Do you use a crate for your dog when you’re not home or when you’re traveling? Here are some great tips to help ensure your companion is safe and secure.
One day, my family and I went out to dinner at my grandmother’s house, about five minutes away. Before we left, my sister Nicole crated her whippet, Emma. Because Emma is only ten months old, and a typically curious puppy, she needs crating while we are temporarily out, both for her safety and the safety of our household belongings.
We took all the proper precautions before leaving the house. We took off Emma’s collar, and removed from the crate any toys she could chew the eyes off of, or any bones she might choke on.
As it turned out, even these precautions weren’t enough. Emma had managed to get her blanket wrapped so tightly around her hind leg that her skin was starting to turn blue.
After several minutes of struggle, we were able to remove the blanket. As soon as it was off, Emma lay flat on the bed in relief, a look of pure gratitude in her eyes.
Dos and don’ts
A crate is an ideal place for a dog to sleep and spend quiet time in. It can become his personal property and a favorite refuge – as long as it’s not abused. If you crate your dog, it’s vitally important to consider the following:
Do crate train a dog while he’s still a puppy.
Don’t shut an adult dog in a crate if he’s never had any experience with one before.
Do remove your dog’s collar, leash or any jewelry or clothing.
Do put a proper pad in the bottom of the crate for comfort.
Don’t use blankets or sheets.
Do ensure the crate is large enough for the dog to comfortably stand, turn around, and lie flat in.
Do make sure the door is securely shut and locked.
Do inspect the crate regularly for any holes, chew marks, or pieces broken off.
Don’t leave in objects such as bones or toys with parts that might be chewed off and choked on.
Don’t leave your dog alone in his crate for long periods.
Don’t crate a dog with unresolved separation anxiety; he could panic when you leave and injure himself trying to get out.
Crate injuries often arise from ignorance as well as neglect or abuse. Remember that a puppy is like a small child, and that even while he’s in his crate you need to consider his safety!
What are crates made of?
Crates are typically made of either plastic or wire. Here are the pros of each:
· Provides better insulation and privacy.
· Can be airline-approved if traveling is a requirement.
· Can be stored or used as a dog bed.
· Lightweight to lift.
· Better for dogs who need to feel safe and secure.
· Provides better ventilation and air movement.
· Can decrease the feeling of isolation.
· Releases odors more easily.
· Easily folded flat for transportation.
Additional crating tips
Exercise your puppy or dog before crating him; that way, he’ll be ready to lie down and rest.
A safe, durable toy, such as a Kong with some treats or frozen peanut butter inside, will help keep him occupied while he’s crated.