Congratulations on your new puppy! Your family has expanded to include a lot of love. When choosing the right crate for your new dog, consider the items listed below so you can make the right purchase for now and in the future.
Buy Big and Take It Home
No matter how big your puppy will get, invest in an over-sized crate. The goal with crate training is not to use the crate as punishment, but to provide your puppy a haven when they get over-excited or need to get some rest. When properly used, your crate will turn into a spot that your adult dog may sometimes still want to use as a retreat.
Invest in a Sturdy Crate
Depending on the breed, your puppy will likely go through a chewy phase, and this can last a long time. By investing in a heavy duty dog crate, your puppy is less likely to chew through the plastic portions of the crate, risking escape and internal damage from ingesting plastic.
Large Crates Leave Space For Food
Depending on the amount of time your puppy will spend in the crate, a large crate will leave you more room for food and water. Consider investing in a crate with a wire mesh door so you can hang food and water dishes from the mesh. This reduces the risk of puppy stepping in their water dish and making a mess.
Fabric, Plastic or Wire?
The nice thing about a plastic crate is that they’re very easy to wash out if necessary. In addition, while wire crates allow a lot of light into the crate, a plastic crate limits the light and keep the crate more of a refuge. If you choose to drape a blanket or towel over a wire crate, be aware that very chewy puppies can shred such an object and may ingest the fabric.
Fabric crates are generally collapsible, so if space is at a premium, you may want to invest in a zipper-front fabric crate. Be sure, once zipped up, that the crate opening is not low and in the center but closed up high on one side to avoid puppy escaping and getting into something dangerous. Also, these crates are thought to be chew proof, but your puppy may challenge that claim. Monitor the crate to avoid the risk of injury.
Line It With Old Things
Once you have the right new crate, be sure and line it with something old. An old sweatshirt or towel is an ideal bed to lay down on the bottom of the crate. Your scent will linger on these fabrics and let your puppy know they’re home when they’re in the crate.
Make sure you monitor the soft goods you place in the crate. Dogs can and will chew through fabric and may ingest more string than is good for them. If puppy is chewing through their bedding, you may have to invest in something more durable.
Think of a puppy crate as more of a tiny apartment for your newest family member. Buying a large crate may feel like overkill, but it will give your dog room to grow and allow them a refuge when they get overwhelmed with their world.