Everyone has heard of dog crates, and you’ve maybe even come across a few if you like to take road trips or plane rides and see families taking their cats and dogs with them to share the fun.
While it’s true that dog crates are a very safe and convenient transportation tool, this amounts to only a fraction of their usefulness.
In this article we’re delving deeper into the many applications a dog crate can have and to answer the question what are dog crates used for.
From place of rest to a valuable teaching tool, from a way with which to keep your dog occupied when you have more pressing matters to attend to, or a place where you can safely put them if a crisis should arise, dog rates really are one of the most versatile accessories you can get for your pet.
Here are just some of the many interesting ideas you can take advantage of when employing dog crates to your and your pet’s benefit.
A Place to Call Home
While your dog may be entitled to go around most parts of your home freely, it’s healthy for them to have some personal space they and they alone occupy.
Whether it’s used as its bed or a place where the dog can go to and relax once it’s had enough of other residents, the go crate should be treated as a safe and reasonably private environment for the animal.
Ideally, it should become the dog’s sanctuary, but also its home, a home it lets you into in certain circumstances as any gracious host should.
As they’re naturally territorial creatures, some dogs will embrace and claim the new space outright. Others will need a little coaxing to do so, but that’s nothing a few treats thrown in won’t be able to fix.
After you furnish the dog’s crate with a comfy pad to sleep on and throw in some of its favorite toys, it will start to look homier.
If you teach your children not to excessively interact with the dog while it is in the crate, and especially not to invade its space or tease it, the dog will start viewing the crate as a place it’s well worth coming back to.
Getting a crate very early on is the best thing you can do for your dog. This way you get to take advantage of the crate as a learning space useful in teaching the dog all kinds of essential things like where not to go to the bathroom.
It’s also a good idea to use the crate when you want to make it clear to the dog that they are in need of a time-out.
Of course, the crate should never be resorted to as a form of punishment – you wouldn’t want your dog to start having negative feelings towards it. Rather, each time it gets a little too wild for you to handle, you can put the dog reassuringly into the crate and let the familiar soothing surroundings relax and calm it down.
Another fantastic use of the crate is weeding out inappropriate behavior. Are you annoyed when your dog whines during dinner time and stares at you with those wide eyes hoping for a morsel?
Put it in its crate, not as punishment, but a way of keeping such behavior from happening in the first place. The fewer opportunities it has to exhibit unwanted behavior, the less inclination it will have to do so on the future.
Making Your Own Life Easier
Your dog should get the most out of their crate, but who’s to say that it shouldn’t be convenient for the owner too?
There’s a thin line between using the dog crate to control your pet when it’s easier for everyone to do so and outright punishing it, and you should do your best not to cross it.
So, when is it OK to crate your dog? Whenever there’s a new and potentially stressful situation for the dog, placing it inside a space where it feels comfortable can do wonders in easing the tension.
If there are unfamiliar visitors such as plumbers or other handymen around; if relatives the dog hasn’t seen before arrive for an extended stay and the dog needs some time to get used to their presence are both valid reasons to use the crate.
So is having to do chores where the dog’s meddling could cause it or yourself harm, like when you’re preparing to move, etc.
You’ll need to leave the dog alone for a while sooner or later, and it’s a good idea to get it used to staying in its crate during that period.
Training it to sit there and behave while you run off to the store or have other quick activities to attend to won’t have a stressful impact on the dog but will give you the peace of mind to go about your business.