Should a Puppy Sleep in a Crate or Dog Bed

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There’s nothing like adding a four-legged friend to your family. But choosing a puppy versus a mature dog brings with it a ton of other questions and challenges. 

When it comes to puppies, you have a few extra training steps to get them ready to live in your home. This includes choosing between crate training or giving them a simple dog bed.

The truth is that many people utilize crate training because it is a tried-and-true method. So the answer to whether a puppy should sleep in a crate or a dog bed is really up to the individual. 

Most experts highly suggest starting with crate training because your dog’s natural instincts are to look for enclosed spaces. Enclosed spaces represent a safe space when they are sleeping.

Maybe you are still unsure and still question whether your puppy should sleep in a crate or a dog bed. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of both options.

Crate Vs. Dog Bed: Two Bed Options for a Pet Parent 

When it comes to sleep time, a dog’s basic instinct is to look for a small space for improved protection. Although domesticated dogs don’t have to worry about that, the instincts are still with them.

So before you choose whether you’re going to go with a dog bed or a crate at night, let’s take a look at what exactly each of these options is.

Crate

When you’re looking at a dog crate, you’re basically looking at an indoor kennel or cage. Of course, there are a vast amount of options; you can choose one of several wire crates or go for a budget-friendly option with plastic.

This type of enclosure is usually intended for short periods of time to have a more secure area. Most of these crates come with some sort of framing and a removable tray where you place a couple of blankets to make a nice bed for your puppy.

Dog Bed

Dog beds are basically giant pillows that can be used to give your pup a comfortable night’s sleep. There is a wide variety of different options starting from a simple pillow all the way up to a more luxurious option that has more architectural design to it.

Advantages & Disadvantages of a Crate for Puppies

Most people use a crate experience as a way to help train their puppy, but you can also keep it for well after, as long as you have the right size crate. So before you choose whether you’re going to utilize a crate or a dog bed for your puppy, let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages

Familiarity & Safety

If you’re looking for a place to make sure your house at night is safe for your puppy and also offers a ton of benefits to owners and their homes, this might make it a great option. Crates tend to help dogs feel more secure and offer them a familiar space that they can call their own. This can help combat separation anxiety as well as other issues.

Simpler Training

The most important thing when dealing with a puppy is training. Utilizing a crate will help training sessions and the process go much more smoothly. This is partly because the puppy will be enclosed at night in an area where there won’t be as much chance for bathroom accidents.

A crate could also be a good thing to train your puppy regarding chewing and curbing behavior issues. So if you have a puppy with destructive behavior or even excited behavior, a behavior expert will naturally suggest crate training.

Easy to Clean

Because of the tray included in the bottom, most owners will find that it is great to have because it is easy to clean. This is especially important when dealing with puppies, as there tend to be more bathroom accidents and damage done to toys. Also, this attribute will make it incredibly easy to clean up food, no matter if it is wet food or dry food.

Versatility

A crate can be used for a training session and to build positive reinforcement of that training. But this can also be used for traveling too.

dog lying on his dog bed

Disadvantages

Early Adoption

Trying to utilize any type of crate later in a dog’s life may be challenging. This is why it is such a great option for puppies. If you try to introduce it later, you might find it very difficult to get a dog to even sleep in one as the older furry friend isn’t accustomed to it.

Too Cold

Because of the open design and lack of materials used in the construction of crates, they can be quite cool. This, however, can be fixed by placing within it a comfort blanket or even a fleece blanket.

Life Cycle

Once your pup has grown to its full size, you may find yourself having to purchase a new crate.

Crate Selection: How to Choose What Type of Crate to Go With?

When choosing the type of crate to go with, you want to make sure that you give the pup enough room to grow. Along with this, you also want to make sure you have room for a food dish as well as some folded-up blankets. You also might want to look at the material used in the construction of the crate as you’re dealing with a puppy and they will want to chew on things. If your pup is a chewer, opting for a plastic crate instead of a wireframe might be a bad idea. 

One word of caution: When you’re looking at the crate, especially for puppies, make sure you check the coding of the metal to ensure that it is not toxic to the puppy.

Crate Vs. Dog Bed: Final Thoughts

To go with a crate or a dog bed for your puppy is really up to you. Overall, the crate offers security and can help you and your training process. This makes it a great option for any puppy.

When the puppy has been trained and is more mature, you can switch to a dog bed.

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