Training your dog to use their crate is an excellent way to get them accustomed to a schedule at home. However, it’s usually not the best way to leave them while you’re at work.
When crate training your dog, you need to consider their age, how long you’re gone for work, and the situation in your household. These are important things to think about when you bring a dog into your family, and you need to be prepared to make the right decision for your pup in any situation.
Leaving Your Dog In Their Crate While You’re At Work
Can you leave your canine in their crate while you’re at work for the day? Usually, the answer is no. Though, it is possible depending on your work schedule.
As we’ll discuss in more detail later, the longest you can leave an adult dog in their crate is 8 hours— and that’s when they’re sleeping overnight. During the day time, your dog will want to be at least somewhat active, and more importantly, you won’t be around to hear if your dog needs help while you’re at work.
Therefore if you have a fairly fluid workday and can check on your dog every couple of hours at a minimum, then you’re probably OK. The exact amount of time you can leave them in there will depend on your dog and their temperament, but the maximum is probably somewhere in the range of 2-4 hours during the day (less for puppies). With that in mind, if you have a puppy or you will be gone from the house for several hours, it’s simply too long to leave them in the crate.
Should I Get A Dog If I Work All Day?
You can get a dog if you work all day, but you need to have a definition for all day. You might be in a place where you have someone at home until you get home, or your dog might only be alone for a couple hours between your shift and the shift that your roommate has to work. No adult dog should have to stay in a crate all day. Good alternatives include potty training on pads or using a DoggieLawn, though if finances permit then hiring a walker or sitter can be a great option as well.
Remember that it is much easier for you to have a dog if you are out of the house less often. You might get a job that allows you to come home for lunch, or you might have a job that will let you work from home at times. If you have any questions about how to handle your dog, you should ask friends if they can watch your dog. You might ask your roommate or significant other if they would like a dog, and you can come up with a schedule.
A dog sitting service will come to your home or take your dog out during the day. You also need to ask the dog sitter if they have a time limit. You might send your dog out for half the day, and you could have them back in their crate after lunch. You can mix your schedule in any way that you want, and you will find that the dog is better adjusted because they are not in the crate all day.
No one would tell you not to get a dog because they are great companions. Women living alone might want to have a dog as protection because they know having a big dog makes them much safer. These people have every right to fulfill their needs, but you also need to fulfill the needs of your dog. Ensure that you have made a full plan for your dog before you get them, and you need to adjust as you go.
How Long Can A Dog Stay In A Crate?
A dog can stay in a crate for up to 8 hours at night if that dog is a fully-grown adult. During the day time, the maximum will be somewhere between 2-4 hours for full-grown dogs. You’ll have to learn what works for your dog, and keep in mind that puppies need to get out of the crate more frequently. Many dog owners do not realize that there are growing pains they must go through as they try to get their dog crate trained. You cannot adopt a puppy and expect to crate train them over the weekend before going back to work. Plus, your dog has to be trained to do a lot of things around the crate. You will need to help your dog feel comfortable with being in a crate every day.
You might have asked, “is it cruel to crate a dog while at work?” but the answer to that question is fairly complex.
Basic Sleep Training
Your dog has to do basic sleep training before you can do anything else with crate training. There are some people who will want to sleep train their dog to stay in the crate, and there are others who also want to train their dog to nap in the crate. In either case, you must put your dog on a schedule. Your dog goes outside at the same time every day, and they go to bed at the same time every day.
You could put their crate in your room if they have some anxiety, and you can move their crate farther and farther away until they are in the place in the house that you want them to be. You will get your dog used to going to bed at the same time, and your dog will get up at the same time every day. You will get your dog used to going out in the morning to evacuate their bladder, and they can come inside ready to take a little nap.
This is the point at which you go to work, but you need to know how long your dog can be in there, when you will get home, and what your overall plan for their activity is. Crating a dog at night gives you peace of mind that you can move to the next step, and you can start training your dog to relax during the day.
How Long Can A Puppy Stay In A Crate?
A puppy can stay in a crate for no more than 30 minutes when they are very small, and they cannot sit at home all day in the crate. They will pee and poop in their crate, and they will have a lot of anxiety around the crate. Because of this, you will have a very difficult time with them when you get home. If you leave them out, they will destroy things in the house because they are anxious. You need to have a dog sitter or find a place to take your dog during the day. It all depends on what you think is your best option during the day, but you cannot leave the dog alone for this long.
Leaving a small dog alone in a crate for 8 hours a day is cruel. In fact, you cannot leave a small dog up to about 2 years old in a crate all day because they are not in the frame of mind to rest all day.
