You may have read that your puppy will feel better in their crate if it’s covered, either with a made to measure cover, or just a simple throw or blanket. Let’s take a look at why we might cover our dog’s crate and help you decide if you want to cover yours.
How do you cover a dog crate?
If you choose to cover your puppy’s crate, always keep the front, where the door is, clear and open. The aim is to create a cosy den, not to enclose them completely in darkness.
What do crate covers do?
Covering your dog’s crate can have a few different effects.
Sitting in an open mesh crate can feel really exposed and covering the crate will help a dog or puppy feel a lot more secure and help the crate feel more den-like.
Depending on where your crate is located, a cover may help to keep your puppy warmer, blocking out draughts and keeping them cosy in between toilet trips 🙂
Reduces visual stimuli
A crate cover will stop your dog from seeing every little movement that’s happening around them, such as the kids walking past, or the cat trying to get from point A to point B without being accosted by the new puppy.
This reduction in visual stimuli will ensure that your dog has better rest in their crate without constantly being distracted by what’s going on around them.
This can be doubly important if you have an anxious dog. Anything you can do to improve the quality of their downtime will help with their daytime anxiety too.
What crate covers don’t do
Train your dog to love their crate
A crate cover will not help your dog become happy at being placed in their crate. It takes time and training for a dog to love their crate and a cover will not speed up this process.
Stop your dog from crying or whining
Covering your crate won’t quieten down an anxious dog or a new puppy. If your dog is making any unhappy noises in their crates then either the crate training has progressed too quickly for the dog to handle, or another need hasn’t been met yet (are they hungry, need toileting, cold etc.)
Should a dog crate be covered at night?
Your crate set up overnight should be no different to your daytime set-up (although I would recommend removing any toys or chews that could be accidentally choked on if they aren’t being supervised).
There is no need or benefit to covering the crate completely overnight.
It’s crucial to note that not all dogs like having their crate covered, and some may feel stressed or claustrophobic. It’s advisable to introduce the cover gradually and observe your dog’s reaction. If your dog seems distressed or uncomfortable, it’s best to leave the crate uncovered.
Is a dog crate cover a chew hazard?
Quite often the decision to set up your crate a particular way will be dependent on your own dog’s individual personality and behaviors.
Made to measure covers are generally fixed to the crate in such a way as to smooth out the sides with a little tension which makes it very difficult for a dog or puppy to grab through the bars.
Throws or blankets are easier to grab and pull into the crate so if you have a new puppy or rescue dog and you’re not sure if they’re a chewer, best to err on the side of caution and either use a smoother, made to measure cover or none at all.
Covering the very top of the crate and not the sides is always an option and a compromise.
Should I change crate covers in summer and winter?
This would absolutely depend on where your crate is located and the ambient temperature in that room. If your crate is in the lounge then it’s unlikely that a heavier covering for warmth is required in the winter, but if you crate overnight in an unheated room then a thicker blanket might be necessary.
Can crate covers be used for travel?
Yes, crate covers can be used for travel, and they can serve several purposes during transportation:
- Privacy and Security:
- A crate cover can create a cozy, enclosed space for your dog, providing a sense of security and privacy. This can be especially beneficial during travel when there might be unfamiliar sights and sounds.
- Reducing Stimuli:
- Covering the crate can help minimize visual stimuli that may cause stress or anxiety for the dog. This can be useful in busy or unfamiliar environments, such as airports or car trips.
- Calming Effect:
- For dogs prone to anxiety during travel, a covered crate can create a more den-like environment, promoting a sense of calmness.
- Reducing Distractions:
- Crate covers can also help reduce distractions for your dog, allowing them to focus on resting or relaxing during the journey.
Ready to start crate training your dog?
All articles on tetradog.com are written by qualified behaviorist and dog trainer, Cheryl Walker.
- · Foundation degree (Level 5) in canine behaviour management
- · WSDA instructor (World Scent Dogs Association) and level 1 competition judge
- · ADTB Puppy level instructor Diploma
- · Diploma in Puppy Training
- · Diploma in canine behavior training
- · Canine First Aider
- · Veterinary Support Assistant Diploma
- · Completed Dr. Ian Dunbar’s Sirius academy
- · Owner of an extraordinary working Cocker spaniel called Huckleberry