Should I Crate My Dog When I Leave the House for Work?

Last Updated on July, 2024

Should I crate my dog when I leave the house?

Are you torn between the idea of crating your furry friend or leaving them free to roam when you’re away? It’s no secret that crate training can be a controversial topic among dog owners. Some swear by it, while others condemn it as cruel.

Well, I’m here to cut through the noise and help you make an informed decision. In this article, we’ll explore the potential benefits of crate training, bust common myths, and provide practical tips for leaving your pup home alone.

Buckle up and get ready to discover the truth!

Quick Summary

Yes, you should crate your dog when you leave the house, as it can ensure their safety and prevent any damage or injuries to your home. However, it is important not to leave them crated for longer than 8 hours.

The factors to consider when determining if a dog is ready to be left unsupervised in the house, such as proper training, lack of destructive behavior, and a calm demeanor.

Benefits of leaving a dog in a crate, including providing a safe space, peace of mind for the owner, aiding in house training, and establishing a routine for the dog.

Should I Crate My Dog When I Leave the House?

two dogs inside a crate

Trust me; of course, you should.

Under some circumstances, you must confine your dog for his safety. If he roams unsupervised, your house may contain many dangers. For example, he can easily chew through an electrical wire and suffer an injury.

Even if the results are not as severe, he can cause serious damage and inconvenience. 

And in other situations, it benefits both you and your dogs. But don’t leave your dogs in crates for longer than 8 hours.

Is Your Pup House-Ready? Unleashing Freedom With Confidence 

A dog laying on a bed in a dog house filled with some toys

If all of a sudden, dogs go from “being with you at home all the time” to “nobody home all day long,” it can cause severe behavioral problems.

Giving your canine free reign in the house alone is risky if he isn’t crate trained. Your canine needs to be carefully observed and evaluated before being allowed to roam unrestrained indoors. 

Do you think your furry friend is ready? Check this out!

1. Reliable House Training

Ensure your four-legged friend has mastered house training and consistently eliminates outside. Accidents should be minimal or non-existent before considering leaving them loose.

2. Absence of Destructive Behavior

Suppose your canine has consistently shown good behavior and no longer engages in destructive chewing, scratching furniture, or excessive digging; it may be a sign that they can handle the freedom.

3. Proper Behavioral Training 

Your pup should respond well to basic commands like sit, stay, and come. It shows that they understand and respect your authority, making it easier to manage their unsupervised behavior. 

4. Calm and Relaxed Demeanor

A fido ready to be left alone will exhibit calm and relaxed behavior when you are around. They should not show signs of anxiety, excessive barking, or destructive behavior in your presence.

Remember, every pup is unique, and the readiness for freedom in the house differs. 

To make a wise decision, consider your pup’s behavior, level of training, and personality as a whole.

Tips for Leaving Your Dogs Home Alone Outside the Crate

A pug dog in a crate.

1. Create a Pup-Proofed Space 

Designate a safe area in your house where your dog can roam freely without needing a crate. Remove any potential hazards or items that could be harmful or tempting for your pup to chew on.

2. Gradual Alone Time 

Start by leaving your furry friend alone for short periods and gradually increasing the duration. It will get them accustomed to being alone and reduce separation anxiety.

3. Use Baby Gates or Room Barriers 

Install baby gates or use room barriers to confine your dogs to a specific area of the house. It allows them some freedom while ensuring they stay in a secure and controlled environment.

4. Provide Mental Stimulation

Leave interactive toys, puzzle feeders, or treat-dispensing toys to keep your canine mentally engaged and entertained while you’re away.

It will kill boredom and prevent destructive behaviors. 

5. Ensure Comfort and Security 

Ensure your pup has access to their bed or a comfortable resting area. Provide familiar blankets, toys, or items with your scent to create a sense of security and familiarity.

Related article: Should you cover a dog crate with a blanket at night time?

6. Establish a Routine 

Follow a consistent schedule for feeding, exercise, and bathroom breaks. A routine helps your pup feel more secure and gives them a sense of predictability when you’re not around. 

7. Monitor with Cameras or Pet Monitoring Systems 

Set up cameras or pet monitoring systems to monitor your fido while you’re away. It allows you to check in, ensure their safety, and provide peace of mind.

Remember, every pup is unique, so it’s essential to consider their individual needs and personalities when deciding whether to crate your canine or leave him outside the crate when you leave the house.

Observation, patience, and understanding will get you the best approach for your furry friend.

Benefits of Leaving Your Dog in a Crate

A dog laying in a metal crate

1. A Safe Space 

Most dogs consider their crates a safe space to take a comfortable nap. Dog Crates create a secure space where your pup can stay protected and out of harm’s way. It prevents him from accessing potentially dangerous areas or items in your home

2. Peace of Mind

Leaving your dogs in crates ensures they are in a controlled, clean environment, minimizing the risk of accidents or destructive behavior. It’ll allow you to focus on your tasks or enjoy your time away without worrying about their safety.

3. Aids in House Training 

Crates come in handy when potty training your dogs.

Dogs naturally avoid soiling their sleeping area, so crates can encourage them to hold their bladder and bowels until they’re let out, facilitating potty training.

4. Establishing Routine 

Crating can help establish a routine for your dogs, making them more adaptable to your schedule. It creates a predictable rest and quiet time pattern, reducing anxiety and promoting better behavior.

Well, now the drum roll, answering the “Cruelty” question.

Is it “Cruel” to Crate Your Dog? 

A dog in a cage looking at the camera

Some dog owners are against the use of crates. One high-profile vocal anti-crate protestor is PETA, the animal rights organization. They believe crates deprive an animal of its rights and natural requirements. 

Having a high-ground view is great, but it is also impractical. Comparing wild dogs to ancient times is irrelevant. We aren’t living in ancient times. Our conditions as modern people differ from those days. Nowadays, dogs don’t have free reign everywhere.

You will feel guilty about putting your dog in a crate when you leave the house, but as den animals, dogs prefer to curl up and sleep in a safe space. When done right, the crates represent the safest place for most dogs. 

To sum it up, it’s not cruel to crate your dog when you leave the house. However, providing regular exercises, mental stimulation, and social interaction outside the crates is essential.


For adult dogs, it is recommended not to leave them in a crate for more than 6-8 hours. For puppies and younger dogs, they may need more frequent breaks due to having shorter bladder control.

No, it is not recommended to put food and water directly inside the crate; instead, offer them before and after crate time to keep the crate clean and prevent accidents.

You should place the crate in a secure, sanitary, and relaxing area of your home, free from high temperatures, strong winds, and loud noises. Choose a spot where your pup can have contact with family members and have a view of their surroundings.

To keep your dog occupied in the crate, provide them with safe and interactive toys or puzzle feeders to stimulate their mind. Examples include stuffed Kong toys with treats or frozen food, chew toys, and interactive puzzles.


A crate is a good thing for both you and your canine. We have seen above that, far from being a bad thing, a crate benefits your pup in many ways.

So you can feel good about giving your pup a crate and making it into a safe sanctuary where your furry friend may feel peaceful and secure when you leave the house. 

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Stefano Giachetti
Stefano Giachetti is always excited to share his knowledge and love of animals with you through our blog, IPetGuides. And he has always loved animals and has been blessed to have many pets throughout his life. Currently has a Pomeranian Dog Breed.

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