Puppy Wispa at Southampton adoption centre

Dog crates

The most popular and convenient crate (sometimes called an indoor kennel ) is the fold down weld mesh type. These rectangular kennels come in all sizes, and because they are collapsible are easily transported. Fabric crates are also available, these are lightweight and brightly coloured but not suitable for destructive dogs. 

What size of dog crate should be used?

The crate should be long enough for the dog to turn around and stretch and high enough to sit up without touching the top.

If you are buying for a puppy, judge the size you will need by measuring an adult dog of a similar type. If in doubt it is better that the kennel is on the large side rather than too small.

Using a crate

It is important that an crate is not used to punish or to house a dog for long periods of time. When used correctly crates provide a safe, secure and private area for your dog. Your dog must be taken out regularly to exercise, play and go to the toilet.

Whilst in the crate your dog should have comfortable bedding, water and a suitable chew toy.

A suitable place for the crate

The crate must be placed in a family area, where your dog can see everything and not feel left out.

Make sure the crate is away from direct heat and cover the top, back and sides with a sheet to give the kennel a cosy, secure, ‘den’ feeling. The sheet also helps prevent drafts.

Introducing your dog to the crate

Indoor kennel

Place your dog’s bedding in the crate and encourage your dog to explore it by throwing tasty food treats in it. DO NOT close the kennel door. Repeat over a few days until your dog is happily going in and out and choosing to go in the crate to rest. When you reach this stage you can begin to close the door of the crate for a few minutes at a time.

If your dog remains happy and relaxed you can gradually increase the length of time your dog spends in the crate in each session. Remember at this stage you should stay in the room.

The first time you leave your dog alone make sure he or she has been well exercised and then leave your dog in the crate with a hide chew or safe toy for a few minutes whilst you are out of the room. Gradually increase the time your dog can be left, up to a maximum of three hours (which is the maximum time your dog should be left in a crate).

— Page last updated 17/10/2018

Did you find this helpful?

We provide free pet advice as every pet deserves to be well looked after. We treated around 35,000 sick injured and homeless pets last year. We're so glad we've been able to help these pets who are unable to help themselves, but there are thousands of sick and lonely pets still in need, so we need to ask for a small favour.

All of our work is funded entirely through donations. People like you are essential to our work. If everyone who benefits from our articles is able to give a little back, we can reach thousands more pets. For as little as £1 you can make a difference - do you have one minute? Thank you.