Your dog's crate is her own personal den -- a sanctuary where she should feel safe and secure. But sometimes all the excitement going on outside the crate can make it difficult for her to calm down and go to sleep. Should this happen, you can cover her crate to make it more den-like; just be sure to take certain precautions when accustoming her to a covered crate.
Rather than draping Daisy's crate with a blanket for the night, start off by covering it when you're there to supervise. Cover the crate and leave the crate door open while you're home -- see if she goes inside. If she does wander in on her own, close the door while you're making dinner or doing some cleaning. You want to make sure that the added darkness doesn't frighten her and she still feels safe in her crate.
Covering the Crate
Use any old towel, blanket or sheet to cover the crate, but you don't want to cover the entire thing. Covering all the walls limits air flow, making it stuffy inside of Daisy's crate. Draping a big sheet over the whole crate also limits your furry pal's ability to see the world around her, which can make her uneasy. Either use a smaller piece of material and just cover the roof of the crate or let the blanket drape down the sides, but leave the door panel uncovered.
If Daisy howls with the cover on, she may feel scared and could be better off without it. Watch for gnawing on the crate, having accidents in the crate or pulling the cover inside through the paneling. These warning signs let you know that your beloved pal isn't happy with her new cover. Blankets, towels, sheets and other materials can present a choking hazard if your pooch pulls them inside and starts chewing on them. Until she shows that she's perfectly content in her covered crate and sleeps happily, don't leave her unattended with the cover on, just to prevent a choking occurrence.
Rather than using a cover to drape over the crate, consider getting your pup a different kind of crate. Plastic crates have solid walls with just the right amount of air holes. She'll feel perfectly secure, so you won't have to worry about covering the crate and posing a potential choking danger. Some crates are even designed to blend in with your décor -- almost like an enclosed end table. These type of crates -- often made of wood -- also have solid sides with a couple windows, making them feel more like a cozy den than a wide-open wire crate.
By Melodie Anne
About the Author
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.