Are you unsure if your dog can be in its crate for 12 hours? Maybe you want to leave your dog in its crate overnight and aren’t sure if 12 hours is too long?
Or are you curious and want to know more? Whatever the reason is that brought you here, we have the answer for you!
Knowing how long to crate your dog for can be tricky, especially if you have not used a crate before. You want to leave them in their safe space overnight, but worry 12 hours might be too long.
So you head online for some guidance but are met with pages and pages of contradicting advice. Frustrated and disappointed, you wonder if you will ever know if your dog can be in its crate for 12 hours.
Well, no more! Today, we are here with the answers you need. Keep reading to find out if you can crate your dog for 12 hours and everything you need to know about crating them!
What Does It Mean To Crate My Dog?
Before we dive in, let’s have a quick recap for those that need it. Crating your dog is a part of crate training, where your dog spends time in its crate or cage, rather than roaming your room or house.
It provides your dog with a safe space where they can relax while you are out of the house, and you don’t need to worry about them chewing or tearing your house apart!
Crate training is a popular method for a variety of dog breeds, from puppies to adults. It ensures that your dog has a space, with a bed, pillows, and blankets, that they can relax in when needed.
The safe space should not be used as punishment, but rather like giving them their own room to relax in (see also ‘Can You Put Dog Crate In Your Bedroom?‘).
Crate training begins with you slowly introducing your dog to its crate and gradually leaving them in there for longer as they become used to it.
Over time, your dog can be left in their crate for a few hours while you work, shop, or do whatever you do out of the house.
Crates can also be used for your dog to sleep in overnight. They can get warm and cozy in there, without taking up all your space in the bed (see also ‘How To Keep A Dog Warm In A Crate‘). Plus, with lots of blankets and a cuddly toy, it can look super inviting (see also ‘The Ultimate Puppy Crate Set Up‘)!
Now that we have established what crating your dog means, let’s move on to see if your dog can be in its crate for 12 hours.
Can I Crate My Dog For 12 Hours?
In some cases, yes you can crate your dog for 12 hours, but there are a few factors you need to be aware of!
Generally, you only want to crate your dog for this long at night time, when your dog is likely to be asleep. 12 hours would be too long in the day, and no matter what dog you have, they are likely to be bored and get restless.
Crating your dog for 12 hours at night might mean that you get a full night’s sleep, but you need to consider your dog.
Will their bladder last 12 hours throughout the night? Older dogs tend to sleep longer in the night and can hold their bladder, meaning you can leave them in their crate for 12 hours.
However, you will want to get them out immediately in the morning so they can relieve themselves!
Younger dogs and puppies are less likely to last as long.
Puppies and young dogs need to use the bathroom frequently, especially when you are toilet training them. It is unlikely that they will last the full 12 hours without an accident.
The last thing you or your dog wants is to sleep in or wake up to a wet blanket! It is better to leave them in the crate for a shorter period of time, and take them out to the bathroom frequently.
Providing they haven’t had loads of water before bed, you should get about six to eight hours before you need to take them to the bathroom.
Can I Crate My Dog For 12 Hours In The Day?
No, ideally, you should not crate your dog for 12 hours during the day. Like we mentioned earlier, dogs tend to be awake during the day and will not enjoy being confined to their cage all day (see also ‘How Many Hours A Day Should My Dog Be In His Crate?‘).
Even if your dog spends most of their day relaxing and snoozing (like ours), they still need space to roam.
They will also want to be out of their crate having food, water, and going to the toilet. By leaving them in their crate for 12 hours, they are likely to have an accident.
They will also be bored, and extended periods of crating can impact their mental health. Dogs, no matter their age, need stimulation.
A short walk, a play with their toys, or even some scratches and fuss from you goes a long way to boosting their happiness. You don’t want your dog to be cooped up or confined all day.
Not only will they be frustrated and bored, but it can leave them feeling depressed.
It also means any energy they have won’t be burned off during the day, so you could end up with an agitated dog in the evenings. You might find behavioral issues come from this too.
If you need to leave your dog alone for 12 hours in the day, it’s worth exploring other options.
Sending someone to check in on them, walk them, or even doggy daycare will help to keep your dog stimulated and ensure they are cared for while you are out all day.
And there you have it! At night, some dogs can be left in their crate for 12 hours, but this does vary from dog to dog!
You should avoid crating your dog for 12 hours in the day and ensure that after any time in their crate, you are replenishing their water, taking them outside, and giving them plenty of love and affection!