You decided to crate train your puppy, probably purchased a nice crate and have heard of covering the crate at night or during the day and Now, you are wondering is it safe to cover dog crates?
The short answer is yes dog crate cover is perfectly safe as long as your dog has air going in and out of his crate, and the crate cover isn’t making it too hot in there.
But is it useful to cover the dog crate in the first place? In this article, we will give you detailed information about the dog crate cover it’s benefits, what type to choose and what you should do so you do not hurt your dog.
Should I cover the dog crate?
To understand the importance of the dog crate cover, you should be able to relate to what the crate represents to your dog.
the crate is a safe place for your puppy where he will go anytime he wants to relax.
The crate training is important in many ways one of which is that the crate is considered a den for the puppy where he can relax and feel safe.
However, covering the crate all the time isn’t advised, sometimes the dog needs to feel safe and have a little dark spot.
My dog used to freak out when it was that time of the year when thunderstorms are very common. He would run into his crate and covers himself in a fetus position. The crate cover made a great addition to his den.
Although, crate covers make the crate more like a den but, dogs are very energetic animals that make a great bond with their guardians and family; So he needs to be around them even if chilling in the crate.
You should know that if the crate doesn’t provide enough safety to the dog he will be denning in other dark corners of the house when sensing fear or stress.
When should you cover the dog crate?
Dog crate cover is a great tool to calm your dog when stressed, but when exactly it is best to use it.
I personally use the crate cover since day one of the crate training program.
Covering the crate during the night
At night a dog is more likely to sleep through the night if his crate is covered; As it provides intimacy and lowers external environmental factors that may wake him up.
When used, a crate cover gives the dog the comfort and serenity of a den, which makes the dog more relax.
Crate cover at night reduces external stimulation as dogs are very curious animals.
You want your dog sleeping through the night and only waking up for a potting break.
Covering the crate during the day
The crate cover is rarely used during the day as dogs need to feel around other people or at least have an open view of their surroundings.
The only case where the crate cover is advised during the day is if your dog is stressed or feeling down or experiencing fear( could be around other pets or new people …)
As I mentioned earlier worked really great with my puppy during thunderstorms.
How do you cover a dog crate?
Essentially any soft material that allows you to cover the crate from most sides and keep the air coming is ok.
Very thick fabrics could make the crate hot and your lovely puppy uncomfortable.
Using a cover that doesn’t allow much light in will enhance that safe and warm feeling.
Some dogs may pull the cover down or tear it apart if not placed carefully on the crate; which is why an official dog crate cover is advised.
Avoid putting heavy materiel on the crate to pin down the crate cover, your dog may pull it down and get hurt or scared if it falls into the ground. Plus we don’t want our dog to experience any fear while in his crate.
Should you cover a dog crate with a blanket?
This is one of the most common mistakes when it comes to crate training, people just put a blanket inside the crate for the dog to lay on during the day and just flip it on the crate at night.
First, there should be no blanket inside the crate especially if you’re still potty training your dog as he will pee on it. Second, the blankets often are thick and heavy and may make it intolerably hot inside the crate.
Blankets can pick up dirt easily and hurt your dog if not taken off properly, while a proper crate cover is easily maintained.
All in all blankets as crate cover aren’t the best of ideas. You don’t want to go cheap on your puppy especially that dog crate covers aren’t that expensive. So get one that fits your dog crate and it looks better.
How do you get a dog used to a covered crate?
You simply do it gradually, just like it’s the case with the whole crate training process.
Start at night, as the dog is more likely to prefer a dark denning area away from external factors.
During the day just keep the cover on the top of the crate and rolled on the sides, and maybe one side down once in a while.
When you feel like your dog is freaking out about something or feeling fear or down roll the sides down and let him calm down; Once it’s the case just roll the sides up again.
If your dog likes his crate covered he will be scratching the sides when going in on his own.
How to choose a safe crate cover?
When choosing a crate cover there aren’t really many factors to take into consideration.
Crate cover size
Well, this is a no brainer it should simply fit your dog crate, the size of the crate dictates the size of the cover.
If you haven’t bought a crate yet you may consider getting one with its own perfect cover.
You don’t want the crate cover loose over the crate, your puppy may pull it in.
I am actually surprised by how many dog crate covers are available on amazon and for every crate size you may possess, you can check crate covers in here if you haven’t got one yet.
Crate cover material
You have to be careful when choosing a crate cover for your dog, the material of the cover is very important.
Try to choose something durable but at the same time not to thick, so it protects the dog from the elements and at the same time he can’t just tear it apart.
Choose, something easily washable with just a towel or little soap, that doesn’t attract bugs or dirt.
You may want to go fancy with the crate cover but that’s not a great idea. Just check this cover here it looks ridiculous.
Crate cover features
You want the crate cover to be easy to install and recover, nothing too complex that you have to move the crate around to install it.
It has to have the possibility to be rolled over to the top when not covering all the sides.
If you have a double-door crate which is ideal for crate training a puppy you want your crate cover to also has two matching openings so the dog can get in or out freely.
Tips to keep your dog happy in his covered crate
If you have done the crate training correctly, by now the crate should already be a happy place. If you still considering crate training your puppy and looking for tips check out my explicit guide on the matter.
The crate cover will keep the puppy safe just like a den, so you may want to introduce him to it as soon as he is comfortable enough in the crate. If you use it on the start can scare away the puppy and make it harder for you to get him used to his new crate.
Use it when it’s cold to protect the puppy from the elements, this will keep him relatively warm. Who of us doesn’t like a blanket in the cold days?
Use it at night to keep the puppy isolated from the rest of the room and sleep peacefully.
Don’t choose some bright shiny color that keeps getting his attention, crate covers should be in dark colors at least from the inside.