Why do dogs need crates? Is it because we humans need to feel more in control of them, or are there any real benefits?
As it turns out, dogs love their crates when they get used to them, and there are plenty of advantages to crate training.
A dog’s crate should serve as its safe haven where it can cool off when it is too excited, hide from any loud noises, and relax without being bothered. At the same time, the owner can use the crate to help the dog control its needs and stop it from getting in trouble while it is home alone.
Why Do Dogs Need Crates? Is it Essential?
Why do dogs need crates? As many of you know, some dog owners believe that crate training is a big no-no and implies animal abuse. Even though I don’t believe you should continue using the crate for the rest of the dog’s life (unless it’s necessary), I cannot agree with that statement.
For me, crates have been helpful when it comes to keeping my rescues calm and safe in a new environment. We all know that shelter dogs have been through a lot and that the idea of trust isn’t so familiar to them. They need time to adjust to their new surroundings, furry buddies, and yes, their owners. As such, crate-training them is a good way of helping them feel secure.
But what are the main reasons any dog would benefit from having a crate? Let’s see what my research says.
Why Do Dogs Need Crates? Top 6 Reasons to Get One Today
1. The Crate Should Help With Potty Training
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One of the best parts about having a crate is that the dog can use it as its den. No matter the design, it will be its home and where it can come and relax, snooze, and generally spend time when it’s all alone.
Because dogs have this very special connection with their dens, the crate can be used while potty training a pup. Since it will see it as space of its own where all its toys are and where it can take endless naps, the dog won’t want to ruin it by peeing or pooping inside. As such, it will learn how to control its needs, especially when it’s alone at home or at night.
Of course, this doesn’t mean the dog should stay in the crate for hours on end. Puppies can hold it in for as little as an hour or two; I don’t recommend locking them up for longer. The best approach is to use the crate to establish a routine. Once the dog’s needs are “at a set schedule,” the crate likely won’t be necessary anymore.
2. The Dog Can Cool Off in the Crate When It’s Too Excited or Alarmed
Why do dogs need crates, you may ask? Well, since the crate is a dog’s home and basically its sanctuary, it may come in quite handy when there’s too much commotion.
Let’s face it — most of us love having people over and hosting parties. What we fail to realize, though, is that dogs need their own peace and quiet. If there are many people around, they may get too excited and become annoying, aggressive, or too clingy. That in and of itself could make people nervous around our dogs.
Another thing you should keep in mind is the children. If you have a number of little ones or you frequently have some kids over, your dog may experience some anxiety when they start running around. Worst of all, if it starts running around with them, it will, once again, get too excited and possibly hurt either itself or the kids.
In a nutshell, crating the dog when there’s too many people or noise is the right way to go. The dog won’t mind if it has already gotten used to its crate and sees it as its home. In fact, the pup will be grateful that it doesn’t have to put up with all of that commotion!
3. It Will Serve as a Security Blanket When Traveling
If you get your dog a crate that can also serve as a travel carrier, then you can rest easy knowing that it’s unlikely it will experience any anxiety in its new surroundings.
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When they find themselves in a new environment, dogs may get stressed out or feel a bit insecure. They aren’t on their own territory, so they’re unsure as to how they should act.
In those moments, “a security blanket” should help calm the dog and make it feel more at ease. If it can simply crawl back into its crate and chill there for a while, it’s unlikely that it will decide to express its feelings by wreaking havoc in the new environment.
There are also some crates that can be folded down and taken with you on your travels (in your car trunk, for example). You can set up the crate once you reach your destination and allow your pooch to relax in its den. See our recommendation from Amazon here.
4. It Helps the Dog Appreciate Its Alone Time
The question of Why do dogs need crates? can also be answered through one simple word — independence. Of course, the serenity the dog feels just by having a place it can call its own is incredible. Nevertheless, it’s nothing compared to the benefits you’ll reap by teaching the dog to be independent.
The fact your pooch can stay completely alone in the crate for a couple of hours with its toys and special treats without ever complaining is a great sign that it doesn’t feel lonely there. We need to show our dogs that they shouldn’t depend on us for social interaction too much. After all, we have to work and lead our own lives! So, by teaching the dog to see the crate as its home and safe spot, we are actually giving it a chance to appreciate its alone time.
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5. It Can Serve as an Awesome Hiding Spot
Of course, apart from the anxiety the dog may feel if it’s not used to spending time alone in the crate, there are also various fears canines are dealing with on a daily basis. Fireworks and storms are the most common examples, and I’ve seen how these fears influence dogs with my own eyes. There’s hardly anything more terrifying than seeing your pooch shake violently and run to hide as soon as those loud noises reach it.
However, a great solution for that is helping the dog learn to love its crate. There’s a good chance the dog will be able to calm down faster if it can run to its favorite hiding spot, which is, coincidentally, its very own den.
Besides, there are covers we can buy for crates that should help out even further by making the den seem hidden from all the “dangers” lurking outside (like storms and fireworks). The combination of those two plus some calming music ought to help the dog soon feel at ease.
6. It Keeps the Dog Out of Trouble
Why do dogs need crates when they are already used to being alone and don’t fuss about it? Well, it’s to keep them out of trouble!
Even if your dog doesn’t belong to a curious breed, like the Beagle, it still may decide to explore your home from time to time. While doing so, it’s likely that it will encounter stuff it really shouldn’t chew on or worse, ingest. But you cannot possibly remove all of those hazards from your home, right? So, the only solution is to keep the dog in the crate when it’s all alone!
A baby fence would work here too, of course. However, you’d be confining the dog to a part of your home that may still prove tempting to the curious rascal. In my opinion (and experience!), a crate is a much safer solution as the dog cannot jump over it and is somewhat limited in space. Besides, if it already loves it and believes that it’s its safe haven, the pooch should feel pretty calm inside.
So, why do dogs need crates? As far as I can tell, crates can help both dog owners and pooches feel more at ease. If the dog is alone at home, the owner can use the crate to make sure its furry friend doesn’t wreak havoc, pee all over the floor, or feel anxious about its return. In the dog’s case, the crate is its very own hiding spot, sanctuary, and den where only its rules apply!
In essence, crates let dogs have their privacy within our homes and help them stay independent, not just from us but also from other pets. And who doesn’t want a room of their own where nobody can bother them? It sure makes a dog’s life easier, not to mention more serene when there’s lots of commotion and strangers!