Dog crates are often seen as a “necessary evil.” Many pet owners feel squeamish about locking up a beloved companion, especially for hours when the pet is alone. I’m here to assure you that a dog crate is not only helpful, but nearly necessary for helping your dog maintain a positive relationship with the human world.
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1. Using a Dog Crate for Housebreaking
To live in our homes, dogs must learn to do their business outdoors. Training them without a dog crate proves difficult for many families. The dog crate, or kennel, provides a secure location where the puppy will not make a mess, so that the puppy can have as many successful trips outdoors as possible. The more often the puppy is praised for pottying outdoors, the sooner the puppy will learn to only potty outdoors.
Thousands of dogs, each year, are given up because they were never housebroken. Quick training improves dogs’ chances of staying in their forever home.
Dog crates prevent bored dogs from destroying the house. Dogs that destroy homes often find themselves in shelters, and crating to prevent or retrain provides these dogs with a second chance at life.
3. The Dog Crate and Separation Anxiety
Anxious dogs require security and safety. A personal space within the home, the anxious dog can hide in their crate whenever they feel stressed. The crate provides sanctuary as well as prevents the dog from hurting itself or damaging the home. Crates are a necessary tool for correcting separation anxiety.
A dog crate both prevents and treats separation anxiety. Preventing separation anxiety with good kennel training greatly reduces a dog’s chances of being rehomed in it’s lifetime.
Dogs that know they can avoid stressful situations are far less likely to react in fear or aggression. A crate provides that safe haven, and when the family’s children are taught to leave the dog alone in his crate, he will know he can always walk away. This tiny trick can prevent very serious situations.
Do not allow anyone to approach your dog while he is in his crate. Only open the door and call him. Dogs go to their crate for safety, and will feel attacked if forcefully removed.
5. Travel Safety
Dogs that learn about crates at home can travel by crate easily. While travel is always stressful for pets, it is made less so when the dog is already acclimated to their “safe space.” The dog crate prevents driver distraction, and a measure of safety for the dog in an accident.
Dog crates are required for train or plane travel, and being acclimated to a crate before travel helps the dog navigate a major anxiety trigger.
Many hotels ban pets because dogs destroyed a hotel room. A crate prevents the dog from destroying the hotel’s property as well as from urinating or defecating in the hotel room. The dog is comfortable being alone in his dog crate, and will be quieter when provided his safe space. Ultimately, well-behaved pets encourage hotels to continue to allow pets on their property.
7. Veterinary Emergencies
Imagine you have never heard of the hospital. You don’t know about IV’s or surgery or nurses or doctors. One day, you are driving down the road and are in an accident. You wake up in a hospital. If you had no idea, you’d probably panic, fight the nurses, pull out your IV’s, and really hurt yourself in the process.
So would your dog. When a dog wakes up at the hospital, they do so in a small cage or crate. If your dog already recognizes a crate as a safe space, he will do so when he wakes up at the vet as well. This can mean the difference between life or death for a sick animal.
8. Bonus Reason: Home Emergencies
In an emergency in your home, if your dog knows to go to his crate when told, he can be ordered away easily. Imagine an owner falls, home alone with the dog. The owner calls for medical attention, but the dog prevents anyone from entering. The owner can order the dog to his crate, where first responders can safely contain him. This protects both the dog and his owner.
A dog crate mitigates other emergencies as well. In an emergency, your dog will retreat to his safe space: your crate. You’ll be able to contain him easily and keep him safe.
Dog crates provide invaluable safety and security for the dog in many situations. By training your pet early and thoroughly, you can prevent major stress throughout his life.