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When my family adopted our Annie from a Needy Paws Rescue event at our local PetSmart® we really had no idea about dog crates and the benefit of crate training. When Needy Paws came to our house for the home check and brought Annie though, they also bought a crate for us to borrow. It turns out Annie loved her crate. We thought it was odd at first, but we have learned that crates are like dens for dogs. This has been Annie’s safe and secure place since we adopted her.
Annie was really nervous when she first came to our house, she had been through a lot in the last several months. Whenever she was nervous she would just get up and walk into her crate to feel safe. Over the past couple of months she has relaxed more and feels comfortable in our home but her crate is still here in the family room for her when she wants to hang out there.
Recently we went to our lake house for the first time since adopting Annie. Because we know that she does get nervous we folded up her crate and took it with us. We love that crates are collapsible like this, but we also have a travel carrier for her. The first thing we did was set up the crate and she went in and out of it the entire weekend.
We are also doing a bit of crate training with Annie, well more re-training. She is mostly house-broken but we do occasionally have accidents. At night she sleeps in her crate to avoid any potty accidents. We also have found that in the morning she is most active and in a chewing mood. When I have to be gone in the morning I have her go in her crate now too to avoid her chewing up any more shoes and boxes – we’ve lost many of both to her before we learned.
We live super close to PetSmart and so we take Annie over there shopping with us often. It’s nice to be able to see your pet next to the crates, kennels, and carriers to get an even better idea of what will work best.
At the store they will have a put together display area of the different crates so you can see the size of them. As I said, we love the crates because they fold down flat in about a minute.
The pet carriers are also an option for both at home or traveling. We have one of these for Annie also but for her it is just for when she travels. If you have smaller dogs they even have soft-sided carriers available.
Make sure you get everything you need when you but your crate or carrier. For crates you will need a crate pan to give the dogs a nice solid surface on the bottom. Then for crates or carriers be sure to have some soft padding for them to lay down on and be comfy.
We are so happy to have learned about the benefits of crate training and use for our Annie. We’ve always had small carriers for our cats for taking them to the vet but we never knew how important it would be for a dog. I really think a crate is one of the most important items you need for a happy pet!
Do you have a crate, carrier, or kennel at home for your pets? Do you have any tips on using them for my other readers?