If you have a dog of any size, you will need a crate, dog kennel or travel cage – whether you plan to have your dog inside or out, and no matter what size dog you have, you still need to look at your options. However, if you are a first-time dog owner you may quickly find yourself overwhelmed with the number of options in the market, all of which suit a different purpose.
So how can you find the best dog kennels for your fur baby? How do you know what you need, and what will be overkill for your purposes? Start by asking yourself a few questions, and from there it becomes a process of elimination, and reading reviews.
Where Will Your Dog Sleep?
Choosing where your dog sleeps will have a lot to do with your personality, the size of your dog, and why you got a dog. A member of the family is more likely to sleep inside (probably on someone’s bed), while a working farm dog or security dog is more likely to be found in a kennel outside. There is not right or wrong location for a dog to sleep, as long as they are comfortable and have their physical and social needs met
Inside Bed Hogs
However, if you have a puppy you may be thinking that you’ll move them to an outside kennel once they’re old enough. But for now, they’ll be fine on your bed. So, be clear right from the start where your dog will sleep. The good news is that they have done actual scientific research on how healthy it is to have your dog sleeping in the same room with you, and despite old misconceptions, for most people sleeping with your dog is not a bad thing (honest, here’s the research!).
Nevertheless, it is still a good idea to allow your dog to have their own space, even if both you and your pup intend to fight over the best bit of the bed. A pet bed gives them a space of their own when they need it, and you might still want to invest in a kennel to help with toilet training using the crate training method.
Inside Cozy Crates
Do you want a dog that will be ‘crate trained’? If you have a puppy and you are intending to use their crate to help toilet train them, then you will need a crate that is large enough for them to stand up, turn around and lie down with its legs outstretched. You also need to ensure that they will have room for a blanket to curl up in. Dogs do not like to sleep in urine or feces, so they are less likely to use their crate as a toilet, but you must ensure that you listen to their signals that they need to go outside, and make sure that you take your pup outside regularly to help toilet train them. An inside crate should be your dogs’ den, their safe and cozy bedroom. If you have brought the crate for a puppy be aware of how big they grow, you may need to upgrade faster than you anticipated. https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/crate-training-101
Snuggled Up On Guard Outside
If you want them sleeping in a kennel or a run outside, you could start them as a puppy in the laundry or set a kennel up with them from the outset. If you want to go this way it is a good idea to consult a dog training expert otherwise you may end up with a dog that whines and barks constantly. There may be many reasons why you want or need your dog to sleep outside, but there is definitely a right way to get them to do so happily.
Obviously, you will need to ensure that your dog’s kennel is placed in a location that is protected from wind, snow and ice, but also allows them to stay cool in the summer heat. An outside kennel should obviously have a weathertight roof and sides and will often also have a closed in base to keep your dog directly off the ground. This is helpful not only from a comfort view, but if you are using the kennel to keep your dog contained having a dirt floor may be something they can easily dig out of. Try to make your dogs’ kennel as quiet as possible so that they are not disturbed by the neighbours’ party or you flushing the toilet. There are a lot of articles and videos you can find online that will help your inside dog adjust to being an outside dog (like this) once you have chosen the right outside kennel for them.
How Will Your Dog Travel?
When you’re looking at kennels also think about whether you need it to be portable or if you will need to invest in a separate crate, as the next most common reason why dog owners need a crate is to transport their pup. Whether you’re taking your dog to the vet, the dog park, across state, across the country, or just to stay with Auntie Janet for the weekend, how they get there is important.
You might be able to install a dog barrier in your vehicle to restrict access to the cabin, which is particularly helpful after a mud filled day of fun at the park, however, often having a kennel or cage in the back can be a lot easier. You only need to take the cage out and hose it down in order to have a clean boot again.
If you are flying with your dog, you will likely need to invest in a specific airline carrier which are made of plastic and are easy to attach food and water to. Airlines, particularly for international travel, have strict regulations regarding the size of kennel that is suitable, based on how much room your dog will have to move around. Because they are going to be nervous you don’t want them with too much room, you want them comfortable in their little den until they can be with you again.
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