Noz2Noz Collapsible 26" Soft Pet Crate | $42 | Amazon
Graphic: Shep McAllister
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My first piece of advice to new dog owners: Buy a soft crate. They can collapse to hide in the back of a closet when not in use, and you can put them in the backseat of your car without the risk of damaging your seats like a metal crate might.

This highly rated model from Noz2Noz is down to an all-time low $42 right now, and is suitable for pets up to 30 pounds.