Should I Put My 8 Week Old Puppy in a Crate at Night? (+ For How Long?)

The amount of time a dog should be in its crate depends on the age and breed of the dog; puppies can be in their crate at night, but you should expect to wake up at least once or twice during the night to take them out to go to the bathroom.

The rest of this article will go into detail about crate training your puppy and how long they should be in their crate each day as well as what to do if crate training is not the right fit for your dog. You should consider your dog’s breed, age, and training before leaving them for long periods of time. 

How many hours can I leave my dog in their crate? 

This answer will depend on the age of your dog, the breed of your dog, and how long you will be gone for. If you have a puppy, the amount of time that you can leave your dog in a crate will be much less than if you have an older, potty-trained dog that is used to their crate.

How long can my puppy be in a crate for? 

If you have a puppy that is brand new and between 8-10 weeks old, they should only be in their crate for 30-60 minutes a day. This is because they are still young, potty training, and needing to form attachments to their owners. If your puppy is between 11-14 weeks old, they can be in their crate for 1-3 hours. If your puppy is 15-16 weeks, they can be in their crate for 3-4 hours. If your puppy is over 17 weeks, they can be in their crate for 4-5 hours.

Puppies need stimulation and training in order to be mentally and physically healthy. If you want a happy pup, try to avoid leaving them in their crate for extended periods of time and make sure they get exercise and stimulation when they are out of their crate. 

How long can my adult dog be in a crate for? 

Adult dogs can be in their crates for up to 8 hours per day. Again, it’s important to consider your dog individually when deciding how long to leave them in their crate for, even if your dog is an adult. Consider their potty training, their crate training experience, and their energy levels.

Is it okay if my dog is in a crate to sleep? 

Yes–dogs can be in their crate to sleep. It may take some time and training to get your dog used to sleeping in their crate at night, but over time with positive reinforcement, your dog may come to see their crate as a cozy spot for sleeping.

Do dogs hate being in a crate? 

Some dogs dislike being in a crate. Some reasons for this could be separation anxiety, previous negative experiences with crates, their crate being used as punishment, and insufficient stimulation when outside of the crate. Do not use your dog’s crate as punishment for negative behavior; only use positive reinforcement when training your dog to use their crate.

Should I put my dog in a crate if they’re sick? 

It can be risky to put your dog in a crate for a long period of time if they’re sick. When dogs are sick, it can be difficult for them to hold in their urine or feces; this may result in them going to the bathroom in their crate while you’re gone. Not only is this a mess that you’ll have to clean up–it’s also unhealthy and very uncomfortable for your pup. 

How do I get my dog used to being in a crate? 

There are many ways that you can crate-train your dog. It is most effective if you begin training them when they are a puppy–this way, they can get used to their crate and see it as a cozy and safe space. 

Only use positive reinforcements when training your dog to use their crate. You can do this by feeding them their meals in their crate, praising them when they use their crate, and giving them a treat when they get inside their crate. 

What do I do if my dog won’t stop crying when they’re in a crate? 

It may take time for your dog to get used to their crate and it may be sad or distressing for them to go inside of it at first. If you give them treats when they go in their crate, this may help them associate their crate with positive things rather than negative. It’s also crucial that your dog gets enough love, attention, exercise, and stimulation during the time that they are not in their crate.

Is it possible for my dog to like their crate? 

Yes! A dog can come to view their crate as a cozy and safe space, much like humans feel about their bedrooms. Leaving a dog’s crate door open even when you are home with them is a way to get them to use it on their own; they may go in their crate when they need some quiet time or want to take a nap. Putting a soft bed or mat in their crate will help them to like using it more often. 

What should I do if I have to go to work but I have a dog? 

Crate training is an important way to manage having a dog while also having a job where you have to leave your dog at home for periods of time. There may come a time when your dog is more mature and you’re able to leave them out of their crate when you leave for work. 

If you’re gone for extended periods of time for work, be sure to have someone let your dog out of their crate periodically or go home during a break to let them out and play with them.