Crate Expectations: To Crate or Not to Crate?

The Washington Post recently shared an article about crating dogs. In the article, the author states that the decision to crate a dog can be complicated. While it has its benefits, she worries about restricting her dog for extended periods. Today, we’re sharing Crate Expectations: To Crate or Not to Crate? As professional pet sitters and dog walkers, we hope our point of view helps you better understand the considerations involved in properly crating a dog – should you choose to do so.

Crate Expectations: Is Crating a Dog Necessary?

dog walker katy texasIn our opinion, crate training a dog is, in most cases, necessary. Crate training your dog teaches him a valuable skill; a skill he can use while potty training, spending the night at the veterinarian, traveling in an aircraft, staying at a hotel where crating is required, etc. If your dog has never been trained to spend time in a crate, these activities can be extremely stressful. We, therefore, believe that crate training is akin to teaching your dog “sit” and “stay;” it’s just a good idea.

One of the best resources for positive crate training can be found here. The Karen Pryor Academy is referred to as the Harvard of dog training. They are a very trustworthy source for dog training advice.

Crate Expectations: Is Crating a Dog Safe?

dog walking katy texasCrating a dog is usually very safe. Crate training can be unsafe if your dog panics when crated. Crating is not advised in cases where a dog becomes a danger to him or herself. Dogs may injure themselves in an attempt to free themselves from their crate. They may break a tooth, puncture themselves, and even strangle themselves trying to get out. Crating can be unsafe for these dogs.

If your dog shows signs of stress when crated, find a positive dog trainer. Address the fear before continuing with crate training. Ignoring signs of discomfort may result in tragedy. Under no circumstances should you upgrade your crate – you’ll only be causing more fear for your dog in a heavy duty crate, not addressing the root problem.

Additionally, prevent chewing when your dog is crated. If your puppy chews bedding, for example, remove towels and bedding; chewed materials can result in bowel obstruction, choking, and more. While you’re at it, ensure your dog’s collar is properly sized before crating. A too-loose collar can become an asphyxiation hazard. Properly size your dog’s collar to where you can only put one finger between the collar and the dog’s neck. As an additional precaution, remove your dog’s harnesses, outerwear, booties, etc. before crating.

Crate Expectations: Is Crating a Dog Mean?

dog walking katy texasYes, crating a dog can be “mean” if you do it wrong. First, throwing a dog into a crate with zero training is mean. Using a crate as a punishment is also mean. Leaving dogs crated for too long without breaks is mean too.

To keep crating kind, exercise your dog before crating sessions. In addition, limit time in the crate to a maximum of 4-6 hours per crating session, fewer if your dog is a young pup. The Washington Post article we referenced above does a great job of explaining the importance of exercise and breaks when crating your dog.

Crate Expectations: Is Crating a Dog Forever?

dog katy texasIn the vast majority of cases, crating is temporary. Most of our clients use crates during the puppy period, when dogs are potty training and chewing. Once the dogs can be left out of the crate unsupervised, most pet parents put the crates away.

That said, you may have to pull the crate out of storage for at least a while so don’t get rid of it just yet. If you bring home a new pet, you’ll likely want to crate your dog during the introduction period, If your dog is injured and needs to rest post-surgery, you’ll also need a crate to restrict their activity. Finally, you may need your crate again for travel.

Animal Admiration Pet sitting dog walking Services Katy, TX

At Animal Admiration Pet Care Services, most of our clients crate dogs when they first bring them home. Once successfully potty trained and/or trustworthy around the house, the crate goes away. Many of our crating clients sign up for midday dog walks so that their pups get a much-needed break while their humans are at work. During travel, we work with our clients to plan pet sitting visits according to the crated dog’s age, ability to hold her bladder, and exercise needs.

To learn about our in-home pet care services including dog walking, dog sitting, and cat sitting, contact us at or (281) 391-1015. Our team of outstanding pet care providers offers quality care dog sitting, cat sitting, and dog walking services in KatyFulshearRichmondEnergy CorridorMemorialWest Houston, and Cypress. Happy crating, friends!!!



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