Is It Cruel To Crate A Dog At Night? (Solved & Explained!)

It is not cruel to crate your dog at night so long as you crate them appropriately. Dogs love to have their own space within the home and a crate is an ideal solution.

Dogs like to sleep in small and compact spaces where they feel safe. If you make your dogs’ create comfortable and cozy, they will enjoy spending time there.

Is It Safe To Crate My Dog?

Crating your dog is perhaps safer than letting them roam around the house while you are sleeping or out of the house.

Dogs can get into all sorts of mischief when you are not around and accidents can happen. If your dog is safely secured in their crate then this gives you peace of mind while you are away or asleep, and your dog is safely tucked away in a space that is theirs.

Do Dogs Like Crates?

Generally speaking, most dogs like crates.

Crates cater to your dog’s natural instinct to find a small, secure place to make a den. Before domestication, dogs chose small caves or the space underneath logs and small hillsides to make their dens.

Dens protect wild dogs from other predators and are a safe place to raise their young. It is also much warmer than sleeping out in the open.

Your dog still has all these instincts, so will appreciate some crate time where they can relax and play with their toys and chewables in peace.

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How Long Can Dogs Be Left In their Crates?

Dogs can be left in their crates for no longer than 8 hours. After 8 hours your dog will likely need to go to the toilet and get its other needs met. It is also good for your dog to stretch out and move around after this time.

If you are going to be away for longer than this then you will need to ask a friend or neighbor to come by to let your dog out. 

Dogs should be released from their crates for at least an hour before going back inside, and during that hour they must have all their needs tended to.

What Happens If A Dog Is Created For Too Long?

If your dog is created for too long it is likely that they will have a toileting accident inside their crate.

Not only is this uncomfortable for your dog at the time, but also may hinder their crate training going forward. 

Dogs do not like to toilet close to where they sleep, and after a few accidents inside the crate, they may associate it with a place to potty rather than to sleep.

Dogs can also develop behavioral and psychological issues as they are deprived of physical exercise and social interaction.

Is It Cruel to Crate a Puppy At Night?

So long as your puppy is of age and not prematurely separated from its mother, then crate training your puppy at night is not cruel.

You will need to release your puppy every hour for every 1 month of age. This is because puppies have smaller bladders and need to potty frequently. On average a 3-month-old puppy will need to toilet every 3 hours, and so on.

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Do I Need To Lock My Dog In Their Crate?

While training, dogs should be locked in their crate. This is so they get used to the crate and they begin to understand the routine you are trying to establish.

Young dogs and puppies should always be locked in their crates as they are likely to roam and get into trouble while you are not around. 

Older dogs that are over 2 years of age and used to their crate should be fine with an open crate. Older dogs are much less likely to misbehave while you are away.

If I Crate My Dog During the Night Can They Be Crated During The Day?

Yes, if your dog is crated at nighttime you can still crate them the next day, however, it is recommended to crate them for only 6 hours if you do so.

Crating at night is not an issue providing your dog sleeps all the way through the night. Like humans, once your dog enters its 8-hour nighttime sleep cycle, it does not matter much where they are.

However, crating dogs during the day when they are awake and alert is different. 

So long as your dog is released from their crate in the morning, taken on a walk, fed, and played with before you head out, they should be fine staying in their crates for a few hours during the day.

Should I Leave Food and Water Inside the Crate At Night?

It is not recommended to leave food and water inside the crate for your dog at night. Instead, you should feed your dog their last meal a few hours before they enter the crate and make sure they have a toilet break before being locked in for the night.

Your dog should not need any food or water during the night, and giving them access inside the crate will reduce your dog’s space and may increase their nighttime toilet needs.

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Does Crate Training At Night Help with House Training?

Crate training does not directly help with housetraining. It does not make house training harder, but it doesn’t make it any easier either.

Crate training does get your dog used to following commands and establishing a routine. Housetraining correlates with bladder control, and puppies do not establish full bladder control until they are 6 months old.

Even so, encouraging a routine in terms of crate and house training is beneficial to your dog overall. Just make sure that your puppy does not soil their crate too often as they may begin to associate the crate with a toilet instead of a place to sleep.

Should I Cover My Dogs Crate With A Blanket At Night?

You should not cover your dogs’ crate with a blanket as there is a risk that it will block the airflow.

If you are worried about excess light coming in and waking your dog, you can cover the front with a blanket, so long as there are air vents at the back of the crate.