Why are dog crates used?

Dog in dog crate furniture

There are a number of reasons why dog crates are used. We find many differing opinions around crating a dog, however many breeders, trainers and veterinarians will recommend crate training from a young age. In this article we are going to discuss some of the reasons why dog crates are used and how they can  effectively integrated into your home for the benefit of you and your dog. 

Dog crates used in Puppyhood

Bringing a puppy home for the first time is a wonderful experience. However it does not come without its challenges. When it comes to using a crate during puppyhood the initial days and sometimes weeks can feel difficult. It is hard not to feel guilty when your puppy is crying in its crate. That said there are many benefits to introducing the crate from day one in your home. 

Crate training when your puppy first arrives in your home is vital to supporting toilet training. Dogs don’t like to soil their sleeping areas and they will learn to hold their bladder. Accidents will happen, however your puppy will quickly learn when given its own safe space. Puppies also require a lot of sleep when they are young, often between 18-20 hours per day. Having a crate ensures your puppy gets the rest it needs. 

Crating a puppy can also  prove an essential part of developing a well rounded dog. You want a dog that will feel comfortable in situations that might arise in future. Having a cosy, safe space, such as a crate, allows a dog to retreat in busy households. This is particularly true if you have a young family or other pets within the home. You may also find that a crate is used by dog professionals who you encounter during a dogs life. As an example vet stays, dog groomers and even dog walkers may need to use a crate when caring for your dog. Helping your dog to feel safe and secure in a crate will guarantee removal of anxiety and stress around such situations in future.

Dog crates used for welfare 

By giving your dog a space that is their own can help a dog to learn to feel secure, be calm and deal with anxiety. Dogs will naturally seek small spaces in which to settle in especially if they feel overwhelmed. Whilst dog owners work to promote confidence in their puppy by introducing them to multiple new experiences from a young age there are some things that simply don’t happen often. An example is fireworks, thunderstorms or construction works going on in the home. These loud and out of the ordinary noises can upset your dog and hence a safe crate space can help them to settle. Other examples include visitors to the home or indeed the introduction of a baby or child to the family. The crate allows your dog to have boundaries as well as being able to teach children to respect a dog’s space. 

Dog crates used for safety and emergencies

Crating for safety, for example during home or garden construction works, can be invaluable to help keep your dog secure and safe during periods of change. In these circumstances dogs that are more nervous around new people will particularly benefit from being away from any hustle and bustle. 

We don’t often need to consider major emergencies, however in such instances a crate trained dog can be the difference between safety and uncertainty. Examples include natural disasters such a flooding. Should you need to be housed in emergency accommodation pets will need to be contained. Other situations include those such as the war in Ukraine. Many dogs and other pets were only able to be evacuated if they could be contained securely. Therefore having a cooperative crate trained dog will make such a situation more manageable. 

Dog crates used for travel

Ensuring your dog is comfortable in a crate space will help for travel. In the UK and under rule 57 of the Highway Code it is a legal requirement to secure your dog when travelling in a vehicle. This is to ensure they are not a distraction whilst driving, nor do they injure you or themselves should you need to stop quickly. A seat belt harness, dog crate or barrier are considered as secure methods. 

Dog crates used by dog walkers 

If you have a dog walker or intend on using a dog walker they will also need to secure your dog if they are using a vehicle for their service. As per the legal requirements in the UK, detailed in the above section, they will be required to safely secure your dog for travelling. It is highly likely that a crate will be a professional dog walkers preferred option especially if undertaking group walks with multiple dogs. Crate training from a young age can therefore remove any initial anxiety surrounding going for walks with someone new. 

Dog crates used for visits to the vets 

During your dog’s life there may be a requirement for a visit to the vets that involves an overnight stay. Veterinary clinics will use a form of crate in order to help your dog during recovery. A vet visit may already bring on anxiety for your dog, especially if they are poorly or in pain. Ensuring your dog is comfortable in a crate space reduces the likelihood of creating additional anxiety in what will be a challenging time for them. 

It is also important to remember that crate rest might be required following surgery. In some cases crate rest may need to last for weeks. Therefore having a dog that is already used to a crated space and feels comfortable and safe will only help make the healing process less stressful for both you and your dog. 

Dog crates used for dog boarding 

As our dogs become increasingly a significant part of family life we are fortunate to have access to a range of dog boarding options. Boarding services now extend to include boarding kennels, pet sitters and luxurious doggy hotels. 

There are times in which you may need to access dog boarding services for example for holidays. In some cases these may include kennelled services or indeed the need to crate for short periods during their stay i.e. if travelling for a walk. It is important to remember that this is for your dog’s safety and welfare especially if your chosen dog boarder looks after multiple dogs at once. Therefore bringing up a dog to be comfortable and happy in a crate will ensure a boarding experience is much more enjoyable for your dog. 

Dog crates used for rescue dogs 

When rehoming a dog from a rescue centre or charity the crate is very likely to be a safe haven for both dog and owner. As previously mentioned dogs will instinctively seek small spaces in which to feel safe and this is often noticeable in rescued dogs. In these circumstances you may find the dog is already used to a crate. However continued training and positive reinforcement around using the crate is encouraged to help them grow in confidence and learn the crate safe space in the home. 

Rescued dogs can also have behavioural issues around self confidence and socialisation which may present in barking or destructive behaviour. Crate training can help to improve confidence and mitigate problematic behaviour in a dog. The use of enrichment toys and treats in the crate are a great way to promote positive experiences for dogs of any age. 

Dog crates used for senior dogs 

When a dog enters its senior years it is likely to need more time to nap and want to retreat to a safe space. If a dog has been raised with access to a safe space such as a crate they will feel entirely secure to rest and recoup in their old age. It is worth noting that as a dog gets older the likelihood of vet visits increases and therefore if a dog is already happily crate trained stress in these situations can be reduced. 

In summary we hope this article has helped you to understand the many reasons why dog crates are used. Creating a safe and secure space in your home is highly beneficial for a dog throughout their life and indeed for owners. If you are considering crate training and not sure where to start we have compiled a handy dog crate guide to help. 

Each of our team also has their own personal experiences and preferences towards the traditional crate and the use of it for their dogs in their homes. Hence The Pet Carpenter was born to deliver Dog “Crate” Bedroom Furniture to our customers. Crates don’t have to be “ugly” and at The Pet Carpenter we have the pleasure of designing and building safe cosy spaces for dogs which complement owners homes and functionality requirements. Please do feel free to browse our range of popular styles or get in touch about an entirely unique piece.


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