You can keep a young dog in a crate for a short period of time, and you step up from a half-hour to an hour or more as your puppy gets older. You can leave your dog in the crate for up to 2-4 hours during the daytime when they have reached two or three years old. Don’t just assume they can stay in the crate that long, you need to try it out and get a feel for what works for them.
The idea is that they learn to spend more time in the crate while also making sure that you have chosen some activities for your dog while they are in the crate. Crating a dog while at work requires a schedule that you have kept to every day. If your dog respects the schedule, they will be happy with crating.
Come Home For Lunch
You could split time in the crate for your dog by coming home for lunch. Someone who works a normal job could leave their dog in the crate for a few hours, get their dog during lunch, and then go back to work for another few hours. Your dog will be much happier in the crate, and you can actually leave a slightly younger dog in the crate because you have split time. This does not work with puppies, but it could work when crate training an older dog that has some experience.
Take Your Dog To Work
There are jobs that allow you to take your dog to work, and you might find a place that is close by where your dog will want to play. You have to see what your options are near the office, and you might drop your dog off with someone who is on the way.
Leave Your Dog Activities
You need to leave your dog some activities while they are in the crate during the day. There are some toys that your dog will want to play with, and you need to be sure that you have given them a toy they cannot swallow. This is a very important part of their training because you are turning the crate into a safe space that they will like to visit during the day.
There are special dog cameras that you can use to visit with your dog and give them little activities that would be fun for them to do. They will like to see you, and you can give them something to look forward to when you get home. If you want to feed your dog just a little bit, you could put a timed automatic dog feeder in or next to their crate so that they can have a little snack during the day. This is a good thing for them, and you might want them to eat while you are talking to them in the crate.
Talk To Your Vet
You need to talk to your vet about the specific breed of dog that you have because certain dogs will not perform well in crates. You need to remember that very large dogs will need a crate that is so massive that you might not even have room for it, and you might want to see if there is someone who can watch your dog. Your vet might also have ideas about how joints in a specific breed of dog will perform in a crate. Some dogs can lie down all day, but others cannot. You have to be sensitive to this information when you are making a plan for your dog.
Can I Crate My Dog For Up To 12 Hours?
No. You cannot do that to even an adult dog. The upper limit on crating is eight hours at night. You might try to split time because you want your dog to be in the crate for six hours twice a day, but that will probably be too much for most dogs. You can tell if your dog likes it or not, and you can avoid this problem if you use a dog sitter. However, people who cannot afford all these extra services should make sure that they do not get a dog because they cannot give that dog the attention that it needs.
People who are trying to crate their dogs for long periods of time will find that their dog will do unexpected things. Their dog knows that they have been gone too long, and all your hard work will be for naught. It is better to split time or to make sure you can actually be home because dogs should never be kept in a crate so long they do not want to get out.
What Goes In My Dog’s Crate?
The crate that you have created for your dog is a place that should make them feel completely safe. You want your dog to have all their favorite things in there, and you need to build up the crate as you are training them to sleep in the crate. This also means that you can use these things as enticements to get your dog into the crate. You want them to have a pillow that they love, and you want them to have a blanket that they love. You should leave their favorite toys in the crate, and you also have to see if you can put the timed feeder by the crate along with a water bowl. You can make the crate into a little house for your dog that will want to sleep in because they feel so comfortable.
The crate that you have built for your pet should be in the quietest place in your house, and you need to make certain that you have turned on music or white noise if that will help them sleep. This is very important because many dogs love to listen to soothing music while they are sleeping, and you will keep them calm because they are in a quiet place with nothing but this music.
The front door of your house should have a sign that either tells people to beware of the dog, or you could leave a note asking people not to knock on the door because you want your dog to sleep. You should take all these precautions because that helps your dog sleep.
How Will You Know It Works?
You only know this is working if you have a dog that will rest during the day. This means that you can keep your dog resting, and they are not barking or whining during the day. If you get reports from your neighbors that your dog is barking or whining, you need to change your plan. You also should see if you can upgrade your plan if your dog gets tired of it.
You have to stick to your plan to give it a chance to work, and you also have to see if there are any special things you can do that you know for a fact would make your pets that much happier and healthier. Anyone who is trying to crate their dog has to check on their plan and upgrade it as needed because it is too hard to keep your dog on the same schedule for a decade at a time.
You can crate train your dog when you need to go to work, but you have to commit to the process that is required to train your dog to stay in the crate. The majority of people who want to crate train their dogs do not actually go through the whole process, and that makes it very hard for these dogs to be comfortable during the day. You can have your dogs at work in some cases, and there are other times when there are no dogs at work. Caged dog syndrome (1) sets in if you have done this process incorrectly, and you need to be careful to check that your dog is adjusting well.