According to the ASPCA, 78 million dogs (and, in case you were wondering, 85.8 million cats) have homes in the US.
Putting that into percentages, that means 44% of American households own a dog.
And it's no wonder. Dogs are loyal, lovable, and calming. They're another family member. You want the best for them.
Which is why you're stumped on what x pen to buy for your dog.
Should you go with a large pen? A smaller one? An x pen with dividers?
In this article, you'll learn:
- The benefits of buying an x pen
- How to choose an x pen for dogs
- And what you shouldn't do when your dog is in the x pen
Benefits of an X Pen
An x pen is a great training tool, providing a safe space for your dog when you're running short errands. Or when it's their bedtime.
Also, with the right crate training, x pens help your dog trust you more. The dog knows he/she won't be in the pen forever and that the pen isn't a punishment.
In addition, it can be a source of comfort. With time, the dog will understand that this is his/her own space.
Lastly, an x pen can add structure and routine—something all dogs can benefit from. When you signal to the pen in the evening, the dog will know it's bedtime.
Choosing an X Pen for Dogs
Below are some things to consider when deciding on the right x pen for your furry friend.
Size of Your Dog
Is your dog small, medium or large? You don't want a a small pen for your large dog. Or a large pen for your small dog.
As both will be uncomfortable—the big dog will not have enough room to lie down. And the small dog will have too much room, which may be overwhelming.
To figure out what size pen you need, measure your dog from the tip of his/her nose to the end of the tail.
Then, measure from the feet to the top of the head. Add three to five inches to the width and height for comfort. Find an x pen that fits those measurements.
What's the Climate?
Is it normally hot or cold where you live? Depending on the weather could determine where you put the x pen.
Since the wooden x pen has slats, it's perfect to place it outside during warm days. And when it gets colder, it's better to have it inside so your dog warm.
Given that this pen may be inside and outside, you'll want to pick one that fits with the color of your furniture, as well as the outside patio.
Let's say you couldn't find an x pen for dogs that fit your dog's measurements. In which case, go a size up and get some dividers.
Dividers are a great way to make that pen smaller. Simply place them in the pen a couple of inches inward for a customized fit.
What Not to Do With X Pens
X pens can be a great training tool. However, with the wrong type of training, dogs can associate the pens with punishment, abuse, and neglect.
Learn what not to do when you put your dog in an x pen.
Don't Use It For Punishment
Did your dog urinate in the house? Did he/she jump up on the table and wolf down that pizza? What about repeatedly jumping up and down, nipping at your hands?
No matter the bad behavior, you should not put your dog in the pen. Be sure not to rebuke your furry family member and then coincidentally put your dog in the pen because you have to run an errand.
Your dog will come to associate the pen as a form of punishment. Because of this, he/she will feel anxious and depressed when you put your dog in the pen for non-punishment reasons.
Don't Be Overemotional
Dogs sense your feelings. When you feel agitated and put your dog in the pen, your dog will start to feel anxious during "pen times."
This also applies to when you're about to open up the pen and let your dog out.
Overall, you need to stay calm and nonchalant when your dog goes in and out of the pen.
This goes for your kids too, as much as they want to hug Fluffy. It should be thought of and dealt with as another chore, nothing more. This will help your dog feel that going in the pen is normal.
Don't Mess With the Cage
Dogs can feel exposed when in the pen. No one should kick or shake it. The dog could feel threatened and scared.
Also, you should not poke or tease the dog. This could spark a similar reaction.
Start With Minutes, Not Hours
Keeping your dog in the x pen for hours on end may be hard on the dog, especially for young puppies, who can't hold their bladder for that long.
Start by keeping your dog in the cage for very short periods of time, rewarding your dog for their time with treats and praise.
Remember, you want the pen to be a positive experience.
With more practice, you can increase the time spent in the cage. Make sure they are comfortable and have everything they need.
An x pen for dogs can be very rewarding. Your dog will have more structure and training in his/her life.
Remember to choose the right size pen. And the right color that will go well in inside and outside settings.
If your dog is small, you may want to keep the pen inside at all times. Especially if you live in an area with coyotes or other wild animals. Most of all, don't use the x pen for dogs as a form of punishment.
Keeping these tips in mind should help you with your search. Let us know how it goes by commenting in the comment section!