Crate Training 101 – Tips from Lucy’s Pet Care

Crate training your pet is widely recommended by dog trainers and veterinarians. Yet many people resist using a crate because they feel confinement is cruel or unfair. These same people happily put their child in a playpen to keep them safe, so why not your dog or cat? If a crate is used correctly – not as punishment – your best friend will be easier to manage, and most pets will see a crate as their bedroom and go in them willingly when they need some quiet time.

Once people understand that a crate can protect their buddy and make training easier, they usually come around. Furthermore, your dog may need to be crated someday. If a summer trip involves airplanes, hotels, or riding in the car (a crate is the safest restraint for car travel), it’s much easier if your pet likes his crate. Should your pet need to spend a few days with your vet, they will be put in a crate there. In case one of these scenarios arise, it’s a good idea to get your pet familiar and comfy with a crate. Cats are usually transported in crates, but often not happily. Start early with a kitten, so they feel content in their carrier.

Using a crate with a puppy can help with housebreaking and chewing. If you are busy and can’t watch your pup (they get into trouble so quickly), putting him in his crate with a toy or a kong keeps your pooch safe and happy. Teenage dogs can still be unpredictable behaviorally, so leaving Fido in a crate when you have to go out is the best plan. Crates are also great for older dogs that may need a break from household action or a senior dog with cognitive or vision issues who may need to be contained now and then for their safety.

Don’t buy a crate and compel your pet in it without training; it should be a gradual and fun experience for them. If you force your friend, he may never warm up to a crate. If you need to leave your pet in a crate for a while, you should keep them naked (no collar which can get stuck in the bars). Pets shouldn’t be left in crates for hours on end. We’ll be happy to come by and give your friend a walk and playtime while you’re gone. And remember never use the crate as punishment.

If you are patient and use treats, your critters will be happy to spend some quiet and safe time in their crates.

This article covers the benefits of crate training. But don’t worry, we have a few “how-to” links to share with you:

Quick Guide to Crate Training
How to Crate Train Your Cat
How to Crate Train Your Dog or Puppy

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