Should I Crate My Dog at Night?

What’s the best place for your dog to sleep? There’s no one right answer to this question. Much depends on the dog, the living situation, and other people and animals in the home, among other factors. Whether you should crate your dog at night is a personal decision, but one that can work out well for the canine and human parties involved.

Crating and Potty Training

At some point in time, your puppy will become reliably housebroken. When that happens – and it will, with time and training –his nighttime sleeping options may change. Until that point, crating your puppy or dog at night not only keeps him safe but helps you reach the housebroken stage sooner.

Dogs do not like to urinate or defecate in their dens. They want to keep their sleeping quarters clean, and a crate serves the same purpose as a den in nature.

Crating your dog at night is more than a training tool. It sets him up for success in the housetraining process. When crated, he can’t wander around the house and eliminate wherever he wants.  He quickly learns that leaving the crate in the morning means he goes outside right away where he can relieve himself.

Benefits of Crating Your Dog at Night

The benefits of crating your dog at night outweigh any potential downside. You don’t have to worry about him getting into trouble while you are asleep. He isn’t going to ruin your rugs or floors by evacuating his bladder or bowels. He isn’t going to chew shoes, remotes, furniture, or any of the household items dogs find so appealing. He isn’t going to need an emergency trip to the veterinary hospital because he devoured something harmful.

Once a dog is housebroken, you may not have to worry about elimination accidents in the home. For some dogs, that playful destructive tendency may continue beyond puppyhood. You’re the best judge as to whether your dog is trustworthy at night unsupervised or if he needs a crate to protect him from his own worst inclinations.

Preparation for Life

Getting used to a crate helps your pet adjust to other changes in their life. The crate becomes their secure space. When they go to the vet for treatment or the groomer for beautification, they’re comfortable staying in their crates or cages. The same holds true if you travel with your dog. Crates are mandatory on airlines, and if you leave your dog in a motel room while you’re out sightseeing, they’ll need confinement.     

Many dogs like having a crate they can retreat to when there’s a lot of activity going on in the household. You may want to confine your dog when entertaining guests. Even if your dog no longer requires crating at night, establishing the crate as a safe haven comes in handy at other times.  

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