Before you start crate training, you need to create the right conditions. First, you need to decide where to put the dog crate in the house? It will determine whether the dog will be comfortable there and not dangerous.
In this ultimate guide I will tell you what is the best place in the house to put the crate for adult dogs or puppies. At the end, I will give some tips on what to put in the crate.
- What to consider when choosing a place for a dog crate
- The best place for a dog crate
- Where you shouldn’t put a dog’s crate
- Where to put your puppy’s crate
- What to put in the dog’s crate
- Does the crate need to be covered?
What to consider when choosing a place for a dog crate
When choosing a place for a dog crate in the house, consider several factors:
- Dogs are social animals. They need to socialize with their owners and see what’s going on around them. Then the dog gets human interaction and feels like part of the family.
- The crate is not used to punish the dog. You must make the dog want to be in the crate, and it is not a problem for it.
- The crate must be comfortable, the dog must not be hot or cold so it does not get sick.
And, of course, the crate should not bother family members. Also it is important that the crate work with the room for many people. If the last point bothers you, I recommend looking at various crate designs beforehand.
The best place for a dog crate
The best room for a dog crate is a bedroom or family room. If you leave the dog in a crate overnight, it is better to put it in the bedroom especially if you’re just started crate training.
The first time the dog may protest against the crate and express this with his howling or whimpering. Of course, you should not give in to such provocations and let the dog out of the crate. But you can comfort it if you are near and make a positive experience for the dog.
To save space in the house, you can buy a crate that looks like furniture. Such crates look very beautiful in the interior.
During the day, put the crate in a busy area where the family usually stays. It could be the kitchen or living room. Let the dog see you, don’t leave it isolated.
It's best to put the crate somewhere in a quiet corner rather than on the walkways, so a lot of foot traffic will keep the dog distracted all the time. Every time someone walks by, the pet will think it's coming to let it out. It creates unnecessary stress.
Where you shouldn’t put a dog’s crate
Do not put the dog’s crate:
- in a dark corner or an enclosed area, away from the whole family (like the laundry room or garage). The dog will not want to sit in the crate for long in these conditions. It will feel abandoned or punished. Eventually, this can lead to behavioral problems.
- near heating radiators, a fireplace, or other heat source;
- in direct sunlight;
- in a place where there may be a draft;
- near power cords.
Also, make sure there are no poisonous plants near the crate. Some house plants may be toxic to dogs, so check this information.
Where to put your puppy’s crate
On their first days in a new home, most puppies can be very vulnerable. Leaving them somewhere alone is likely to result in crying and howling. Puppies are incredibly lonely at night and may feel separation anxiety.
For these reasons, I recommend leaving the young puppy in your bedroom, near your bed at night. It will be comfortable next to you, and the puppy will sleep peacefully. You will also be able to hear when the puppy wants to pee. Small puppies usually need to be taken to the toilet once a night.
Once the puppy gets used to his new home, start moving the crate away from the bed. Move it farther and farther away from the bed each day and then out of the room altogether.
What to put in the dog’s crate
To create a welcoming place for your dog, you also need to know what to put in the crate. You will need several things.
Dog crate bedding
No dog wants to lie in an empty crate without a soft blanket or bedding. But it’s a bad idea to buy nice, soft bedding until your dog is not crate trained. It is better to buy a mat, like the Vetbed. It’s sturdy, so your dog won’t chew through it quickly. Vetbed is also machine washable.
Important! It's best not to use old towels or other scraps of cloth as a mat, as your dog will tear them, chew them up and swallow. And this is dangerous!
After making sure your pet doesn’t chew his bedding, you can get him something fancier than a Vetbed.
Toys for dog crates
I recommend putting some chew toys inside the dog crate. They are necessary so that the animal is not bored. If the dog is busy chewing toys, it is less likely to chew on the bed.
It’s an excellent idea to get special crate toys that it will only play with there. Then it’ll love being in the crate because it’s interesting. Consider hollow toys that can be stuffed with your pet’s favorite treats, such as KONG toys.
Do not put soft toys in the crate! It is easily chewed and dogs may choke on them.
Food and water
Usually, you should not lock your dog for a long time. In 1 or 2 hours, the dog or puppy will not starve to death or be dehydrated. Therefore, there is no need to leave food or water in the crate. Still, your pet will turn it all over. So, it is enough to put some solid treats for chewing in such cases.
Food and water should only be left in the crate if you leave your dog locked inside for 3-4 hours. You’ll need a crate mounted bowl for food or water. Of course, you should only close the dog in the crate for such a long time in exceptional cases where there is no other choice.
Does the crate need to be covered?
Sometimes dogs in exposed wire crates can be uncomfortable. To create a more private area, try covering the crate (but leaving one side open). This advice is relevant for metal crates since the plastic and fabric crates are already closed. Some dogs find this calming, and they stop crying and sleep peacefully.
At first, it is best to cover the crate partially and quickly. Like other training, this process should be gradual. If the puppy is calm, all is well. But some dogs categorically do not like the covered crate. Then you should not create additional stress for them.
Should my dog’s crate be in my bedroom?
It’s really better to leave the crate at night in your bedroom. If the dog sleeps next to you, it will be more comfortable. But you don’t have to do that if it bothers you. You can choose another room, but not completely isolated, not in the farthest corner of the house.
Can I move the crate from room to room?
Yes, there is no problem with that. Dogs are more likely to be attached to the crate itself than the room it is in. Some changes in the dog’s routine are even help to keep the dog from getting bored. But it’s more convenient to have two crates, so you don’t have to move them around, or buy a crate on wheels.
If you put dog crate in the wrong place, the dog won’t feel good there, and your house training will not be successful. The crate should be located:
- in safe space where the family spends more time;
- not in direct sunlight or drafts;
- away from heating elements.
A new puppy should sleep next to your bed for the first few days. Put into a comfortable bed and toys.
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