Make a Puppy Crate Feel Like Home

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A crate is not only a spot for your pet to call its own, but it can also keep your pup out of trouble and can aid in housebreaking. Here are a few ways to make your puppy feel at home in his crate.

A dog owns nothing yet is seldom dissatisfied. Irish proverb

  • Place some toy inside the crate along with a blanket, towel, or piece of clothing that carries your familiar scent.
  • Make sure any cloth you leave in the crate is unfrayed, and remove such items If your pup starts to chew on them. If an animal swallows bits of cloth, the pieces can cause an intestinal obstruction.
  • Confine the puppy there no more than a few hours or overnight.
  • When you’re nearby and can supervise, leave the door of the crate open so that the pup can wander in and out freely. It will soon become your pet’s favorite hangout!
  • Don’t force your pooch in if he’s not ready. Leave the door open for the first few days and feed him inside the crate. When he’s done eating, praise him and call him out so that he can relieve himself. Eventually, he will want to go in there when he’s tired or for alone time.
  • Once your puppy goes in and out on her own, begin closing the door for short periods of time. This will work better if you have tired your puppy out first.
  • Lock your dog in overnight, then take her out first thing in the morning so that she can relieve herself. She won’t want to mess up her own space, but if she’s desperate, she will.
  • During the day, don’t force your puppy to stay in the crate for more than three to four hours at a time.
  • Always associate the crate with good things. Never use it as a punishment. Some dogs will be happy to sleep in a crate for their whole life.

Make Your Own Dog Crate

  • If you find the cost of a crate prohibitive, or simply chose not to go that route, giving you pet a bed of its own is the next best thing to help it acquire a sense of belonging and stability.
  • Cut down a wooden or cardboard box.
  • Avoid wicker beds-puppies will chew on them and can hurt themselves.
  • Cut it low enough so that it can get in and out easily, but leave the sides high enough to form a little enclosure to keep out drafts.
  • Line the box with an old, unfrayed towel, cushion, or blanket so that she can curl up and get cozy.
About The Author

Heidi Stonehill

Heidi Stonehill is the executive editor for The Old Farmer’s Almanac, where she focuses much of her time on managing content development for the Almanac’s line of calendars. Read More from Heidi Stonehill

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