Helping Rescue Dogs Get Adjusted To Crates

Adopting a dog from an animal shelter is a heroic act, as many animals that end up in captivity are sadly euthanized. In fact according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), of 70 million dogs in the United States, nearly 30 percent are adopted from animal shelters.

If you've ever adopted an animal, you know the first car ride can be quite an adventure, as the dog has no idea where he or she is headed. From the first paw step into your home, the training begins, but getting a rescue comfortable in its new place is not always easy.

Prior to adopting a dog, it's usually a good idea to stock up on necessary supplies, inlcuding a place for your new dog to sleep. If you're not keen on sharing your bed with an animal, it's wise to invest in a dog crate. A crate provides a safe place for your dog to sleep and hang out, in addition to also providing a place to keep your dog out of trouble. Check out some popular options below:

  • Midwest Ovation Trainer: The Ovation Trainer is a simple crate that used to get a rescue used to being in a cage-like atmosphere. With two doors, one a traditional swinging door and the other a "lift and fold," this crate lets dogs get used to entering the crate on their own as they grow. The metal crate also easily folds for carrying.
  • Midwest Canine Camper Sportable: The Midwest Canine Camper Sportable offers an alternative to the traditional cage-look of a crate. Instead of skinny, metal bars, these crates use a metal frame, but are covered with a water-resistant fabric and feature a synthetic sheepskin floor pad, as well as mesh windows and doors. This crate, too, folds up for easy transport and storage.
  • Dynamic Accents Fortress OAK Crate: If you're looking for something that seems less like a crate and more like something more comfortable for both your home and your new rescue dog, consider this crate from Dynamic Accents. Instead of the traditional metal look, this crate looks like a mahogany end table. This crate also includes a waterproof pad and non-marking furniture feet. Plus, it adds a luxurious look to any home.

Helping Your Rescue Assimilate To The Crate

Regardless of which product you choose, it's getting your pup calm inside the crate that is the tricky part. Many times, rescue dogs have spent an extended period of time in a shelter, so they're not be too excited about going back inside a cage. He or she might associate the crate with abandonment and other negative feelings. Therefore, it's important initially to keep the crate in a high-traffic area in your home, where your pet can easily see other family members while getting used to the crate. The Humane Society suggests feeding your dog meals inside the crate to help assure that the crate is a safe and happy place, not a punishment.

Another useful technique is weaning your pup into the crate. You don't want to put your pup in the crate and then take off for the evening the first time the pup uses it. Instead, hang out for a little while with the dog while they're adjusting to their new "home," that way it knows that it's not necessarily a bad thing that they're in the crate. Once your dog enjoys being in the crate, it's okay to begin leaving the dog behind in it for longer periods of time, but it's crucial to start small.

A crate can be a great way to solidify a symbiotic relationship with your dog inside the home. Once you and your rescue have gotten used to using the crate, it provides you with the comfort of knowing that a curious pup isn't ransacking your house and your dog has new place to call his or her own.

If you're still unsure about which dog crate is right for your dog, be sure to ask the pet experts at by calling 800-957-5753. The animal lovers are more than happy to answer any questions about any of the pet products that we carry in our catalogue.

By Sean Bowes
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