Things to Look for in a Long-Lasting Dog Treat for a Crate Trained Dog
When you’re looking for a treat for your crate trained dog, there are a few things you should keep in mind to help you make the best choice:
Choosing a treat made from high-quality ingredients is better for your dog’s health. Ideally, natural ingredients are best. Selecting teats made from excellent ingredients ensures that your beloved friend is getting the best quality possible.
Correct Size for Your Dog
It’s always important to choose a treat that is the correct size for your dog so they can chew it comfortably. When selecting a treat for your dog to eat in their crate, size advice changes slightly because your dog will potentially be unsupervised.
Ideally, you should choose a treat the next size up. This ensures they can’t chew the treat down to a small size, which could then pose a choking risk.
Potential to Be Long-Lasting
Any treat you give to your dog while they’re alone in their crate should be long-lasting. This ensures that they’re safe and keeps them occupied for longer, which is the goal.
When you give your dog a treat in their crate, especially if you’re in the process of crate training, you want the treat to be high value. This means extra tasty treats, so that your dog learns that great things happen when they are in their crate.
Many treats will provide additional benefits, which are always worth keeping an eye out for. For example, hard chews can help to clean your dog’s teeth, while other treats may include ingredients that are good for your dog’s coat or joints.
The Benefits of Crate Training
Some owners may worry that crate training is cruel, but in fact, it’s highly beneficial to your dog and you! In the wild, your dog’s ancestors would naturally search for small, cosy spaces to rest in. Dogs today still have that instinct and often feel much more settled in a small space.
The American Kennel Club states: “Most veterinarians, trainers, and breeders recommend crate training dogs from a young age.”
Let’s go over some of the benefits of crate training. Crate training:
- provides a safe place for your dog, like their ‘bedroom’
- gives dogs a place to get away from chaos in a busy household
- is helpful in an emergency if you need to evacuate your dog
- can be a great training tool for puppies (especially when toilet training, as dogs naturally want to keep their sleeping area clean)
- provides a place to recover after surgery or illness
- keeps your dog safe when you’re out by preventing them from getting into things they shouldn’t around the house
- creates an easy, safe way to transport your dog (in the car, on a plane, or if they ever need to go somewhere without you)
The Benefits of Giving Your Dog a Treat While in Their Crate
Giving your dog a long-lasting treat while they’re in their crate keeps them calm and gives them something positive to focus on. It makes their time alone more enjoyable. This is even more important when you’re first crate training your dog, as it helps them learn that the crate is a positive place.
Basic Tips for Crate Training
If this is the first time you’re crate training a dog, make sure you do lots of research first. There are lots of great guides online, like this 1 from the American Kennel Club.
Some basic tips for crate training are included below:
- choose a crate of the right size (your dog should be able to comfortably stand up and turn around in their crate, but not walk around)
- make their crate comfortable and cosy (include blankets, a bed, water, crate-safe toys, and treats)
- use lots of treats and praise
- always work towards your dog enjoying being in their crate
- never force your dog manually into the crate; instead, use treats and praise to encourage them to enter themselves
- never use the crate as a punishment
- build-up time in their crate slowly
- leave the crate open even when you’re home, so they can go into it whenever they like
- be consistent and persistent
- don’t leave your dog in the crate for excessively long periods when you’re out
Crate Treat Safety Advice
It’s always important to supervise your dog the first time they try a new treat. Once you’ve watched them and feel that the treat is safe, you can leave it in their crate with them. Always choose long-lasting or spreadable treats to avoid choking or blockage.
Choosing a treat of the right size and strength for your dog is vital. Size up to make sure your dog never has a treat small enough to choke on. Don’t use rawhide or bones, as these can cause splinters and blockages, which can be fatal.
Can you leave your dog alone with a treat?
Yes, adult dogs can be left alone with a treat as long as you follow the safety guidance above.
What’s the longest time you can leave your dog in their crate?
Unless it’s overnight, you’re home, and your dog is sleeping, you shouldn’t leave your dog in their crate for more than 4 to 6 hours at a time. For a puppy, 4 hours is an absolute maximum.
Ideally, it should be less than 4 hours at a time, even when you’re at work. Just like you, your dog needs to go to the bathroom and stretch their legs. If your dog is home alone longer than that, it’s vital you get a dog walker or a loved one to take them out.
Is it cruel to put your dog in a crate?
No, it’s not cruel to crate your dog as long as it’s done using appropriate training. It can actually be much safer and less stressful for your dog to be crate trained.
Crate training your dog can have so many benefits. Choosing the right treat for your crate trained dog can entertain them for longer, resulting in a happy pup and owner.
Kaitlyn Arford, (2019), “Crate Training Benefits: Why A Crate Is Great for You and Your Dog”. American Kennel Club.
Shannon Sharpe, (2019), “How to Crate Train Your Dog in 9 Easy Steps”. American Kennel Club.