Giving your dog or puppy freedom to enjoy his environment indoors and outdoors shows how responsible you are as a dog owner. Your dog needs it to stretch his legs, get some exercise, and expend excess energy. Freedom is good but your dog also needs a crate or cage of his own to find his niche in your home. Your vet will tell you that crating your dog or puppy is not a display of cruelty but rather an act of discipline, a part of his routine if you will. For a puppy, crating is a way to housetrain him and will cue the puppy to poop and pee when outside of his personal space. This works pretty effectively.
For older dogs, crating allows him to go into his own private Idaho when things get busy around the house, especially when there are kids running around. Outside of the house, crating is needed when transporting or traveling with a dog or puppy. Dogs no matter the age are given to hurling when they get motion sickness so crating is a major way of containing the mess though the smell is another matter. If you are still testy about crating your dog then you must not know that crates are designed like dog houses – shaped like a real home only smaller.
Seeing the function and importance of crating, the next step is how to choose the right size cage for your furry friend.
- Research on the puppy breed. You are buying a crate that will last a long time that is why you need to find out through your research exactly how tall and large your puppy will grow at his prime.
- Set aside a budget. Around $50 - $125 will get you a really sturdy one at a pet store, hardware, or department store.
- Buy the material that you like. Get the plastic kind with dividers if you are crating a puppy, as grown dogs don’t need dividers. If you don’t like plastic, there are steel crates available too. Either kind of material will have dividers if you are crating a puppy. These dividers can be adjusted as the puppy grows older.
- Measure him. Take a loose tape measure. Ask someone at home to help you keep him upright on all fours. Measure height and length. Then let him stand up on his hind legs and take his measurements, again for height and length. Lastly, when he is asleep, measure him using his sleeping position as your benchmark. Take all these measurements down by writing it on paper. Take the most extreme numbers out of the bunch. This will ensure that your dog or puppy can stretch, turn around, and lie down comfortably inside his crate.
- Bring your puppy or dog when it’s time to buy the crate. This is the best step you can take when choosing the right size of crate for him.
Finally, choose a crate that has proper ventilation and openings so he won’t feel isolated.