Ask any dog training expert out there and they’ll tell you that a crate divider does wonders when training your pup.
Unfortunately, some crates don’t come with this useful feature meaning you’d either have to improvise or look for a universal crate divider.
In the next few paragraphs, we’ll talk about what you need to do to alter the size of your pup’s crate without breaking the bank.
Table of contents
What Is a Universal Crate Divider Panel?
A universal crate divider panel is an adjustable or extendable barrier that can be put inside a dog’s crate to create two distinct units. Adjustability is key because different crates have different dimensions.
Unfortunately, we are yet to come across any commercial divider out there. That is why we have compiled a few DIY divider ideas that you can use to divide your pup’s crate into two distinct units.
Making a Custom Crate Divider Panel at Home
Unless you are lucky to have a crate whose dimensions align with those of the model-specific divider panels available out there, chances are that you’ll be better off creating one for yourself at home.
Not only is this a practical way to solve your crate training challenges but also a fantastic way to cut costs – commercially available dividers can be quite pricey.
You’ll want to go with something that’s sturdy but not too heavy. A material that’s too heavy might make your crate too heavy to move around.
Another thing, it’s advisable to work with a material easy to manipulate so you can cut and customize it for a perfect fit. And of course, you want the material to be affordable so the divider panel is cost-effective. Here are our recommendations:
This is a type of manufactured wood panel that is produced by gluing different wooden (veneer) layers together. This type of building material is quite popular out there thanks to the fact that it is light in weight – compared to solid wood.
On top of that, it is relatively strong and solid. And if durability is your top priority, this building material will give you the reliability you need for the long haul.
And the best part? Using plywood to build your crate divider means you’re playing an indirect role in conserving the environment. Yup, embracing the use of this material has reportedly led to a huge decline in deforestation levels globally.
Wood – Pine, Fir, Birch, or Cedar
If your dog crate is made out of wood, you’ll definitely want to create a divider panel for it that is made of similar or almost similar materials.
One of the biggest advantages of using wood is durability. Unlike plywood, solid wood can withstand a lot more abuse and last really long.
Most wood types like pine are available throughout the country and can be purchased at pretty much any big box store near you.
Plus, if you enjoy woodworking, there might be no better material to work with than – you guessed it right – wood. Pine wood is particularly a delight to work on as it leaves your workshop smelling nice too.
Sure, it may not be as tough or resilient as wood but that box from your last trip to the grocery store might just be what you need.
The first benefit of using cardboard for this kind of project is that it’s a really cheap material. You simply need to wait for your next shipment to arrive to get a free one.
Other than that, cardboard divider panels are really light in weight. As such, you don’t need to worry about your DIY divider adding too much weight to your crate.
It’s also really easy to work with as all you need to trim and customize it using is a pair of scissors.
A small qualm with cardboard as a building material is that it’s no march for aggressive dogs. It only makes sense to use if you have a calm puppy – preferably from a small pet breed.
The idea here is to create a temporary, psychological boundary to help you in your crate training efforts.
Besides being easy to work with, plexiglass offers superior strength making it ideal even for restless pups. Just like with wood, a table saw, scoring tool, and router are all you’ll customize this material to the exact shape and dimensions of your crate.
The material is also fairly lightweight. It won’t make your crate any significantly heavier to move around or fragile either. What’s more, plexiglass comes in different colors – so you can always find something that blends in perfectly with your crate or interior décor.
To top it all up, the material is extremely low maintenance and easy to clean should your pup happen to soil the kennel during the learning phase.
Bird netting may be designed for protecting gardens but who said you cannot turn it into a universal crate divider? Made of UV-proof nylon, this net is durable and yet quite easy to work with.
All you need is to cut it to the width of your crate. You can then tie its ends to the crate’s walls using some wires, strings, or even its own edges. However, you want to be careful how you install it so it doesn’t end up being a choking hazard to your pup.
Its ends should be neatly tied and tucked into place. The net itself should be tightened to create a firm boundary – it should never be left loosely hanging lest it becomes a dangerous distraction for your furry friend.
The Dos and Don’ts of DIY Universal Crate Panels
1. Avoid potential choking hazards – crate divider panels with loose edges should be avoided as they can easily turn hazardous especially when playful pets are involved.
2. Mind the Weight – It’s easy to go with the most durable material available but it is always advisable to go with something light instead. A light yet durable and resilient material leaves you with the freedom to move your crate as usual.
3. Ability to Withstand Abuse – Pets can easily get bored and start scratching the divider or pulling it. You, therefore, want to work with a material that can remain resilient even in such situations.
Final Thoughts – A divided crate
We all would like to find the best universal crate divider panel available. Unfortunately, until crate manufacturers agree to keep their product dimensions exactly the same, the only way out, for now, is to create one yourself.
This means you’ll have to pick the right material and install it in the right way. Fortunately, there are a few great options available each with its own unique benefits.
Just make sure to go with something that meets your needs both functionally and aesthetically. Once you do that, then you’re all set to enjoy a safe and secure kennel for your pup. Good luck!
Best of luck with your DIY universal crate divider panel project!