Whether you’re getting a puppy for the first time, or you’re a seasoned vet at being a dog parent, you’ll know it’s important to have a cosy, safe space for your dog to chill out in at home.
But have you ever thought to wonder why these little spaces are so vital to the health and wellbeing of your dog?
Why Are Crates Good?
In the wild, a dog will seek out a shelter or “den” for protection and warmth. Dogs that are tired, ill, injured, or pregnant will seek out these safe havens in order to heal, get better, rest, or bring up a litter. A puppy’s first memories will be in these safe environments with their mother nearby, so as a puppy gets older they will naturally seek out a familiar place that is comforting, warm and protected – particularly when they are left alone or are scared.
Because of this, providing your puppy or dog with a crate can help reduce anxiety and fear in a natural way. It’s somewhere they can escape to when frightened by loud noises (like fireworks) and will be seen as a refuge which is particularly important in times of stress or anxiety.
That’s not the only reason crates are great – they’re also ideal whilst training your pup. As well as being a refuge for your dog, they’re also great for transportation, and can even help with housetraining.
Most dogs will sleep in their crate for their whole lives, so it’s important to choose a strong, safe and comfortable one for your dog.
Choosing a Crate
There are lots of different types of crates to choose from. Wire ones are excellent for providing a full 360-degree view around them, and they’re great for warmer climates. They also tend to fold down flat for storage and are easily transportable. They’re well ventilated, and can be covered with a towel or blanket to minimize distractions.
Plastic crates are easy to clean, lighter, and provide a ready-made “den-like” place for your dog. They’re also easy to make cosy with cushions and throws.
When choosing a crate, it’s important to take into consideration how large your dog will grow. A crate should be tall enough for them to stand up and move in. If you have a young puppy, the crate needs to allow space for a housetraining mat as well as a bed.
Using the Crate
Once you’ve chosen your crate, fill it with a lovely comfy dog bed and throws. When introducing your dog to their crate for the first time, put in an item of your clothing that you’ve worn so it has your scent on. If you’re introducing a puppy for the first time, add an item from their previous house so they can feel comforted as it will help their transition into their new life.
A crate should be a positive and secure space for your dog, so it’s important to not punish your dog for bad behaviour by locking them in it. It’s also important that you do not shut them inside their crate when they are excited or jumpy – this could cause separation anxiety or kennel phobia.
Check out our line of amazing crates here!