Should I Put A Blanket In My Dog’S Crate

Before you can start crate training your puppy or older dog, you have to know what to put in a dog crate to make it a comfortable, enticing and welcoming place where your dog will love to spend time, while making sure not to leave them with things that could be detrimental to what we’re trying to achieve or even dangerous if left with your dog.

This article will explain what you should and should not place in the crate, for safety, for comfort and to be sure you’re doing the best you can for your dog when crating them.

OUR #1 RECOMMENDATION: Our favorite dog crate is the Midwest Life Stages Crate. We still use the same crate we bought for our first puppy, Linus over 17 years ago!

But before deciding what to put in your dog’s crate, you first need to know where to put it.

Most dogs appreciate the seclusion and security that a covered crate provides, especially at bedtime. However, an old blanket is not the ideal crate cover solution for several reasons. A blanket can become a chew toy, present a fire hazard, cut off essential ventilation, and cause your pet to overheat.

What about covering your dog’s crate?

This isn’t a black or white answer to this question, as it completely depends on your dog. Many dogs like a covered crate, while some don’t.

Plastic or wooden crates are already fairly enclosed, but wire crates are very open and may not give your pup the den-like atmosphere she wants.

A covered crate can provide a sense of coziness, comfort, and safety for a lot of dogs. It is also a useful way of reducing stimulation for anxious dogs who get distracted by what’s going on around them or for territorial dogs who feel the need to guard.

Some dogs, however, take comfort in seeing their surroundings and may get anxious upon the crate being covered.

The only way to know if your dog likes it is to try it. The best way to do this is by introducing the cover slowly. First, just cover the roof of the crate for a couple of days, then include one side for a couple more days, and then include both sides, and so on.

You should be there at all times while they are getting used to it. Don’t leave them home or overnight with the crate covered before you know they are okay with it.

It is important not to cover all sides of the crate, as they still need ventilation for temperature control and fresh air.

Like anything new and unfamiliar, your dog may object at first.

However, if after a couple of days of trying out the cover your dog shows true anxiety, whether by whining, scratching at the crate cover or clawing or chewing at the crate, it’s her way of saying she doesn’t like it.

You should remove the cover and stop the process, as continuing will just cause her stress.

If your dog seems relaxed and at ease, enters without showing signs of anxiety, and sleeps with the crate covered, it’s highly likely that she likes it and you can leave it in place.

I highly recommend that you try it out. For the dogs who like it, you won’t know unless you go through the process!

Is it okay to leave water in a dog crate?

As a general rule, it’s best not to leave water in the dog crate, particularly when potty training your puppy. This is because it is likely to increase the number of accidents inside the crate, as puppies fill their bladders quickly.

There may be rare occasions when you will want to leave water for your dog. For instance, if you are leaving your dog crated for more than 2 hours – particularly in hot weather – or if your vet recommends crating your dog for medical reasons.

For these possible instances, it is a good idea to have the equipment available to provide your dog with water if necessary. A crate mounted bottle or bowl is best, as these will not spill or get knocked over.

What to put in a crate with a puppy

Since puppies are more likely to chew on and potentially swallow anything you put in the crate with them, safety comes first here.

Avoid using blankets, towels, or sheets for your puppy’s crate bedding. She might chew on these materials, which will not only be messy but if she ends up swallowing pieces, it could lead to a life-threatening internal blockage and an emergency trip to the vets.

It’s best to go for durable, easy-to-clean materials while she’s still in the puppy stages.

A good crate bedding for your pup is Frisco Quilted Fleece Pet Bed & Crate Mat. This is widely-used in kennels and vets and comes highly recommended for its resistance to chewers. It is made of a very durable fabric, but it is also comfortable for your pooch to lie on.

What’s more, it’s warm and insulating, non-allergenic, and has unique drainage properties, so that in the event of any accident, your puppy will stay dry and cozy. If you live in a cold climate check out this review of best dog house heaters and heated dog houses.

Another type of durable crate bedding is the K9 Ballistics TUFF Crate Pad, recommended for light to moderate chewers. It’s made of super tough Ripstop Ballistic Nylon and comes without zippers or Velcro.

It also resists water, hair, dirt, and odors, so it’s easy to clean and stays smelling and looking fresh. Plus it has a polyester-fill base to help your pup feel comfy and snug. It’s not a good option for heavy chewers, however, as it can still be destroyed by these more determined teeth.

If your pup falls under the “aggressive chewer” category, an extra durable bed made from PVC, such as these from Frisco, may be in order. As well as the huge advantage of being chew proof, they are also designed to be cooling and easy to clean.

Of course, once your puppy has proven she can be trusted not to chew, you can switch to a bedding of your choice. I advise you to begin by using a durable crate pad such as the ones above until that day comes, however.

While this may sound pricier, it’s certainly worth it in the long run – who knows how many beds you might have to throw out and replace due to those persistent little teeth?

Not to mention paying out for vet bills if she swallows shredded pieces of bedding.

Some of the more destructive puppers out there have been known to destroy dog crate floors, too. If your dog is chewing or digging at the plastic crate tray, a good alternative is to invest in a chew proof metal one instead.

Leaving toys in the crate with your pup can have many advantages, but, as with bedding, the same goes for toys – durable is best!

You should never leave soft, stuffed toys or squeaky toys with your puppy, as she is likely to chew up and destroy them, and could potentially ingest pieces of them.

There are quite a few “indestructible” dog toys on the market now which are suitable toys for dogs in crates, but the one I think a great to use with a puppy is the classic rubber Kong toy.*

These are not only extremely tough but also hollow, so you can also stuff them with food so that your pup stays occupied trying to get out the tasty treat.

Giving your pup toys to play with in her crate has many benefits:

  • By providing her with an alternative, she is less likely to chew her bedding
  • It gives her a pastime and so stops her from getting bored
  • Surrounding her with familiar objects will make her feel more comfortable inside the crate
  • It increases her enjoyment of time spent in the crate
  • It helps her to learn to chew on the right thing, meaning she is less likely to chew on your belongings when outside the crate
  • *Make sure it’s the right size for your puppy’s mouth.


    Is it better to cover crate when dog is in it at night?

    Dogs will try to reach through the crate bars for anything they can pull in and chew. Covering your dog’s crate may make him feel more secure, but it’s important to use a cover he can’t pull in through the bars and destroy. Food and water aren’t necessary to leave in the crate overnight.

    How can I make my dogs crate more comfortable?

    When it’s time to crate your puppy at night, place the toy inside the crate with her so she can snuggle up to the reassuring smells of her canine siblings. A toy with a virtual heartbeat and warmable insert mimics the reassuring sound and feel of your puppy’s mother.

    Do dogs like bedding in their crate?

    DO make the crate comfortable and inviting by placing soft, washable bedding inside. DO place your dog’s crate in the quietest corner of one of the most used rooms in the house (such as a family room or den) so that your dog does not associate crating with feeling isolated or banished.