Are you among the millions of families that adopted a pet during the pandemic?
Whether yours is a new furry family member or a long-time four-legged resident, it's only natural to want the best for your pup. If you've chosen to crate train your dog, no doubt you've made it a safe, cozy environment for them to enjoy.
You might be wondering, though: Should you use a crate cover? Is it better to leave a dog crate uncovered? What are the benefits and potential drawbacks of covering a crate?
We'll answer these important questions and much more, so keep reading below.
Understanding the Purpose of a Dog Crate
Thanks to their wild den-dwelling ancestors, most dogs take naturally to a crate. Its main purpose is to create a "safe" place for them to relax — a home within your home.
Just like humans need a place where they can escape from the outside world and recharge their batteries, the same is true for dogs. When done correctly, crate training provides a safe haven for your pup to go and enjoy some quiet alone time.
Of course, you should never use the crate as a form of punishment. The crate should be somewhere your dog enjoys spending time, not somewhere they dread.
This brings us to our topic of discussion for the day: What about using a crate cover? Is this something that will help your dog feel more secure, or could it have the opposite effect?
Benefits of Using a Crate Cover
Most new dog owners include a crate on their "puppy essentials" list, but many overlook a crate cover. Here are four reasons why you might consider adding a pet crate cover to your shopping list.
1. Offers a Feeling of Security
It's natural for dogs to seek a dark, quiet, and enclosed place when they feel tired or anxious. You may notice your pup curling up under a small table or tucking themselves into a cozy corner.
Ideally, you want to create this same feeling of security inside their crate. A crate cover gives it more of a cave-like or den-like feel that your dog might really enjoy. It's a way to "level up" the secure vibe of the care by making it darker, warmer, and more inviting.
2. Makes It Easier to Fall Sleep
Young puppies need as much as 18-20 hours of sleep per day. This can be a challenge if you have an active household with kids, other pets, and/or adults working from home.
If your pup struggles to get enough rest during the daytime, a crate cover could be a real game-changer. It creates a darker, quieter area that makes it easier for them to fall asleep and get the rest they need.
3. Signals That It's Bedtime
Looking for a fun training trick? You can use your dog crate cover to signal your pup that it's time to sleep!
To help your dog establish a good sleep routine, you can use the cover as a visual cue that it's time to unwind and go to sleep. During the day, you can remove the cover to let your dog know it's okay to play and be more active.
4. Reduces Noise & Visual Stimuli
Is your dog especially sensitive to noises like traffic, thunderstorms, or certain household appliances? Do they get easily excited if another dog passes by the window or there's a lot of activity in another part of the house?
A crate cover isn't a magic cure for dogs that get easily overstimulated, but it can certainly help. When they can't see or hear every little thing that happens inside or outside the house, it makes a calmer environment for them. This can reduce their anxiety and help them feel more relaxed.
When NOT to Use a Pet Crate Cover
Although a crate cover is a terrific accessory for many pets, there are some things to be aware of too.
It's tempting to toss any old blanket over the crate, but this poses potential hazards for your dog. It could easily become a choking hazard if your dog pulls it inside their crate. Some materials are less breathable than others too, which could prevent adequate ventilation from circulating through the crate.
Most importantly, pay attention to your pup's behavior when you attempt to cover the crate. If they show any signs of fear, anxiety, or aggression, it's best to leave the crate uncovered or talk with your trainer for more advice.
How to Choose the Best Pet Crate Cover
If your pup likes the idea and you decide to invest in a crate cover, look for one designed for your specific needs — for example, a wooden dog crate cover or a large dog crate cover.
The material should be breathable and easy to clean. It should also be suitable for your climate.
If you live somewhere cold, you may want to look for an insulated cover to provide more warmth. If you live somewhere warmer or you keep the crate outdoors, you could look for covers that protect against the heat, glare, and insects.
Of course, many brands of crates sell covers designed for their specific models and sizes. You took time to research and find the best dog crate for your pup, so take the same care when selecting the best crate cover too!
Where to Buy Covers for Your Animal Crate
As we've discussed, there are many compelling reasons to use a crate cover. However, it all depends on your dog's temperament, your home's environment, and your reasons for using the crate.
If you feel that covering the dog crate is the best choice for your pup, you want to be sure to choose the best product. Here at Pet Crates Direct, we've already done the hard part for you.
Click here to see our reviews on the best dog crate covers on the market today. There's sure to be one that is perfect for your pet — and your budget!