other products, ranging from bedding to campers to exercise pens. The company has been in business in some capacity for over 90 years.
The Ovation dog crate is advertised as a higher end dog crate, primarily because of the inclusion of a plastic pan, a divider panel and the up/down, garage like door. When snapped together, the crate is reasonably sturdy though the metal bars are of only moderate gauge.
The door is the unique part of this crate. It opens by pulling up and when almost all the way, folds back down over the top of the crate and a safety latch is closed. On the face of it, this is a really nice feature for those pet parents that do not have a lot of room to spare. It also removes a frequent trip hazard: an open crate door in a dim room!
However, there is some downside too. First, the sliding mechanism can be a bit balky and noisy and might be startling to a puppy or otherwise shy dog. Second, this is not useful if you plan to keep your crate underneath a table or other object as there is no way to fold back the extended door.
Is It Safe?
I have read reports that some dogs have been able to push the door up enough that they can escape, defeating the purpose of a closed crate and potentially allowing the dog into an unsafe situation. This may be caused by the owner not properly engaging the safety latch mechanism. However, pet parents must be aware that even the best safety mechanisms can be defeated intentionally or by accident.
The up/down nature of the door does present a potentially awkward situation when trying to leash a dog as it is difficult, if not impossible, to do this with the door open only part way and blocked by a leg as with a swing-style door.
Finally, very rambunctious or large dogs may be to strong for the wire gauge of the crate. That can be a safety issue as bent bars can lead to stuck paws, cuts or worse.
Based on the above, this crate is probably best suited to an average dog that is not likely to suffer separation anxiety or other syndromes that might make it inclined to try to break out. It is also ideal for dogs that use the crate as a safe/quiet space for sleep and do not require the door to be locked down very often.
Great for mature, calm dogs; may not be suitable for rascally pups or large dogs with anxiety issues
Editors Note: Last year we briefly reviewed the MidWest Homes for Pets Lifestages Double-door folding metal crate in the context of our in-depth report on pet travel crates (pdf). I am happy to say that MidWest Homes for Pets are a responsible company and they do not recommend the use of their wire framed crates for safety when traveling in a car and none have been crash tested. Wire crates are at best a tool to prevent driver distraction and at worst, a serious hazard to the pet within in the event of an accident. IMPS does not recommend their use in a car except in an emergency when no other suitable alternative restraint system is available.