For a new pet owner, crating a dog might seem cruel and unusual, but the reality is that it has a lot of benefit for you and your pet. Here’s an overview of why you should consider crating your pet:
Dogs were originally den animals. They are used to living in smaller spaces and to having a space of their own. While it might take your pet some time to adjust to their new digs, it will become a safe place for your pet to go. This means it’s especially good for nervous or easily frightened dogs, because it creates a place where they can be in control of their surroundings.
Crating is a safe option for your pet and your furniture. For teething puppies and nervous chewers, chewing on furniture, phone chargers (trust me, we’ve lost a few), and baseboards can be dangerous–and not just because of your frustration level! Inedible items can cause massive intestinal problems, ranging from diarrhea to complete obstruction that requires surgery. Keeping your pet in a safe and secure crate when you aren’t there to supervise ensures that they aren’t getting into anything while you are away.
Crating is also a great option if you have multiple pets, because it keeps them separated more effectively than a baby gate (which can be knocked over) and can prevent the destruction of closed doors by scratching to get to the other side. It allows you to know that your pets won’t fight or get into trouble while you are gone, and that peace of mind is priceless.
The most common use of crates is for potty training. Since dogs are originally den animals, this accomplishes two things: first, it creates a safe place for your puppy, who will be encountering plenty of new and possibly “scary” things, like TVs, bicycles and vacuum cleaners. Second, dogs do not want to use the bathroom in their den. Having the right sized crate (not so large that they could pee on one side and walk to the other) and taking your dog out for regular bathroom breaks will have your pet house trained in a flash. For best results, just remember this golden rule: your pup can only “hold” their bladder for as many hours as they are months old. If your pup is twelve weeks old, make sure they get to go out every three hours or so!