Dog Crates 101: What to Put in Your Pup’s Kennel

Posted on May 25, 2019 by paigepesko

There are over 75 million pet dogs living in homes across the country. And while these pups undoubtedly bring an immense amount of joy, they can also occasionally be a source of frustration. Leaving your puppy or newly adopted adult dog free to roam your house while you’re gone, for instance, can lead to disaster that you discover upon your return. Therefore, many American families find that crate training is a must.

Crate training can help with potty training, make traveling less stressful, and even reduce anxiety in your dog in overwhelming situations. While this process isn’t necessarily easy, it’s a highly beneficial one that can make home life more enjoyable for both humans and animal companions. If you’re just starting to crate train your young puppy or you have recently taken in an adult dog who requires crate training, you might be wondering how to create a welcoming environment in your dog’s kennel. In this post, we’ll talk about some practical items you’ll want to include (and exclude) from the crate to ensure your dog is happy, healthy, and safe.

What to Put in Your Pup’s Crate

  • Dog Kennel Pads: One of the most important elements to include are indestructible dog crate pads. This bedding can allow your canine to be comfortable while sitting or sleeping in the crate. These dog kennel pads should be durable, particularly if your dog is prone to accidents or destructive behaviors. There are plenty of kennel pads for dogs that chew on the market, as well as those that are waterproof. Puppy owners may want to put some pet-training pads underneath their chew proof kennel mats to ensure any messes can be easily cleaned up. In addition to being durable, the best dog kennel pads are easy to clean and insulating. Not only will your dog be cozy, but you won’t have to bend over backwards to ensure the environment is hygienic.
  • Chew Toys: Durable and safe chew toys can provide mental and physical stimulation for your dog while you’re away. Tough “puzzle feeders” are best, as interactive or rubberized toys can hold treats and keep your dog busy for a considerable amount of time — all without posing any type of health risk. Providing these toys can dissuade pets from chewing on their dog kennel pads and can actually make crate time more enjoyable. Instead of viewing crate training as a punishment, your dog may learn that time spent in the kennel can be quite rewarding.
  • Soft Toys: Soft toys should only be included in the kennel if your dog is an adult and not prone to destroying these kinds of toys. If your dog feels comforted by their favorite soft toys, this can be a welcome addition to the environment. Dogs who are known to chew and destroy most items should not be given any stuffed toys without supervision. Puppies shouldn’t be given soft toys in the crate either, as parts could be easily swallowed in your absence. If you’re in doubt, err on the side of caution.

What to Keep Out of the Kennel

  • Food and Water: It may seem cruel to “deprive” your dog of food and water while you’re away. But unless there is a legitimate medical reason to provide these items during crate training, it’s typically not recommended. Not only are food and water likely to spill, but having free access to these resources can make accidents more likely to occur. Consult with your vet first.
  • Other Hazards: Before putting your dog in the crate, take a look around to ensure there are no elements that could pose a health risk. Nearby houseplants and power cords could be toppled over or chewed if they’re within reach, so be sure to move them to a safe spot. You may also want to consider removing your dog’s collar and tags to ensure they won’t get caught in crate bars and present a choking hazard for your pup.

Now that you know to include dog kennel pads and chew toys in your dog’s crate, it’s time to shop for these durable items. To learn more about our selection of kennel pads and dog beds, please contact us today.