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A few years ago, before I decided to stay home with my kids, I worked as a veterinarian technician in an animal hospital. While at that job I saw so many clients who would bring in their dog and be upset because they had eaten something in the house, other than food, and were now sick. One client brought in her chocolate lab that had gotten into her sewing box and eaten a pincushion, pins and all!!! Off to surgery the dog went and the owner was out about $1,500. Case number two was a giant poodle that, while the owner was away, got into her closet and ate a pair of panty hose. Unfortunately this dog did not make it through surgery. The pantyhose got wrapped around its intestines and the doctor was not able to save the dog.
The above stories are a couple of really good reasons why you should crate train your puppy or dog, especially if you have a dog who likes to chew or eat things they should not be eating.
By putting your puppy or dog in a crate you are giving them a sense of security and a place they can call their own. Dogs actually like having a "den" to cuddle up in. By putting the dog in a crate while you are gone it will also give you peace of mind knowing that they are in a safe place, away from harm, and not doing any damage to your belongings or themselves.
Crate training will also help with potty training. Make sure you put your pet on a regular schedule for potty breaks and use the crate when you are gone or need your pet to rest. Dogs will typically not "go" in their home. They like to keep it clean and will hold it until you can take them outside to eliminate. Remember to always praise your pet when he eliminates in the area you want him to outside.
Puppies have very small bladders so they cannot physically hold it for very long. I would suggest that you take the puppy out every two hours. As puppies get older, naturally they will gain the bladder control and be able to hold it longer. Eventually this time should increase to 8 hours or more.
Another thing to consider when purchasing a crate is to make sure that you buy a crate big enough to accommodate the full growth of your pet. When your pet is a puppy and you are crate training, make sure that the crate has a divider panel. You can adjust the placement of the divider panel so that the puppy does not have full use of the crate thus creating the "den" feeling that will make your dog feel comfortable and cozy. In this situation the dog will not want to go in its den and will keep the area clean. If you give the puppy the full area of the crate it may be too large and the dog will make one area of the crate his potty area and the other area as his sleeping area. Adjust the divider panel so that the dog has enough area to get up and stretch but not enough room to eliminate.
Crate training your puppy or dog is just a smart thing to do for you and your pet. It will give you the sense of security and peace knowing that your pet is not getting in harms way while you are away.
I am the owner of a website, CratesPlus.com, that supplies a variety of dog crates and accessories in order to help change the life of you and your pet.
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