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Fur Times | August 20, 2018

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Is it Cruel to Crate Your Dog?

Is it Cruel to Crate Your Dog?
Yuruani Olguin

Many people think it is cruel to keep a dog in a crate. This is in part due to the fact that we humans don’t like being confined in small spaces for extended periods of time. However, this is not the case with dogs and crates, as long as the crate is used appropriately. This article describes the best way to use a dog crate to benefit both dogs and owners.

Dogs are den animals who find comfort in dark, secluded places. If you pay close attention to your pup, you will notice she choses to rest under tables, huddled in corners of a room, or under a bed. In the wild, wolves and wild dogs dig holes to sleep in. A crate can become a great resting space for your dog.

Benefits of Using a Dog Crate

A crate can solve problems that cause stress and anxiety to both dogs and their owners. While a crate is not the solution for an irresponsible owner, they may serve to prevent and correct problems associated with destructive behaviors in dogs.

Crates are also very helpful when potty training a dog. Since dogs are very clean animals who do not like to soil their sleeping areas, they will learn to control themselves much better inside a crate.

Good Places for a Crate

The best place for a dog crate is in the corner of a room, away from extreme heat or cold. Since dogs are social animals, it is important to place the crate in a room where your dog will see you frequently.

What to Look for When Shopping for a Crate

A dog crate is generally rectangular and made of wire, plastic or sometimes wood. Many people prefer to use wire crates, as these are less likely to be chewed and destroyed by the dog in the first days of training.

Size: A crate should be big enough for your dog to stand up and make a full turn in, but not big enough for your dog to walk around in.

Material: Make sure the material the crate is made of is durable. If purchasing a wire crate, be sure to purchase one with thick wires as this will prevent your dog from injuring herself if she chews on it.

Bedding: Some owners chose to place bedding inside the crate to make it more comfortable for their pup. This is fine as long as your dog does not have an accident on the bedding. If she does, immediately throw out the bedding.
It is also important to make sure your dog is not destroying her bedding. If you notice her engaging in this behavior, spray her bedding with Bitter Apple Spray to prevent her from continuing.

Lastly, it is extremely important to never keep your dog in her crate for too long.
A good rule of thumb for puppies is to crate them for a maximum of their age in months minus one. For example, if your puppy is 4 months old, you can crate her for 3 hours maximum. For adult dogs, the maximum is about 6 hours, although breed and size may also be a factor.

It is very important to never use the crate as a form of punishment. Your dog should have a history of positive experiences in her crate, so she will always be happy to go inside when you need her to. A great way to do this is to give her a great treat each time she is crated and to crate her when she is tired.

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