Categorized | Dog, Tips

How Long Should Your Puppy Stay In A Crate

Most owners would like to be with their dog all the time. However, the reality is that many of us have to work. This often means that our lovely pet has to be left alone for most of the day.

Crate training is an excellent way to keep your puppy safe whilst you are not at home. It’s not cruel. He might be hesitant to try the crate at first. But in time and with proper training, he will soon see it as a place where he can feel safe and secure.

Once familiar with the crate, many owners make the mistake of leaving their young dog inside it for long periods of time. When regularly left in the crate for hours at a time, your dog will not get enough exercise. He can also become depressed or anxious.

So, how long should you leave your puppy in the crate?
Crate Training At Night
At night your dog will be asleep and therefore a lot less active than by day. If he can control his bladder then you can leave him in the crate all night without a problem.

But, if your dog can’t yet control his bladder, then you are going to have to take him out during the night to toilet. For a young puppy, this could be as often as every two or three hours, so make sure you set your alarm.

Crate Training By Day
Dogs are naturally more active by day. The length of time you can leave your puppy in the crate is therefore much less. How long you can leave him will depend on his age and the length of time he can be trusted to hold his bladder.

The ASPCA advise a puppy aged less than 8 weeks to be left in the crate for no longer than an hour at a time. Only, after 8 weeks should you gradually start to increase the amount of time your dog spends crated.

Never allow your dog to spend more than 3 hours in the crate until he is at least 14 weeks of age. In addition, he should not be left for longer than 4 hours up until 16 weeks.

From 17 weeks onwards, the longest your dog should remain in the crate is 5 hours at a time. And, no matter how old he is, he must never be crated for longer than you know he can hold his bladder.

Crating Your Dog Whilst You Are At Work
One of the most common reasons for crating your dog is to keep him safe whilst you are at work. This can involve regulary leaving him in his crate for long periods at a time.

Leaving your dog in the crate for up to 10 hours each day is not ideal. Once or twice a week will probably do little harm. But every weekday is likely to have an impact on your dog’s health.

When your dog has to be in a crate all day, make sure you can return home in the middle of the day. When you come home, give him some exercise and let him to go to the toilet. If you are unable to return home during the day, then ask a friend, or another family member. Otherwise, hire a reliable dog walker.

If your dog has to be left alone all day, every day, then putting him in a crate might not be the best solution. It maybe best that you make other arrangements for his care. You could leave your puppy with a friend or family member. Alternatively, take him to doggie day care or hire a dog walker.

You can’t be with your dog all the time, and when you are not there putting him in a crate is an excellent way to keep him safe. However, it is important that you do not overuse the crate as this may cause your dog harm.

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