You should definitely crate your dog at night, even if you are not a big fan of crate training. A crate is an intimate place that allows your dog to sleep peacefully at night and keep him away from external distractions.
Dogs spend half their day sleeping; so you sure want them to have a peaceful place to sleep and to keep them away from trouble when you are asleep.
In this article, I will be answering the frequently asked questions about crate training at night. So let’s start with the most obvious one.
Where should my dog sleep at night time?
I am not a big fan of leaving the dog free to move around the house at night. I believe it’s dangerous and not very convenient for the dog.
So my answer to this question is; dogs must sleep in their crate with the door closed.
Some people let their dogs sleep with them in the room or in their beds, that’s fine as long as the dog is confined to the room where you at.
However, despite recent studies that have shown that there could be beneficial aspects of humans sharing the bed with their dogs; I just can’t get passed the health risks involved.
Sharing the bed with your dog my aggravate allergies, and there is always the risk of disease transmission.
Crating the dog at night seems to be logical and safe for both humans and dogs. It provides stability to the dog knowing exactly where he is going to sleep. Also allowing the owner to have control over his dog’s movement at night.
Dogs spend only 10% of their sleep time in the deep sleep phase, meaning they can easily wake up at night and get into trouble.
Crate training the dog at night helps you also control his potting needs.
Should I leave water in the dog crate at night?
If you exercise your dog enough before he goes to bed which is really recommended every time before going into the crate; your dog will be exhausted and won’t probably need anything during the night.
Furthermore, it is best if you stop giving water to your puppy at least 2 hours before going to bed to reduce his need for a potty break.
Dogs are playful if you leave water in the crate the dog is just going to make a mess with it not even drink it. So it’s better if you don’t.
Should you cover a dog’s crate at night?
You should indeed consider covering your dog’s crate especially the wire ones at night.
The crate cover provides more intimacy to the crate and lowers the environmental factors that could disturb your dog’s sleep.
However, you want to be careful about what you are using to cover your dog’s crate. Using a blanket is very common but not advised though.
The blanket could easily make the crate hot and therefore harder for your dog to breathe.
Crates now come with their own cover that fits it perfectly and easy to install, remove and clean.
You may want to read this article about using a dog crate cover and how safe is it to use it and where to get it.
When can I stop crating my dog at night?
Crate training is a decision you have to make once. It is not a good idea to crate train a dog then stop suddenly.
During the day you can if you want when the dog reaches maturity about 6 to 8 months old depending on the breed; you can leave the crate open and dog-proof an area or use a playpen.
However, during the night if your dog is used to sleeping in his crate it could be disturbing for him to just change that.
A sudden change in the dog’s sleeping habits can even cause a disturbance in the dog’s digestion system.
Dogs sleep about 12 hours per day because they don’t spend much time in the deep sleep phase. So when you cause disturbance to his sleep he may not be very energetic during the day.
What should I put in my puppy’s crate at night?
You should not put anything in your dog’s crate, it’s that simple. Now let’s explain why.
Food and water
Puppies should be fed 3 times a day at the same time every day and at evenly spaced moments every 3 hours for instance.
Food during the night will only disturb your dog’s digestif system and too much food can cause health issues.
As for the water like we said earlier dogs will only mess around with it and it may cause the dog to need more potting breaks.
Dogs need at least 12 hours of sleep every day, so at night they should not be active.
When it’s time to go to bed it should be just to sleep nothing else, kind of like toddlers. You don’t want to establish a habit of your dog being active in his crate at night or else he will sleep more during the day.
I do not recommend blankets and bedsheets for puppies especially while still potty training. They may be tempted to use it as a pee pad.
As for older dogs, there is no problem in using one as long as you clean it frequently.
Should I wake my puppy up to pee at night?
Waking up a sleeping puppy is not a good idea, furthermore, they will be waking up on their own.
Young puppies will not control their bladder for more than two to three hours depending on the breed and the size.
When the puppy gets older they will be capable of sleeping through the night without potting breaks.
So if your dog can make it you do not have to wake him up.
What time should a puppy be put to bed?
There is no perfect time to put a puppy to bed it will depend on your personal schedule and the age and size of the puppy.
Young puppies could sleep up to 18 hours a day anyway so there will be a few hours of activity during the day but they will mostly go to bed early.
Older dogs should be fine going to sleep around 10 pm, but an hour before or after is not a big deal.
You could fit their daily schedule to yours so you can keep an organized routine for your dog.
If you don’t have a crate training schedule for your dog you can check out this article it would be of much help especially if you are working full-time.
Should I sleep next to my puppy’s crate at night?
Keeping your dog’s crate close to you at night is preferable especially for young puppies. Since they will need to eliminate during the night.
You can place it next to your bed in the first few nights of crate training because your dog may start whining at night. So it would be easier for you to handle it if the crate is in your bedroom.
When the dog is used to being in the crate at night and no longer need to wake up for potty breaks; you may place the crate somewhere else.
You should choose a spot where to place the crate that doesn’t have too many distractions or too hot so the dog can sleep peacefully.