Having a place for your dog to take time out is very important. Most people buy dog crates or kennels for this purpose, and for the most part, they work well. However, this is not always the case. Some dogs hate their crates and don’t seem to change their opinion, regardless of the multiple crate training strategies used.
In other cases, dog owners don’t like using crates because of how they look or are just looking for different ways to contain their pets. So, what other alternatives can you use instead of dog crates?
Alternatives To Dog Crates
Some of the best dog crate alternatives include:
1. Implementing Training Strategies
One of the best alternatives to dog crates, especially for those who don’t like caging their dogs, is using training strategies. Positive reinforcement training for puppies is one of the easiest ways to train your pup. You can use positive words and rewards to show your pup the parts of the house that are off-limits to them.
This is one of the methods that might take longer than you expect. Mostly, the experience depends on the specific dog; some are harder to train than others.
Also, it depends on where you are preventing access. It can be significantly harder to get your furry friend to stay out of the kitchen than to have it out of the bedroom. However, you will succeed with enough practice and preventative measures.
To know how to, you can watch videos on how to train your pup without a crate. There are many available online. You will have to look until you find the one that suits the two of you the best. Your vet might also have recommendations on how to go about it effectively.
This is an excellent option for playful dogs that might find the crate to confining. Playpens are still restricting, but they allow for more space for your pup to move around. They are a better alternative for larger breeds, whereby you can get an expendable playpen to provide them with more space.
You might want to try different playpens, such as plastic panels, canvas, and wire playpens. Each has its own strengths; thus, it is best to experiment with different options until you find the one that works for you. Panel and canvas playpens might be the best alternatives for those looking for a sturdier playpen that requires fewer tools to assemble.
Playpens, however, might not work for taller dogs. Most are shorter and more suited for those who don’t like exercise. Moreover, some playpens can be lightweight, making it easy for dogs to knock them over. As a result, playpens are not the best choice for dogs who like to find ways to escape.
3. Dog Or Baby Gate
This alternative is a money saver for those who already have children. You can just get your old baby gate and repurpose it for your pup. Those who don’t have children can buy a dog gate; they all serve the same purpose, keeping your furry friend outside or inside a room.
A good gate should withstand biting and scratching and not move easily. Dogs can get aggressive when they want to get out and throw their full weight on the gate; you don’t want one that will move with the impact. Ensure you find a durable and adjustable gate that you can expand to cover a wider area.
You can even find a gate with a walkthrough door. This gives you space to enter or leave the confined space without letting the dog out. The downside to using this confinement method is that it doesn’t work with dogs that are not housebroken. It is also not a great option for large or athletic dogs who can jump over or knock the gate down. Your dog needs to be well-behaved.
4. Exercise Pens
Similar to the crate but a better option, the exercise pen can be the perfect alternative for dogs who crave more space. Its large space doesn’t make the dog feel caged, as it has enough room to play in. It enables them to get some much-needed exercise even when confined. You can also put your pup’s favorite toys in there to act as a distraction.
The large space is also perfect for dogs who just gave birth, ensuring you can keep track of their little ones.
If flexibility and mobility are of utmost importance, an exercise pen will serve you well. It is easy to move when you need access to the area. It is also compact, making storage easy as it does not take up a lot of space.
Ensure you get an exercise pen that is big enough for your pup or one they can grow into. A smaller pen might not be the best option for fast-growing dogs as they might outgrow it in a few months, requiring you to spend money getting a bigger crate.
5. Dog Room
You can designate a specific room for your furry friend, although this only works for those with bigger houses. You might also want to dedicate a particular area in the living room for your dogs.
Take some precautions to ensure your pup does not interfere with some of your things. Remove the carpet and other fragile things from the room. Check to ensure there is nothing harmful or dangerous that your dog can hurt themselves with.
Furnish the room with your pup’s water, food bowl, and favorite toys. Also, put some music or a TV show your dog can enjoy. You want to make your furry friend’s room as comfortable as possible.
6. Doggie Day Care Or A Dog Sitter
This is a more expensive but suitable alternative to a dog crate. Dogs in daycare can interact with other dogs and get the necessary exercise. You can also relax with your dog in daycare because you know they will get the care they need; this can be a great option if you are often gone for a long time.
Alternatively, you can hire or take your pup to a dog sitter. Ensure the sitter is equipped to handle your dog and has all the necessary care items. Get someone you trust or a recommendation from someone you trust to ensure they take good care of your pup.
Finding a dog crate alternative can be great for puppies, new dogs, or dogs who don’t like being confined in small spaces. The option you end up with should suit your pup and accommodate its size. If all else fails, you can try the good old training; at least this way, you don’t have to bear the guilt of locking or confining them in places.