What to Put in Puppy Crate At Night? Things You Must Know

Last Updated on July, 2024

You’ve just bought a new crate, and you may be wondering how to make the crate a comfortable haven for your dog. 

Fret not! 

By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll be well-equipped with all the knowledge you need on what to include in your puppy’s crate, where to position it, the kinds of toys to consider, and other related topics.

Quick Summary

To put it simply, you should include a dog bed, blankets (if needed for warmth), food and water bowls (unless your dog has digestion issues), and appropriate toys in your puppy’s crate at night.

Certain items, such as pee pads and food, should not be left in the crate overnight to avoid negative behavior and accidents.

Follow a strict routine and use positive reinforcement for crate training, such as treats and verbal praise, to maintain a positive relationship with the crate.

Everything You Can and Cannot Put in a Puppy’s Crate At Night

Bedding

The solution is simple: a dog bed should surely be included.

Unfortunately, some individuals use crates as a kind of punishment for their dogs or to avoid accidents in the home. 

Resist the temptation to keep its crate bare for quicker cleanup—the hard floor without bedding is frigid and uncomfortable. 

Your puppy is less likely to soil the crate if properly sized, and the best dog beds come with machine-washable covers or cushions in the event of an accident.

However, your puppy should see the crate as its haven and feel at ease. 

a puppy sleeping in a soft safe comfortable dog bedding inside a crate

Bedding is required to make your puppy feel comfortable and welcome inside its kennel. 

Puppy Pads

Never leave pup pads in your puppy’s crate.

It is not only a gnawing hazard but also begins to educate your puppy that it is acceptable to pee in the crate, reducing your puppy’s potty training progress and fostering negative habits.

On the other hand, young pups cannot control their urine for an extended period of time in a crate overnight and can produce a mess during the night.

Placing a pee pad for the pup or a dog with incontinence issues will make cleaning their cages easier, but don’t place a pee pad for a potty-trained dog. 

a puppy using a puppy pad

Blankets

Puppies are unable to control their temperature for six weeks properly.

Therefore, a blanket bridges this gap, allowing it to be warm throughout the cold weather.

Choose a lightweight fleece blanket and keep an eye on your puppy to prevent her from tearing it up and consuming it. 

Soft bedding with cozy blankets is a fantastic option when your dog is in a cage.

Even in freezing weather, crate bedsheets or sheets keep the puppy comfortable. Instead of rugs, you might use soft blankets. 

a dog covered from a blanket in a bed

Food and Water

A dog with an insatiable digestive system should not be left in a kennel with food overnight.

However, during the crate training process, leaving food inside the crate is recommended to make it feel more welcoming and loving for your puppy to stay.

Keeping a water bowl inside your dog’s kennel will help her quench her thirst.

A dog that has been trained to use a crate can also hold onto urine longer than a puppy who has bladder issues.

It is difficult for a puppy to contain its bladder for an extended period; thus, placing food and drink inside the kennel will result in more accidents. 

Two bowls containing dog food and water

You can choose how the water is dispensed so it is not knocked over or spilled inside the crate.

We’ll go over these alternatives further down in the article.

Related articles:

Should I Use a Dog Crate Cover?

a covered dog crate

A crate cover, such as a blanket or crate-specific covering, can help reduce anxiety and comfort puppies by restricting visual stimuli, which can prevent excitement and barking.

Crate covers are especially helpful for teaching your new puppy when to sleep and when to play. Crate covers may signal your new puppy that it is night and time to sleep.

It helps them settle faster, gives them a sense of safety, and reduces the number of distractions they can see, making it simpler to go to sleep.

Related article:

Where to Place the Dog’s Crate At Night?

If you have a young puppy, it may be best to first keep the crate in your bedroom or a next-door corridor.

Pups frequently need to go outdoors to relieve themselves during the night, and you’ll want to be able to hear your puppy ask to be let out.

As a result, it can be placed near humans. Do not confine them. Place the crate in a quiet room area, near a window, and away from your front door and neighbors.

Consider getting your puppy a separate crate, keep them in it at night, and put it on your bed.

A puppy cradled alone may feel overwhelmed and abandoned, causing it to weep and howl. 

Read our complete crate positioning guide here.

What Kind of Dog Toys Should I Put in My Dog’s Crate?

dog toys on the floor

For pups in crates, soft balls made of hard plastics are perfect. If you have a chewer, avoid leaving rubber balls about. Ensure you leave a huge ball and avoid leaving small balls because your dog may swallow them.

Though most puppies appreciate a soft toy, crated dogs prefer to play with objects they can lick, chew, or extract food from. 

Most puppies enjoy working for food and chew toys. Kongs, maze feeders, lick mats, snuffle mats, and puzzle feeders are all designed to release food gradually during play.

Even a stuffed toy would be a great choice to keep your pup busy and not get bored.

If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, something to do within the crate is another approach to make it a more effective and sustainable location. Set aside a special toy for crate time.

It should be something valuable that they will not be able to play with outside of the crate. This will help to crate train your dog.

Check out our complete guide on “Safe Toys to Leave in a Dog Crate” for more.

How to Set Your Dog Up to Succeed in its Crate?

After successful crate training, it’s vital to maintain a positive crate experience for your dog. Ensure that the crate remains a comfortable and inviting space. Place familiar bedding and favorite toys inside. 

Maintain a consistent crate usage routine, particularly when your dog needs a safe and quiet place.

Continue to use positive reinforcement, like treats or verbal praise, when they willingly enter the crate. Never use it as a form of punishment. 

By upholding a positive association with the crate and using it appropriately, your dog will continue to succeed in feeling secure and relaxed in their crate even after the training period.

FAQs

For night time products, consider using heart rate monitors and heat packs that mimic cuddly friends to help a puppy adjust to being separated from his mother or other puppies in the litter, which can make them feel more comfortable.

Yes, you can place enrichment toys in your pup’s crate, as long as they are indestructible such as Extreme Kong, as less strong toys can pose risks to your pup like choking and intestinal blockages.

You should use soft, safe bedding for comfort and safety, such as avoiding zippers, plastic edges, and chewing hazards. For crate training or accidents, consider switching to waterproof bedding, particularly for puppies and senior dogs with incontinence.

Conclusion

Creating a comfortable and inviting crate for your puppy at night is essential for their well-being. Include a cozy bed, avoid puppy pads, add blankets for warmth, and provide food and water as needed.

Choose appropriate toys and consider a crate cover for added comfort. Maintain a positive association with the crate, and it will become a secure and comforting space for your furry friend. 

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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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