Puppy crates can be a great way to keep your puppy safe and comfortable while you are away from home, or overnight while the rest of the household is asleep.
When leaving your puppy overnight, however, there are several considerations that you should keep in mind to help ensure his safety and comfort.
We took a closer look at the top tips to follow when crating your puppy overnight, as well as the must-have items that you should include inside his crate.
What Does My Puppy Need When Crated Overnight?
If you are planning to keep your puppy crated overnight, then he needs to have access to certain essentials, and these include:
1. Food and Water
Your puppy needs to have access to food and water when he is crated overnight. This means that he should have a bowl of fresh water and a bowl of dry kibble (or another type of food) within reach.
Both bowls must be clean, so make sure that you regularly wash them out with warm water and soap.
2. A Comfortable Bed
Pups love sleeping! They also like to curl up in soft blankets and cushions, which makes them feel more comfortable and secure.
A good quality crate pad is ideal for providing your puppy with a comfortable sleep surface, and you should ensure that it fits snugly under his body. Also offer a warm bed, or a towel or blanket, to help your puppy stay cozy during the night.
Puppies love toys, and this includes their own personal toys. You may want to leave some toys in the crate with your puppy, just in case he wants to play with them during the night, as this will help ensure that he is stimulated and happy.
A Good Bedtime Routine
You should always try to establish a good routine for your puppy when he goes to sleep. For example, you could start off by playing with him, feeding him, giving him a drink, and then putting him into his crate.
Make sure that this routine is followed consistently each night – this will help your pup learn what happens when he goes to sleep and will help him settle down quickly when you need to leave him alone.
How To Get Your Puppy Used To Crating Overnight
There are many ways to teach your puppy to be used to being crated overnight. Some people prefer to use a crate-training collar, while others prefer to use a harness and leash.
Whichever method you choose, you should follow the same basic steps every day until your puppy gets used to the idea.
Start With Short Periods Of Time
When teaching your puppy to go to sleep in his crate, begin by keeping him in there for shorter periods at first (see also ‘When Should I Stop Crating My Puppy?‘).
Start by leaving him in there for 10 minutes, and gradually increase the amount of time that you leave him in there each night. If you find that he starts to become distressed after 15 minutes, then reduce the length of time and begin again.
Use The Same Method Each Night
Once you have established that your puppy can cope with staying in the crate for short sessions, you can move on to training him to stay in the crate for longer lengths each night.
Try leaving your puppy in the crate for 30 minutes, and then gradually extend the amount of time that he stays in there each night.
Again, if your puppy becomes distressed after 20 minutes, then reduce the amount of time that your puppy spends in the crate.
Keep Training Until He Gets It Right
Once your puppy has been trained to stay in the crate overnight, you should continue to keep practicing this behavior each night.
This way, he will soon get used to the idea of spending the night in his crate and will be less likely to wake up in the middle of the night because he feels uncomfortable.
What Is Puppy Crating?
Puppy crates are small boxes designed specifically for puppies. They come in many different sizes and shapes, but they all have one thing in common: they provide a safe place for your puppy to sleep, play, eat, and relieve himself.
The benefits of using a crate over other types of confinement devices are numerous.
Some of the main advantages of puppy crating include:
1. It Can Reduce Stress
Some dogs can become stressed and anxious in large spaces, and this tends to be a particular problem with young puppies.
A crate offers your puppy a safe space where he can relax and feel secure without being exposed to any potential dangers and means that they have their own space to hide in and retreat to if needed, without being overwhelmed.
2. It Allows Your Puppy To Sleep More Easily
Many people find it difficult to get their puppy to go to sleep on command, especially during the first few weeks after they arrive home.
This can lead to problems such as separation anxiety, which can cause them to bark excessively and even chew through furniture.
By providing your puppy with a safe sleeping area, you will be able to train him to fall asleep more easily and quickly.
3. It Helps Keep Your Home Clean
If you don’t want to spend time cleaning up messes every day, then a crate can make life easier.
It provides a clean and tidy environment for your puppy to live in, so you won’t need to worry about dirty paws, messes, or fur getting everywhere else in your house.
4. It Protects Against Injury
A crate also protects your puppy against injury, especially if your pup is prone to chewing, a crate can prevent him from injuring himself by chomping on things like electrical cords or furniture legs.
If you leave your puppy alone in an open room, he may try to escape by jumping out of the window, and a crate prevents this from happening.
5. It Provides Peace Of Mind
Finally, a crate gives you peace of mind. You know exactly where your puppy is, and you can always check on him if you need to.
He won’t be able to get into mischief or put himself at risk of harm, and this offers you the peace of mind and reassurance that you need.
How Do I Choose The Right Crate For My Puppy?
When choosing a puppy crate, you will need to consider a number of factors, including:
There are several different crate sizes available, ranging from very small ones suitable for tiny breeds to larger ones that can accommodate medium-sized breeds.
Smaller crates tend to be better suited for smaller breeds, whereas larger crates are usually preferred by bigger breeds.
Most crates are made from plastic or metal, and will typically have either wire mesh sides or solid walls.
Wire mesh side panels allow air to circulate around your puppy and allow him to look out – these tend to be recommended by most dog experts, as they give your pup a feeling of security.
Crates come in two varieties – those with doors that lock and those that do not. Locking crates provide added safety, as they stop your puppy from escaping if left unsupervised.
However, they can be expensive, and many owners prefer to use non-locking crates instead for safety and peace of mind.
Some crates are designed to be placed next to a bed or sofa, while others require you to place them somewhere else in your home.
If you plan on leaving your puppy unattended for long periods, then placing his crate near your bed or sofa might be best.
Crates should last for years, but they can become damaged over time. Make sure that any crate you buy has been tested for durability before purchasing it.
The cost of a crate varies depending on its size, material, locking mechanism, and other features, and there are plenty of options available at all price points.
How Do I Choose The Right Size For My Puppy?
When choosing a size for your puppy, consider his age, breed, and activity level.
Remember that puppies grow quickly, so you need to choose a crate to accommodate this growth.
Puppies typically start off between 8 and 12 pounds, which means they could double their weight by the time they reach adulthood, so be prepared for this.
The breed of your pup will also play a role in the size crate that you choose. Smaller breeds tend to weigh less than larger ones, so if you’re planning on getting a toy breed, you might want to opt for a smaller crate.
On the other hand, larger breeds require more space, so you’ll probably want to pick something bigger.
Puppies are active little creatures, so you’ll want to make sure that your crate provides enough room for them to move around comfortably. Make sure that there are no sharp edges or corners that could cause injury.
Remember that your puppy needs to feel safe and secure in order to fall asleep easily. By ensuring that he has everything that he needs to make himself comfortable, you will be helping him to relax and enjoy his rest.