Crate training a dog is a great way to prevent it from ransacking your home when you’re not around to keep an eye on it. Dogs will also start to look at their crate as a safe and secure place for them to go when they need time to themselves.
But before you start placing your dog into a crate on a regular basis, make sure you keep the crate as comfortable as possible for your pup. Learn what to put in a dog crate so that your dog enjoys being inside of it.
You don’t want to overload a dog crate with so many things that your dog has a hard time moving around. But you do want it to feel right at home when it’s resting in its crate.
Here is what to put in a dog crate to make it more comfortable.
Begin by Choosing the Right Size Crate
Before you start trying to figure out what to put in a dog crate, make sure you choose the right crate for your dog. More specifically, make sure you find a crate that is the right size for your dog.
There is everything from extra small crates designed to fit Chihuahua, Maltese, and Teacup Pomeranian dogs all the way up to XXL crates designed to fit Great Dane, Mastiff, and St. Bernard dogs.
The crate that you buy should be at least 6 inches longer than the length of your dog and 6 inches higher than the height of your dog. This will ensure that your dog has plenty of room to move around, especially once you start adding things to the crate.
Read more here if you’re not sure which size crate would be best for your dog.
Place a Dog Bed in the Crate
The average dog crate comes with a hard plastic tray that slides into the bottom of it. This tray will make it easy for you to clean up after your dog if it ever has an accident in its crate.
Some dogs don’t mind laying down on the hard plastic tray when they’re inside their crates. They’re able to sleep just fine with it.
But if you want to keep your dog as comfortable as it can be, invest in a soft dog bed for it. The bed will help your dog rest easier and provide support for both its joints and back while it sleeps.
Your dog might also like going into its crate more than it would otherwise once you have a bed in place. The dog might even start to look forward to relaxing in its crate once it learns how comfy the bed is.
Put a Blanket That Smells Like You in It, Too
There are many dogs that have severe separation anxiety. When their owners aren’t around and they’re inside their crates, they howl and bark and don’t know what to do with themselves.
There are many ways to relieve your dog of the anxiety it’s feeling when you’re not around. One of the most effective ways to do it is by putting a blanket that smells like you into the crate with it.
Your smell will help to soothe your dog and calm it down. Once it gets a whiff of you, it’ll often stop howling and barking and rest until you return.
Cover the Crate Up
Over time, your dog’s crate is going to turn into its den. It’s going to be the place it runs to when it’s scared or just wants to get away from everyone for a little while.
You can make the crate feel more like a den to your dog by covering it up with a crate cover or even just a dark-colored blanket. The cover will make the crate more private for your dog and keep it cool when it’s warm outside.
If you choose to use a crate cover, just make sure it doesn’t cover up the door to the crate and prevent your dog from walking in and out of it.
Provide Your Dog With a Few Toys
To be clear: You do not want to overload your dog’s crate by putting every single dog toy that you own into it. This will stop your dog from being able to move around, and the toys could also distract your dog too much when it’s supposed to be relaxing.
But it doesn’t hurt to put two or three small toys in your dog crate at a time. They could provide your dog with some much-needed relief when boredom starts to set in while they’re in their crate.
Don’t Forget About Water!
You might want to steer clear of providing a puppy with too much water while it’s in its crate. You could be inviting your dog to have an accident by doing this.
But as your dog gets older, you should set them up with fresh water supply at all times. There are special bowls and water bottles made special for dog crates. They hook right on the side of the crate and stay secure.
Position one of these bowls or water bottles in a place where your dog can get to it. Change the water every so often as well so that bacteria doesn’t start to grow and put your dog’s health in jeopardy.
Understanding What to Put in a Dog Crate
A dog crate can be a very valuable tool for dog owners. You can train your dog and stop it from going to the bathroom in the house by utilizing a crate.
But if you’re going to use a crate, you should have a clear understanding of what to put in a dog crate. The last thing you want to do is put something in a crate that will scare a dog or put it into harm’s way.
Outside of providing your pup with a crate, there are other things you can do to improve its life as well. Read our blog for tips on keeping your dog happy.