Should you go for a bed, crate or kennel? Find the perfect sleep zone for your puppy.
Soft bedding is a must for all puppies, even if you’ve decided that they’ll sleep in a kennel or crate. Your puppy needs a cushioned, cosy bed, and larger breeds require extra padding. Your puppy’s bed will be one of the key elements that help them feel comfy in their home, so choose bedding they can grow into.
A crate offers your puppy their own safe haven. Crates also limit destructive behaviour and are helpful for creating routine and toilet training, plus, they can be used on car trips. Your puppy needs to be able to comfortably stand-up, lie down, turn around and stretch inside their crate. Try to choose a crate that your puppy will also be able to use comfortably when they are fully grown.
Kennels are perfect for puppies that spend a lot of time outside, or share the house with kids and other pets. When you select a kennel, consider the size your puppy will grow. The kennel needs to be big enough for them to turn around and lie down in comfortably. Remember: kennels that are too large will mean your puppy could get cold. Keep the kennel raised off the ground and make sure it’s not too far from your house, so your puppy doesn’t feel isolated. Add in some cushioned bedding and your puppy will love their cosy refuge.
Getting your puppy to use their crate is a gradual process.
Set up the crate so it’s cosy and inviting. Put a crate mat on the base and add a soft bed.
Leave the crate door open and tempt your puppy in with a treat or favourite chew.
Place the treat in the back of the crate so they have to go completely inside to retrieve it.
Reward your puppy every time they enter their crate.
Gradually close the door and, once they’re comfy, stay with them and reassure them.
Keep the “closed door” periods short.
When you’re happy that your puppy is relaxed in the crate, with the door closed, you can leave them alone – initially for short periods, gradually increasing the duration.
Make sure that their crate is always a refuge; never use this as a punishment area.