Are you wondering “does my dog need a bed in his crate?”
You might if you’ve just started crate training your dog and don’t know what to put in your puppy’s crate.
Fortunately, I’ve got all the answers you need on how to make your dog’s crate more comfortable.
Does My Dog Need a Bed in His Crate?
I’ve met a lot of people who think that crate training is cruel. It’s the opposite when done right.
A crate is a safe place for your dog where they can retreat when anxious or rest without being bothered.
It’s not a cage or a tool for punishment.
Moreover, crate training is very helpful for housebreaking your puppy.
That’s because dogs will never soil their den unless they have no other choice.
As such, crates are perfect for teaching your puppy to hold their bladder.
But what should you put in your puppy’s kennel, and does your pooch need a dog bed in this crate? Let’s find out.
Why Do Dogs Need a Bed in Their Crate?
A crate is similar to a dog’s den. The small, enclosed space makes your pup feel secure and protected.
It allows your pooch to relax when the hustle and bustle of the house gets to be too much or when they’re stressed, anxious, or afraid.
However, an empty crate won’t be very enticing to a puppy or a dog.
While some dogs like to sleep on the floor, most prefer to be comfortable, safe, and warm. As such, dogs need a bed in the crate to feel at home.
But not all beds are suitable for crates. Puppies often get destructive when they’re bored and can chew their beds.
Some even can swallow parts of their pads, mats, and blankets. If that happens, it can lead to a trip to the emergency vet and surgery.
Go with something that’s waterproof and that includes a washable cover. K9 Ballistics makes a great crate mat that’s chew-resistant, waterproof, and scratchproof. It also comes with a removable cover that’s machine-washable.
It’s pricey, though. If it’s outside your price range and you need to shop around, just make sure you stay FAR away from “human” blankets, towels, or other easy-to-destroy bedding that aren’t made specifically for canines.
They can pose major choking hazards. If you do want to go with basic blankets (versus an actual bed), go with crate bedding. It’s specially made to withstand our dogs’ movements within their kennels.
Choose something simple that will allow your puppy to move comfortably inside the crate and won’t make your puppy feel hot inside.
When your puppy grows up, you can always switch to a fluffy bed as long as you’re confident that they won’t turn it into shreds.
What to Put in Your Puppy’s Crate?
Besides providing a bed, what else should you put in a crate with your puppy?
Food and water probably come to your mind first. After all, most dog training experts recommend feeding your pup inside the crate at first so she comes to associate it with positive things.
But should you leave water and food in your dog’s crate?
Most specialists agree that you shouldn’t put water or food in your puppy’s or dog’s crate. That’s because it interferes with your puppy’s potty training.
A regular feeding schedule is essential so that you know when to take your puppy outside to do their business.
If your puppy/dog has access to food/water, they will need more bathroom breaks during the day or night and are more likely to make a mess in their den.
Furthermore, your puppy can knock their bowls while moving around or when playing. The result will be a wet puppy, soiled bedding, and a dirty crate.
Since you shouldn’t keep your puppy for long in their crates, they’re not in danger of getting dehydrated.
But if you’re planning on leaving your adult dog in a crate while at work, you’ll need to provide water.
In these cases, the best thing you can do is get bowls that your puppy can’t knock over. Better yet, teach your pup how to use a water bottle that you can clip to the side of the crate.
Otherwise, you will water if your dog has access to water and they will get dehydrated.
As such, besides a bed, all your puppy needs are toys to keep them occupied while you’re gone.
Look for sturdy, durable, crate-safe toys without any small parts that your puppy can swallow. Avoid plush toys and other things that your dog will totally shred. Kong chew toys are great options. Puzzle toys filled with crate-safe treats (like peanut butter) are also good.
But don’t stuff your puppy’s crate with tons of toys because your pet will get bored quickly.
Should You Put Your Dog in a Crate at Night?
Besides wondering if your dog needs a bed in his crate, you might don’t know if you should put your pet in a crate at night.
It depends on your dog’s age.
Young puppies should be crated at night because it helps with potty training and teaches your puppy to sleep through the night.
However, once your dog is housebroken, you don’t have to crate them at night.
Remember that the crate is a safe den for your dog, not a cage or a prison.
But it will feel like that if you lock them inside day and day.
Furthermore, a lot of owners prefer to leave their dog in a crate while at work to ensure that their pet won’t get in trouble.
In these cases, crating the dog at night will be too much.
Instead, you should use the time in the evening to make up for your absence and meet your puppy’s physical and emotional needs.
What to Put in a Puppy Crate at Night?
It’s easy to keep an eye on your puppy during the day to make sure that they’re comfortable and don’t need anything.
But what about when you crate them for the night? Should you put something extra in your puppy’s crate at night?
It’s normal for puppies to be scared for the first few nights and whimper and cry when left alone.
You might get a soft toy with a heartbeat and put it in your puppy’s crate to soothe them. It mimics a mother’s heartbeat and will make your puppy feel less lonely.
A lot of owners worry about their puppies when they whimper and cry during the night. While you might be tempted to get up, professionals don’t recommend it.
Instead, you should try to tire your puppy so that they sleep soundly without waking you up.
Where Should You Put Dog Crate in the House?
Now that you know that your puppy needs a bed in their crate, we come to the final question.
I’m talking about where you should put the crate in the house.
The most important thing is to make your puppy feel like part of the family.
Locking them in a separate room and leaving them alone is going to make them miserable.
The crate should be in a high-traffic location where the puppy can see and hear you and take comfort in your presence.
In addition to this, the crate should be away from drafts and heat sources.
Young puppies get chilly quickly and might get sick. However, they can also overheat easily if you leave them near fireplaces and radiators all night long.
So, you have to find a spot that’s neither cold nor hot. Think like Goldilocks and find a spot that’s just right.
For the first few weeks, you should also keep the crate in your bedroom during the night.
Otherwise, your puppy might get lonely and start crying.
Moreover, don’t put any plants or decorations around the crate because the puppy might chew on them.
Crate training is invaluable for housetraining when you do it by the rules.
It provides your puppy with a comfortable sleeping place where they know that nothing terrible will happen to them.
Moreover, it helps when you have to take your dog to the vet.
While no dog should spend more than 6-8 hours in their crate, they should have a cozy bed to rest in and toys to keep them company.
What do you think? Does your dog need a bed in his crate? If so, what type of bed do you use? Share below!