You’re getting a dog? You need a crate!

You’ve made the decision to adopt a dog.  Whether you have decided to purchase a purebred or are going to the local Humane Association or Dog Rescue, a crate is well worth the investment.

A crate provides a place for your dog to sleep, and rest safely if you are busy or away from home and cannot monitor her activities. The most common crates come in plasticpetmate-portable-kennel2 (good if you plan to take your crate on an airline) and in metal (allowing for good ventilation). crate-training-your-dog If you are getting a large breed puppy, you will need to make a decision about whether it is best to get a crate that fits your pup now, knowing that it will need to be replaced as your dog grows.  One of the advantages to a wire crate is that many wire crates come with a divider that allow you to section off part of the crate in the beginning and then allow you to open it up as your pup needs more room.  Additionally, a wire crate can be folded for storage.  A wire crate, however, does not meet airline specifications.  If you wish to provide a little more privacy for your pup, you can find covers for wire crates that are made in a variety of colors and materials.   dog-crate-coverToday, you are no longer limited to just plastic or wire crates, however.  You will find that there are a variety of options available.  There are crates available in a wide variety of styles and prices.  In addition to standard plastic and wire crates, you can find nylon cratesdog_crate_unique that are collapsible and even crates that can actually serve as a piece of furniture. wooden-dog-crate Of course, these are going to come at a premium, so you want to make sure that is what you want before you invest in a crate like that.

A crate can really assist with housetraining.  A puppy does not like to make a mess in its room, so make sure that the crate is large enough for your puppy to be comfortable and move around, but not large enough where she can divide it into an area for sleeping and one for messing.  If you are diligent about taking your puppy outside periodically, she will soon learn that outside is the place to take care of her business.

You want to keep your pup close, but you may not be able to monitor its every move.  A crate is portable.  It can be moved from room to room.  If  you are busy and can’t watch your puppy, a crate can protect her from electric wires, poisonous plants and other household items.  Tucked into her crate on a soft cushion with her favorite toy, she will be safe and so will your house!  Too often people have the mistaken idea that a crate is cruel when in fact, it is quite the opposite.  For a puppy, the crate serves as a safe den.  It is her quiet place–a place where she can go to get away from too much activity, guests, and other pets.  Spending time in her crate, where she is safe and can rest for a few hours, is a much kinder fate than that of the poor puppy that is condemned to be tied out in the backyard—away from the family that she loves—because she destroyed something when her owners weren’t watching her.

If you are getting a new puppy or dog, a crate is an essential.  It will end up being one of the most valuable investments you make.  Take the time to choose carefully and then use it effectively.  You will be glad you did!