Dog Housing Guide at Tractor Supply Co.
Authored by Tractor Supply Company
Authored by Tractor Supply Company
Dogs are beloved members of our families. It's natural to want the best for them in all aspects of their lives, including housing. With so many dog beds and crates available, where do you start? We’ll walk you through the different types of dog bedding and housing, so you can decide which is the best option for your pup.
Dog housing options vary by your dog’s age, size and personality. The most common types of dog crates and housing are:
There are benefits—and potential drawbacks—to every type of dog dwelling.
Dog crates come highly recommended by vets and dog behavioral experts. “A dog crate is simply the best temporary training tool for housetraining, allowing dogs to teach themselves to be calmer and quieter and preventing adolescent-onset separation anxiety," says Dr. Ian Dunbar of Dunbar Academy, a dog behavior and training academy.
Crates serve as a dog’s private “den” and offer benefits like:
“What is cruel is punishing your dog for breaking household rules that you never effectively communicated, which is the most common alternative to successful crate training. Most dogs really enjoy having their own little den they can retreat to for R&R,” says Dr. Dunbar.
To ensure your dog doesn’t dread the crate, avoid using it as punishment. By introducing your dog to their new crate through positive reinforcement like treats, toys and praise, your furry friend will view crate time as a good thing.
Follow these tips to find the perfect crate for your dog’s size and energy level.
Your dog’s favorite toys also help make their dog crate comfortable and prevent them from barking out of boredom. A hollow rubber toy filled with peanut butter or kibble is an excellent form of in-crate entertainment.
When used correctly, a dog crate is a humane training tool that is encouraged by many experts. Make the crate warm and comfortable, avoid excess time in it, and associate the crate with positive behavior to help your dog view their crate as a cozy security blanket.
“Close confinement at nighttime—and during the day when unsupervised—is a very smart plan for new puppies and adopted adult dogs until they have been house trained and chew toy trained. Once they’re toilet trained and chew toy trained, they may want to sleep in their crate with the door open, or on a dog bed, or anywhere that you want,” says Dr. Dunbar.
Active dogs thrive in outside dog kennels. They’re large enough for exercise and often have access to indoor areas to escape the elements. Like crates, dog kennels serve as a dog’s personal space, but with more room. Spending time in an outdoor dog kennel also provides additional stimulation for curious dogs.
To make the best use of your dog kennel, always use it as positive reinforcement, not as a punishment. Also, don’t use an outdoor kennel as permanent housing. Dogs need regular socialization, and too much alone time in their kennel can be distressing.
Follow these tips to find an outdoor kennel that’s perfect for your pup.
A kennel with indoor or insulated elements can be used all year. However, you’ll want to limit kennel time to 30 to 45 minutes when temperatures rise above 78°F or drop below 45°F.
Dogs play hard and rest hard. They typically sleep between 12 and 14 hours a day, while puppies often enjoy up to 20 hours of shut-eye daily. Having a comfy place to nap is a must.
You’ll find a range of unique dog beds with different features. Your dog’s preferred sleep position is a good indicator of the best dog bed for them, and there are options designed for certain health conditions, extra cooling and easy cleaning. Consider these options:
Once you’ve chosen a dog bed, consider its practicality. Machine washable dog beds or ones with removable covers make it easy to keep your pup’s space clean and free of odors. Waterproof outdoor dog beds are also great options for potty-training puppies and outdoor use.
An outdoor doghouse is a cozy place for your pup to go for shelter from rain, wind, direct sunlight and snow. Doghouses are great for a backyard or inside a large dog kennel.
How to Find the Right Doghouse
In terms of sizing, follow the same guidelines as choosing a dog crate. Your dog should be able to stand up, turn around and spread out. An elevated doghouse or one with a porch also provides your dog with extra protection from rainwater. Doghouses are typically plastic or wooden.
Ensure your dog’s comfort by adding a water bowl and toys, incorporating insulation or investing in a heated doghouse for brisk days. Place a heat lamp or heated mat inside and add a door flap to keep wind and rain out. Plush dog bedding gets soggy when exposed to the elements, so consider a water-resistant bed. Sprinkling cedar chips on the floor also helps repel ticks, fleas and other insects.
Indoor dog kennels, or playpens, give energetic pups space to run and play inside while being confined to a certain area. Using a playpen is a great tool for young puppies as they get acclimated to a new environment or when you don’t want your dog to have free rein of the house. Add food, water, toys and a bed or blankets to curl up on.
Indoor dog kennels come in three materials: metal, plastic and wood. Each one does the trick, but a wire frame makes it easiest for dogs to look at their surroundings. Whether you go for a stationary playpen or an easy-to-store collapsible one, make sure the dog pen is stable.
Find a playpen that’s at least five times longer than your puppy and provides ample playing space. To keep your pup from climbing out, choose a model that’s about twice your puppy’s height when it’s on its hind legs.
Dog carriers and dog travel crates make it easy to travel with your dog. They provide a comforting and familiar space, especially when headed somewhere they might be anxious about, like the vet or groomer. While regular crates are tough to move, carriers have handles for easy transport.
A couple of quick measurements can help you determine the right size. Measure from the top of your dog’s head to the ground and from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail. Add three inches in each direction, and that’s the perfect size for your dog travel crate. Next, decide which type of carrier is right for your dog.
Now that you know more about the different types of dog housing, you can decide which options are best for your dog. Tractor Supply Company has all you need to create a safe space your dog will love.