While some dog owners are leery of crate training, it is one of the most effective ways to instruct your dog to exhibit his best behavior. As a dog owner, you should consider crating your dog at night. A dog crate is a safe and private place for your pooch to sleep.
Protecting your dog is your top priority as a pet parent. Because dogs sleepover half of their day, it stands to reason they need a comfortable place to rest. In this article, I will explain some of the reasons you should consider crating your dog at night.
Where Should Dogs Sleep at Night?
From my own experience training dogs, I have never felt comfortable letting a dog free roam all night long. Because you are not monitoring them, dogs can get into trouble. Crating your dog at night is the most effective way to keep him safe. Properly crate trained dogs naturally accept this set-up.
Some owners allow their dogs to sleep in their rooms or even in their beds. That is a fine arrangement for some, but it is not for everyone.
Sleeping with a dog in your bed could lead to increased allergies and discomfort. Crating your dog with a closed door will keep you both safe and allow your dog to have his own place to rest.
You need to know dogs are very light sleepers. Only about 10% of their sleep time involves deep REM sleep. With a lack of deep sleep comes the potential for your dog to get into trouble.
Should You Provide Your Dog With Water Inside the Crate?
One of the questions I often get asked about the crate training process is if owners should supply water. The answer to this question, in most cases, is no.
If you exercise your dog before bedtime, he is going to be too tired to wake up to drink. Most dog trainers recommend exercising a dog before putting them in a crate for the night.
Veterinarians recommend you stop giving water to puppies about two hours before bedtime. Your puppy’s bladder is small and cannot hold urine all night. Giving him water to drink will likely lead to wetting accidents.
As you likely know, dogs are playful creatures . In most cases, your dog will only knock the water over or play in it, making a big mess for you to clean up in the morning.
What About Covering Your Dog’s Crate at Night?
When crate training your dog, covering the crate at night is wise, for a few reasons.
- Covering your dog’s crate offers him a higher level of privacy and security.
- A dog crate cover also reduces the environmental stimulation your dog is exposed to during the night, so he does not become disturbed.
- During the winter, you will also find a cover that keeps your dog warm and cozy.
As a word of caution, please be careful what type of cover you use. Blankets are not recommended because your dog can pull them off and inside their crate. A blanket could also make your dog overheat because of a lack of airflow.
Many dog crates now come with covers. If your crate does not include a cover, there are DIY dog crate cover options.
When Is It Safe to Stop Crating My Dog at Night?
While some owners only crate their dogs when they are puppies, this is not a training approach I recommend. Once you’ve decided to crate your dog, you must be consistent. Crate training and then suddenly stopping can be detrimental to your dog.
If your dog is accustomed to sleeping in the crate at night, allow him to continue each night. Moving him out of the crate at night could disrupt his sleep and cause you to have to start all over with your training efforts.
Do Not Put These Items in Your Dog’s Crate
Ideally, you should put nothing inside your dog’s crate. Let me explain why putting the following in the crate could cause problems.
For puppies, I do not recommend putting a blanket inside the crate. Your puppy is still training, and he may end up using the blanket as a pee pad. Putting a blanket inside the crate could confuse your dog’s training efforts.
Food and Water
You may think your puppy will get hungry or thirsty during the night but this just is not the case. Feeding your dog during the night is only going to disrupt his digestion. Too much dog food could cause health problems with your puppy.
As I said before, water inside your dog’s crate is not necessary. He will just make a mess you have to clean up in the morning.
Dog toys are only going to be a distraction to your puppy when he is trying to sleep. When it is bedtime, your puppy does not need any stimulation or his sleep could become disrupted.
FAQ About Crating Your Dog at Night
I understand you probably have a lot of questions about keeping your dog in a crate at night. The following are some of the top questions dog owners have.
1. Where Should My Dog Sleep at Night-Time?
Your dog will be safest when he is sleeping inside a crate at night. A crate will keep your dog out of trouble and prevent him from getting hurt. Dogs also sleep much more soundly in solitude while in their crates.
2. Is It Cruel To Crate a Dog at Night?
You are not being cruel by crating your dog at night. Dogs need boundaries, and they need to be kept safe. Putting your dog in a crate at night keeps him protected and secure.
3. Where Should You Put Your Puppy’s Crate at Nighttime?
Ideally, you should not put your puppy’s crate inside your bedroom. If he sees or hears you, his sleep will be disturbed. Place the crate in a safe and quiet area. Make sure there are no drafts, and your puppy will stay warm.
Choose the Best Dog Crate
To ensure your dog is safe and comfortable in his crate, you need to choose the right model and size. Check out our best dog crate reviews to learn about your top options.