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Dog Crate Buyer's Guide- How to choose the right crate and accessories

Why use a crate:

When used properly and not abused, crates are the fastest and most humane method of housebreaking dogs. Dogs are den animals that will instinctively seek out a small, cozy place to rest for shelter and security. Crates act on a dog's instinct to keep its den clean and unsoiled. Keeping your dog in a crate teaches him to "hold it" until he can go in an appropriate place, which helps your puppy develop his bladder control. For older dogs, crates act as a "bedroom" where they can relax and escape the hustle and bustle of kids, other pets, and everyday family life. Also, it's never too late to crate train! A crate can help break bad habits that improperly trained dogs may have developed over the years.

Plastic or metal?

Plastic kennels are good for travel, and are generally the only method of containment permitted by airlines. Metal wire dog crates are ideal for home use, however. They are generally roomier and more open. They're also sturdier, so they will stand up to your pet's movement/ activity and be able to last as your dog's permanent bedroom.

What size?

A crate should only be big enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and lay down. If the crate is too big, your puppy will have enough room to soil one side and sleep in the other, which defeats the purpose of the crate. Buy a crate large enough to accommodate your dog's full-grown size and get a divider panel. This way, you can keep the one crate and have it "grow" along with your dog.

Accessories:

Always be sure to include appropriate toys and treats in the crate. This will keep your dog occupied and prevent your teething puppy from chewing on the crate's metal bars. It is also important to purchase crate bedding. A crate cover is great for lowering the number of outside distractions your dog sees, which can reduce barking and stress in the crate. A crate pad will be more comfortable than the crate's plastic pan. Finally, a bumper like the one included in Pet Dreams Cratewear will help protect your puppy from injuries caused by chewing or leaning against the crate's metal bars.

For more information:

In addition to Cratewear, Pet Dreams provides a wealth of Crate Training Tips, articles, and FAQs to help you crate train your dog. We’ve also recently launched Forums where you can discuss all aspects of training with others and get advice from the experts!

About the Author

Visit www.petdreams.com for Dog crates, Cratewear bedding and Sleep-ezz dog beds.

A. Grignard