Dog crates are an important resource for owners, especially when you’re trying to potty train and raise a puppy. A common question is whether or not it’s a good idea to cover a dog’s crate.
This could be for many reasons, like trying to make the crate more comfortable or even just to keep the dog from fussing.
No matter your reasons, there are certainly times where it’s totally fine and others where it may not be best. Let’s get into whether you should cover your dog’s crate or not.
By Allison Salonko.
Allison is a Veterinary Technician in the state of Indiana. She graduated from International Business College and Vet Tech Institute of Indianapolis with a degree in Animal Science and Technology in 2011.
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Should A Dog’s Crate Be Covered?
Dogs are den animals, so it’s only natural for them to seek out dark or enclosed spaces when they are tired, scared or feeling anxious.
Covering the crate also reduces visual stimuli which can create further anxiety and barking.
Excitable dogs benefit significantly from having their crate covered as this will help reduce visibility, therefore minimizing anxious or hyper episodes when they see movement outside of windows or within the home.
When you crate-train your dog from puppyhood, it can prove beneficial to cover their kennel to signal naptime and bedtime.
If the cover is up, this shows that it is time to be out and exploring.
Is It Safe To Cover A Dog’s Crate?
Covering a dog’s crate is completely safe as long as you follow a few rules.
- Do not completely cover the crate as it can block airflow, making it stuffy and uncomfortable. Dogs that have short muzzles are sensitive to humid environments and stuff air.
- Do not use knitted blankets that can snag or unravel.
- Keep fabric away from heat sources!
- Ensure the fabric is breathable and won’t cause the kennel to become humid and stuffy.
When your puppy is young, specifically around teething age (5-8 months) they will be more likely to chew and shred anything they can get their little teeth on.
Securing a cover snugly should help minimize the chance of them destroying the cage cover.
If your dog shows signs of distress or aggression when their crate is covered, it may not be suitable for them.
You can start slow and only partially cover the crate to get them used to it.
Remove the cover if it seems to only cause stress in your pet.
Should I Cover My Dog’s Crate With A Blanket?
Blankets can be used as covers for your dog’s crate, but it is important that the fabric is breathable and allows for proper airflow. If the blanket is knitted, do not use it.
If your dog’s crate is outside and you have a colder climate, using insulated or heavy blankets can help protect your pet and keep them warm.
If it is at all warm outside, covering with a blanket will only create an unhealthy and hot environment and should be avoided as your pet can overheat.
Unattractive wire crates can be hidden well with blankets or covers that match your home’s interior decor.
Just be careful not to allow your dog to chew or ingest parts of the blanket.
Heavy moving blankets make excellent sound dampeners, which is especially beneficial if your dog becomes excitable over sounds.
Should You Fully Cover A Dog Crate?
A dog crate should not be fully covered as this creates a stuffy, humid environment that can put your canine companion in danger of overheating.
If you feel like your dog needs their crate completely covered, look into finding a fabric that is easily breathable.
Even with that, it is important to check that your dog is not getting too hot.
Conclusion: Should You Cover A Dog Crate?
Because dog’s enjoy enclosed, den-like spaces for sleeping and rest, it is completely fine to cover their crate.
However, it is crucial that you follow the guidelines above and ensure your dog’s safety first.
Always have a breathable crate cover and check that it is not too humid or hot. Especially, if your dog has a short nose!