Crates are widely utilized in the United States by dog owners for many reasons.
A crate offers a solid method of housetraining your dog. Dogs are resistant to soiling their own spaces, so you should find that crating Rover helps him to learn when he needs to go outside to do his business.
Some pet owners find that crating their dogs overnight promotes a superior sleep.
Additionally, crates are the ideal travel solution. The best dog crates provide your pooch with comfortable and secure transportation, whether you are taking your dog to the vet or the groomer, out in the car or when traveling by air.
Today’s guide will help you determine how long you can leave your dog crated for, whether he is a puppy or an adult dog.
First thing’s first, what are the primary benefits of using a dog crate?
What Are the Benefits of a Dog Crate?
These are the key benefits of crating your dog:
- Promote a sense of calm, comfort, and security.
- Seamless potty training of your furry friend.
- Training tool that provides a safe space in which hyperactive hounds can calm down.
- Traveling in the car.
- Airline travel, assuming the crate meets airline cargo specifications.
- Overnight sleeping.
- Containment when you are away from home.
With those basics sketched in, how long is it safe and humane to leave a puppy in a dog crate for?
How Long Can You Leave a Puppy in a Crate?
Puppies have brains that are still underdeveloped, and they also lack bladder and bowel control. Leave a puppy inside a crate for too long and he will have no option but to do his business and soil the crate.
In most cases, puppies are raised by their mothers. They also tend to have several siblings. When you invest in a new puppy and take him home to meet the family, he will experience a dramatic change of environment. Crate a puppy for too long and it is likely to trigger howling, barking, and separation anxiety.
If your puppy is not tired and you pop him inside a crate, this will deliver few benefits for you or your new hound. Only crate a pup if you have no alternative. Or if they need a nap in peace, of course.
As a rough guide, puppies younger than 10 weeks old should never be crated for more than 30 to 60 minutes at a time. When you crate a puppy, it is essential to give him plenty of exercise beforehand. You should also make sure that he attends to his business before being crated.
When your puppy hits 14 weeks old, you can increase crate time to 2 hours.
At 18 weeks, most puppies can cope with being crated for up to 3 hours.
How Long Can You Leave an Adult Dog in a Crate?
Crate training an adult dog is more straightforward. No adult dog should be left unattended in a crate for more than 6 hours, even if they have access to plenty of food and water. This should be considered an absolute maximum rather than a safe working minimum.
When Is It Time to Reconsider Crate Training Your Dog?
All dogs are different and the above guidelines for crate times are not universally applicable. If you have a breed that requires lots of activity and mental stimulation, lengthy crate times are not recommended.
If you find that your dog starts panicking when he is crated, or if crating brings about separation anxiety, it might be time to reconsider training methods. You could leave your newborn puppy in a safe area of the home, using a pet camera to monitor their behavior. Some of the best cameras will even dispense treats automatically.
Leaving a dog inside a crate all day every day is considered cruel and unacceptable. If you need to contain your dog for this length of time, it is worth rethinking whether you can offer a dog the loving home he needs to thrive rather than just survive.
Should I Crate My Dog?
As long as your dog is happy, healthy, and well-adjusted, there is no legitimate reason not to crate train him during the day. You might even find that Rover appreciates his crate for the sanctuary it provides, gladly scuttling inside for some down-time.
Crating dogs is not always the most appropriate option, though. As you’ll see in our FAQs below, some breeds are not well suited to containment.
Here are some of the main reasons for not crating your dog:
- You do not have the right size crate for your dog.
- Your dog suffers from separation anxiety when left unattended.
- Your dog has diarrhea.
- Your dog is vomiting.
- You know that you will be away for more than 4 or 5 hours (for a puppy) or more than 8 hours (for an adult dog).
- You detect that your dog barks and howls when crated for extended periods.
- You notice that your dog is doing his business inside the crate.
- Your dog damages his crate when trying to escape from it.
- The temperature of the crate is too hot.
- The temperature of the crate is too cold.
- You did not walk Rover before crating him.
All dogs are unique and there is no universal answer to the question, “How long can you leave a dog in a crate.” That said, today’s guide should give you a helpful framework that you can customize until your pooch is properly crate trained.
We recommend bookmarking our blog before you head off today. We will be updating our content daily throughout the holiday season at GO Boxer Rescue, so come back soon and don’t miss out on more informative guides on all aspects of pet ownership. See you soon!
1) How long is it acceptable to leave my dog in a crate?
You should not leave an adult dog inside a crate for more than 6 to 8 hours at a time. If you have a puppy who is at least 17 weeks old, they should be capable of handling perhaps 4 to 5 hours crated. Leaving a dog locked inside a crate for longer than this is liable to harm their physical and mental health.
2) What is considered too long to leave my dog in a crate?
If you are away from home at work for 8 hours, it is not acceptable to crate a puppy for this length of time. 5 hours should be considered the maximum crate time, regardless of age. Although an adult dog can cope with being confined in a crate for 8 hours, lengthy crate times should not be a regular occurrence.
3) How long is it acceptable to leave my puppy crated for during the day?
The younger your puppy, the less time he can be left alone and crated during the day. aim to leave a puppy inside a crate for no more than 2 hours during the daytime.
4) How long can I leave my dog alone and crated during the day?
Some dogs might cope with being left alone in a crate for up to 10 hours during the daytime without barking in the crate. This should not be standard, though. If you plan to leave your adult dog crated for a lengthy spell, ensure that the crate contains:
- Pee pad
- Concealed treats
- Doggie chews
5) Which canine breeds cope well if they are left alone and crated during the day?
Some dog breeds are much more self-sufficient than others. These breeds tend to cope admirably when they are left crated and unattended. Such breeds include:
- Golden Retriever
- Labrador Retriever
- Basset Hound
- Beagle Bull Terrier
- Boston Terrier
- French Bulldog
- Shiba Inu
- Shar Pei
- Chow Chow