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Dog Crates and Bedding

Dog Crates

In our house, we go by the rule that every dog has his or her own dog crate. We find crates invaluable for many reasons:

TOILET TRAINING
After play time, when it is time for your puppy to have a nap or quite time, put your puppy in their crate. Make sure they have been to the toilet recently. You can then leave them for a little while to have a sleep. Let your puppy out of it's crate within an hour or two, or when it wakes up naturally. Dogs don't like to soil their own bed area. As log as you let it out in good time, your puppy should have been able to 'wait' to go to the toilet. Take your puppy outside straight away to its toilet spot. Using a crate like this can help to encourage puppies and dogs to wait until they can go to the toilet outdoors. This method can make toilet training very quick and simple, as long as you stick to the rules and don't leave your puppy in its crate fro too long.

FEEDING TIME
Crates can give individual dogs the extra space and security they may need when food is on offer. For a variety of reasons, some dogs may be better suited to being fed in a crate, or owners may simply feel it a preferred solution, particularly in households with more than one dog.

SAFETY
A crate can provide an ideal solution for times when you need to leave your usky unattended. A properly 'crate-trained' husky should be quite content to spend a couple of hours (never more than 4) in a crate every now and then. In this case, crating a husky can keep them safe from hazards in the home, and your home safe from the hazards of your husky!

TRANSPORT
We find small and medium crates fit well in the back of our cars, and have also used crates as 'Dog Boxes' in various incarnations of our 'Dog Van'. Specially made Car Crates are also available, and their sloping designs may well be more suitable for many cars than regular-shaped crates.

GENERAL COMFORT
Our huskies, particularly the older ones, soon come to see their crates as a sanctuary from the activity of the house. They all tend to sleep in their crates, which we fit with vetbeds and cover over with blankets.

If you have a husky or sled dog, you should cover the top of its dog crate with some hardboard or other rigid material. This is because huskies and sled dogs will often jump up on to the top of a crate. Due to the "cage" type construction, their paws will fit through the spaces between the bars and they may injure their legs by getting them caught if the top of the crate. This is especially important if you are going to cover the crate with a blanket, as the dog may think the top is solid and jump up.

Dog crates are available from most pet suppliers. In our experience, they are much cheaper to buy on-line than in most pet stores.

Powder-coated metal crates are preferable rather than the plastic coated ones, as huskies may gnaw at the bars on occasion, and plastic-coating may be chewed off and swallowed. It is worth noting that you can sometimes find cheap second-hand crates in the classified ads, but do beware of hidden damage.

Attachable Crate Dishes designed to fix to the inside of a crate can be useful, although we would never leave a dog in a crate for more than a couple of hours - not long enough that they would need water provided, but the dishes are useful to have around, especially for puppies.

The book Quick & Easy Crate Training will give you good instructions on how to crate train your puppy or adult dog.

Dog Beds

There is a wide range of excellent dog beds available today. Remember that huskies and sled dogs can be very destructive, and so it may be best to go for a simple, durable design of bed rather than anything too fancy. Raised "platform" style beds such as the Coolaroo Elevated Pet Bed allow air to circulate underneath, and help to keep dogs cool. These can be very hand for huskies in the hot summer months.

Cushion-style dog beds can make the crate nice and comfy , but Huskies tend to see them as toys and quicky destroy them by pulling all the stuffing out. We tend to use fleece to line our huskies' crates , as it is easy to wash and our dogs don't seem to want to chew it up.

Fleece veterinary-style pet bedding is great for huskies. It is synthetic bedding material that is durable, washable, warm and comfy. The upper fibers seem to encourage water to drain through it, so in the case of toilet training accidents over night the dog or puppy will not be sitting in a puddle of pee until morning.

Fleece bedding comes in various colors and backed with either regular fabric or a kind of 'non-slip' rubber. We use rubber backed Non-Slip Vet Bed to line the dogs' boxes in our van, so that they dont slip and slide around their crates whilst travelling. Fleece bedding is sold in various sizes, but it is usually worth buying a couple of meters at a time and cutting it to the sizes you require yourself.

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