Crates can be great tools, when used properly. Fido will need to be crated at some point, either at the vet’s or groomer’s, or perhaps during travel. Here, an Upper Peninsula, MI vet discusses crate training your dog.
Choosing The Crate
When it comes to dog crates, bigger is not necessarily better. In fact, you don’t want the crate to be too large. Fido will feel safest if his crate is snug and cozy, like a little den. Your pet should have room to sit up, turn around, and sleep comfortably. Of course, if you have a puppy, you’ll want to shop for Fido’s estimated adult size. Otherwise, you’ll be buying a new crate in a few months.
Make It Comfy
You want Fido to be comfortable and cozy in his crate, so be sure to add some soft bedding. Put a few toys in it as well. It’s also important to choose the right spot. Dogs are part of the family, and often get depressed and lonely when they feel isolated or are separated from their humans. Put the crate somewhere that your pup can see and hear you.
Start by giving Fido yummy snacks near his crate. Offer lots of toys, belly rubs, and ear scritches in that spot. These things will help your pup form a positive association with the crate. You’ll also want to start giving your canine buddy his meals in the crate.
Closing The Door
Once your furry friend is used to having dinner in his crate, start getting him accustomed to the door being closed. At first, just close it for a moment while he’s eating. Gradually increase the amount of time that the crate door is closed. Then, you’ll be able to start working on leaving the room.
Once Fido is used to his crate, you may not even need to close it. To train your dog to ‘go to bed’ in his crate, have him lay down in it at bedtime, then give him a treat.
You should never use the crate as punishment. Also, never leave your pooch in the crate too long. Overnight is fine, as Fido will be sleeping, but aside from that, four hours is the maximum recommended time.
Please contact us, your Upper Peninsula, MI pet clinic, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!