New Puppy Crate Training Essentials For #CrateHappyPets
Think that putting your puppy in a crate is the same as putting your puppy in jail? I want you to change your thinking because crates are not a jail cell and puppies are not people and anyway babies sleep in a crib and cribs and crates look a lot alike. I want you to think of your puppy’s new crate as their very own baby crib. It is a place they can feel safe and be safe when you cannot have your eyes on them 24 hours a day. A crate will keep your puppy out of trouble and will help keep trouble from finding them. A crate is a place for them to sleep or play quietly that no one else tries to invade. Ok fine every little kid that Davinia and Indiana have ever met have all wanted to crawl in the crate with the girls! If you have kids you will want to avoid allowing that because you want your puppy to know that the crate is their special place to get away when they need some quiet time.
A happy crate trained puppy is ready for any adventure that life throws its way. From going on road trips, to staying at hotels, to moving across the country or the world your puppy will be content and see all of these things as one big adventure because it knows that it has its house to go into and everything will be fine. You might even want to have a crate all set up at home before you bring your new puppy home so that when your puppy gets tired on that first day you have a place your new puppy will snuggle right in and fall asleep. (Puppies do eventually sleep. I promise!)
The tips below will help make sure you get the essentials, do things right, and end up with a pet that loves their crate!
New Puppy Crate Training Essentials
It is much easier to get a wire crate for puppies instead of the hard plastic but that is completely up to you. Some crates come with double doors, some come with a front door and a top door, some come with a divider that you can use to limit the space while your puppy is young but not need to buy a new crate when they grow up, and some come with only 1 door.
A crate mat
While your puppy is young an inexpensive crate mat makes a great bed for resting while they are in their crate. They can go in the wash easily in case of accidents or dirty paw prints. If your puppy happens to chew on it you don’t feel like it is the end of the world.
A water bowl or bottle
While you don’t want your puppy drinking too much you do want your puppy to have access to water when and if they need it. Sometimes puppy training crates even come with a small food and water bowl.
Multiple chew bones
Davinia was never a big chewer but Indiana was she probably had every shape and size bone that one manufacturer made at the time. Check out a few different shapes, sizes, and textures so that you can switch out every few days so that your puppy doesn’t get bored.
If you want your puppy to love their crate the softer the blanket the better. They can cuddle with the blanket, under the blanket, use the blanket as a pillow, or make it into a nest.
A special doll
Give your new puppy something to cuddle with that makes them feel like they have a friend in their crate with them. Sometimes a regular stuffed animal is enough but sometimes your puppy wants something warm to cuddle with. Check out the options in the puppy section or ask someone at the store for help.
Setting Up Your New Puppy Crate
1. Don’t treat the crate like it is a torture chamber. Set it up without having the idea that you will need to force your puppy inside.
2. Put a crate mat and blanket inside along with a chew toy and a doll for your puppy to cuddle with.
3. Make sure that your puppy has access to water while in the crate. Back in the day when Davinia and Indiana were little there really weren’t very many options for water bowls or bottles that attached to the crate now you have so many options to choose from. We prefer a water bottle (the kind that rabbits and other small animals use) because they hold so much water and don’t splash water everywhere.
New Puppy Crate Training
1. Allow your puppy to check it out on their own.
2. Allow your puppy to sniff around and inside the crate without your help.
3. You can throw a toy or favorite chew bone in the crate for your puppy to go in a fetch for you allowing your puppy to pop right back out of the crate again.
4. If your puppy goes inside the crate on their own whether on their own or because a favorite toy is in there reward your puppy! A piece of kibble or a small puppy sized treat is great.
5. Use the crate as part of playtime so that your puppy thinks of it as part of the fun.
6. When nap time comes around entice them in with a cozy blanket or their favorite cuddle doll.
Need some more pointers? Check out these crate training tips from PetSmart® about getting it right from the start.
Whether you are looking to purchase your first crate or need an additional crate check out the sale going on right now at PetSmart® for crates, kennels, and accessories. The crates can usually be found on the side wall near the dog food or back wall of the store while carrying bags are either near the chew toys or flea and tick aisle. If you can’t seem to find what you are looking for just ask! The associate can help you find the product in store or order it to deliver to your house or the store while standing with you!