Whether you're house training your new puppy or you simply want them to have a private space of their own, dog crates have many purposes and often come in handy. However, not every dog will be thrilled about hanging out in a crate. In fact, some dogs might be scared or refuse to even go inside. To help with this, we've come up with ways to make your dog's crate, or kennel as comfortable as possible so that your dog can associate it with a safe and cozy place.
WHAT ARE DOG CRATES USED FOR?
Dog crates have numerous purposes. The first often deal with housebreaking your puppy. No one likes to make a mess in their sleeping quarters, especially dogs, so if your pup has been having accidents around the home, keeping them in their crate is a good way to help them learn to wait to use the bathroom until you let them outside.
Another use for dog crates is enclosing them in a space when they are feeling overly anxious or excited. For example, if you have guests coming over to your house and you don't want your dog jumping or barking at people, having them trained to go in their crate and sit comfortably in there can be beneficial for both your guests and your dog.
Training your dog to use their crate can also come in handy in case of an emergency or during times of transport (i.e. vet visits). By simply saying "kennel up" (or whatever phrase you teach your pup), they will know when it's time to get inside so that you don't have to deal with the hassle of trying to get them inside the crate yourself.
WAYS TO MAKE CRATES COMFORTABLE
Your dog will enjoy their crate more if it feels comfortable and is a space that they will enjoy spending time in. Here are a few ways to make your dog's crate the most comfortable it can be.
You'll first want to think about location. If you're crate training a young puppy, it's best to keep them close to you so that you can keep an eye on him or her. However, try to keep your dog's crate out of high-traffic areas of your home, especially if your dog likes to use their crate for sleeping. You should also keep it out of spaces where there may be loud noises, such as your laundry room, as well as other hazards like power cords or outlets.
Next, you'll want to consider the interior of the crate. Most crates don't come with any kind of padding or anything that makes them a comfortable place to sleep in. While you may initially think of just adding some blankets to make the crate a little cozier, keep in mind that some dogs, and puppies especially, will easily chew through these. That's why it's a better idea to purchase a quality kennel mat that will hold up to plenty of use and last for years! These are available in a variety of different sizes as well as textures, so you can select something that fits your specific crate and is something your dog will love. While kennel mats are designed to provide added comfort for your dog while inside their crate, they also cater to a dog's natural denning instinct. With this in mind, Petmate created the first-ever high-walled kennel mat (shown below). Available in the most popular kennel sizes, this mat is covered in super-soft fabric and has 3 raised walls that stand up against the interior walls of your dog's crate. This high-walled feature gives dogs a sense of safety and makes them feel as if they're in a natural denning environment.
After you've made the interior of the crate more comfortable, you'll want to make sure you provide your dog with water so that they can stay hydrated while they're kenneled. This is especially important if they're in their crate for a little bit outside on a warm day or if they have a medical condition that puts them at risk of becoming easily dehydrated. Consider getting a clip-on kennel cup that works great for both food and water! Because it clips right to your dog's crate, you don't have to worry about them spilling anything. However, keep in mind that if you have a young puppy who is not fully house trained, you may not want to give them access to water while they are in their crate, especially not right before bedtime. Keep an eye on them, though, and make sure they are still getting enough water when they are let out.
Last but certainly not least, toys are an essential part of making your dog's crate more comfortable for them! Toys not only provide entertainment but also offer dogs a sense of comfort and security, especially if your dog is still getting used to being in their crate. From puzzle treat toys to chew toys, there are a lot of great options! Check out our full selection of dog toys to find something your canine friend will love!
Training your dog to use their crate has many benefits. Just be sure to take the time to transform it into a space that they can enjoy!
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