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---"I want to add my praise for WiggleLegs Frog toy.  My cat loves to play with WiggleLegs No other toy will do.  When I ask her to find WiggleLegs she goes right to it!  I just ordered 3 more as I'm afraid you will stop making them and then I don't know what we will do!"

---"Once again, you have provided excellent service with an excellent product. Thanks for the extra - it was a hit! My cats are totally addicted to the WiggleLegs Frog, so please keep plenty in stock!"

---"I just wanted to let you know that my cat, Molly, is absolutely addicted to your FlyToys. I literally have to hide them from her so she will go to sleep at night, but as soon as morning arrives she is sitting right in front of their hiding place waiting for them to come out and play."

Each MetPet FlyToy is handmade by skilled artisans with great attention to detail.  They come in the form of bugs, amphibians, mammals and more in three very reasonable price points.

---"I can't believe how your company understands cats so well"

Crate Training For Dogs: Introduction

An introduction to what crates are and why you may want one Staff Writer

A crate, or portable kennel, is a wire or plastic carrier with four walls, a top and a door that can be closed.  They help satisfy your dog's natural instinct to dig a den in the dirt for sleep and protection. 

Crates for dogs provide a clean, secure and quiet place where they can lie down, take a nap and feel secure.  A nursing mother or a sick dog may use a crate for refuge. 

Dog crates are useful for:

- Housetraining.  A dog has a natural instinct to keep his bed clean so a crate can be invaluable for fast, easy and stress free house training. 

- Safety.  A crate can keep your dog from getting into trouble when you cannot watch him.  Crates can be used for safely introducing your dog to other pets and keep him calm after surgery or when he is ill.

- Peace and Quiet.  The crate should be a refuge for your dog away from prying eyes, poking fingers and other distractions.  They are useful for older dogs when there is a new puppy in the house and are useful for all dogs when there are toddlers around. 

- Travel.  Crates are used for traveling whether in a car or by plane and can be a home away from home in motels, when camping or when visiting friends and relatives. 

When crates do not work
Crates are a tool but they should never be used for punishment.  Crates must be seen as pleasant, safe places for dogs. 

Some dogs are claustrophobic and crates create more problems than they solve.  In some cases, crates themselves become the problem as when a dog becomes desperate to escape one.

How to select a dog crate
Crates come in a number of different styles, price ranges and materials.  The most common types are:

- Metal or wire crates.  These are collapsible down to a few inches thick which makes them easy to store underneath a bed or in a closet when not in use.  They range from lightweight ones more suited for tiny dogs or birds and heavy duty ones for large dogs. 

Wire crates can be heavy and unwieldy and require a bed or folded blanket to pad the metal or plastic tray on the bottom.  For dogs who prefer privacy and a more den-like environment, you will need to add a commercially made cover or place a throw over the top and sides.  Some crates have two doors while others have only one. 

Sturdy wire crates can protect a dog during some car crashes.  Since crates can last the lifetime of your dog, it is worth investing in one that is well made and sturdy. 

- Plastic crates.  These crates are made in two pieces.  The top and the bottom can be separated for storage although they do take up quite a bit of space.  The front doors lift out as well.  They are commonly used for airline travel. 

They are easy to clean and offer enough privacy on their own.  For dogs who want a crate with a view, these styles of crates can be too confining.  If you are planning to use a crate inside your car, fully collapsible ones can be easier to get into the door. 

New styles of plastic crates offer similar features to wire crates. They also collapse to a few inches in height and can be used for travel as well. 

- Fabric crates.  These use nylon sides around a metal frame.  They are not as sturdy as metal crates and a chewing puppy or dog with claws can work a hole in them.  They are lightweight and comfortable for well behaved dogs but do not provide protection from car accidents as well as sturdy metal ones do. 

If you decide on a fabric crate, it is best to avoid those that are so lightweight that they can be barrel rolled and ripped open by a dog.

- Other considerations.  If you intend to travel with your dog, measure the outside dimensions of the crate to make sure it will fit in your car and that you will be able to see over it.  If you plan on traveling by air, you will need one approved for air travel. 

If you have a large house, you may want a crate for the living room or kitchen and one for the bedroom.  This is especially useful when house training puppies.  The one in the living room can be a wire one with a view of the activity.  The crate in the bedroom can be enclosed to promote sleep.

After your puppy is house trained, you may decide that a crate is no longer needed.  You can sell or pass on the crates to friends, donate them to a shelter or keep them for your next puppy.

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