How Long Should a Dog Be in a Crate? (Solved & Explained!)

With adult dogs, periods of 6 to 8 hours are generally the longest time that they may be left in a crate. With puppies it is much less, perhaps 4 hours at around 18 weeks of age. Leaving them for longer than this is very bad for your dog’s health and mental wellness, so be sure to keep crate use within recommended ranges only.

In this article, we’ll answer the most commonly asked questions about crate training so that you can have a better idea how the process works and the associated best practices.

Is it cruel to crate a dog while at work?

Crating your dog while at work is not recommended. At the most, it should only be for 8 hours, and only then for emergency cases and with assistance. Get a family friend or neighbor to help you, so that your dog can get a little time outside of the crate until you can get home.

A local pet sitter is also a good option to reduce the time which your dog must be confined to the crate if you will be stuck at work.

How many hours a day should a dog be in his crate?

This time should not exceed 8 hours and for smaller dogs and pups, the time is even shorter. Puppies have small bladders and need to go outside frequently, being able to control themselves for an hour per month of life at best.  So, consider the age of your dog and use your best judgment.

Can I crate my dog for 12 hours?

12 hours is definitely too much time isolation. Aside from hygienic concerns, this much time in a confined space can lead to depression, acting out, and many other health issues for your pet. At the most, you should only crate for 8 hours at a time and this should only be for emergencies.

When should I stop crating my dog at night?

Generally, it will take approximately 2 years for the crate training to do it’s work so that your dog will be mature enough to behave on their own. While it’s sometimes a much faster process, it will vary from dog to dog, with larger dogs often taking more time.

Can I have a dog if I work 9 5?

Most people have to work full-time, so don’t worry – with a little preparation you can still have a dog. Pet sitters can help and you can also enlist the aid of family-members to help to ensure that your furry friends gets enough exercise and attention. It just takes a bit of dedicated and careful scheduling.

Should the dog crate be in the bedroom?

Your dog will be much happier and receptive to the crate training if they can be close to you, so putting the crate in the bedroom is a great idea. Your dog will know that you are nearby and can get your attention when they need to go outside, so it’s generally a perfect arrangement.

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Should I put my 8 week old puppy in a crate at night?

You can crate your 8 week old puppy at night but keep in mind that they will need to go outside frequently. At this time, they can only wait 2 to 3 hours to relieve themselves, and it will generally be closer to 2. The easiest way to remember is that they can control their bladder for approximately one hour for every month of life.

How many hours can a puppy stay in a crate?

If your puppy is under 6 months of age, it’s not recommended to keep them in the crate for longer than 3 or 4 hours at a time at MOST. They simply do not have enough control yet over their bowels or bladders and accidents will definitely occur. Shorter stays in the crate are a must.

How long can you leave a 8 week old puppy in a crate?

At 8 weeks old, most puppies can only spend about 3 hours at the most in their crate before they will need to go outside. They simply do not yet have the capacity or control needed for longer stays  in the crate so you’ll want to observe this rule carefully.

Should I leave water in dog crate at night?

With a healthy dog, hydration overnight should be an issue. They will be getting plenty of food and water during the day and if you put more in the cage, then your dog might drink it up and need to go outside much sooner than expected! This also gets your dog used to thinking of the crate as more of a ‘den’ and area for simply resting.

Can a dog sleep in a crate without a bed?

Many dogs like sleeping on the floor, but most would much rather sleep on a comfortable bed at night. A bed makes the crate warm and cozy and along with toys inside, creates an environment that your dog will eventually look forward to and definitely speeds up the crate training.  

Should dog crate be covered?

 A dog crate should not be completely covered. While a partial covering can simulate the look and feel of a den, you must be extremely careful that it cannot be pulled in and that it is not large enough to become a potentially dangerous obstruction.

Make sure to use breathable fabrics only and keep a watch on the temperature so that your dog doesn’t get hot and with careful consideration, a partial covering should be fine.

Where should I leave my dog when I go to work?

A crate is definitely an option, provided that it’s durable and that your dog will not be in there for extended periods of time – and that it’s an adult dog.

Puppies cannot be left alone for long periods, so if you have a pup then you’ll want to get the assistance of a friend, family member, or professional pet sitter until they mature enough for longer periods in the crate.