Top 10 Dog Crate Alternatives That Make Your Pet Happier

Keeping a dog in a crate might be a good solution, but you should give it a second thought. 

Not only can it be very stressful for your beloved pet, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it will change behavior.

In this article, we bring you even 10 dog crate alternatives and how you can train your dog without locking it! 


When Should You Keep A Dog In A Crate?

Even though it might seem stressful for your dog to sleep in a crate, there are some situations when you should restrict the space it can use. The crate is a part of dog training and should be seen as the best way to make life in the household friendly and comfortable for your dog. Naturally, they seek a smaller place to rest and feel relaxed. Being in a household with more members and active constantly, they might develop anxiety and be constantly tired. To avoid those kinds of situations, it is better to provide them with a crate as a place to feel secured and safe. It is preferable to make it a pleasant and positive experience, so they feel like getting rewarded or safe when performing the activity. Also, it can have future benefits. Firstly, it is a great way to keep your dog calm during working hours. What is more, it is an ideal activity to teach them how to be calm during the trip or journey.
What is more, you should have a suitable crate for each breed and dog needs. This means that you can’t close a big dog in a smaller crate or use old and dangerous crates. The bottom should be covered with soft material and it should be cleaned regularly to avoid unpleasant odor. What is more, be sure that all wires are safe and without pointy ends that might injure them.

When Not To Choose Dog Crate?

A dog crate isn’t always the best solution and there are different reasons why. First, it may be a dangerous choice for a very aggressive or energetic dog. Since they usually don’t stand still, sharp edges and wires might be dangerous. Also, some dogs may even bite it in anger and harm teeth or mouth. Second, it may be stressful for dogs with trauma. Sometimes, it is easier if the dog sleeps in a crate with the door open. Yet, then it is completely unnecessary. Also, your dog can look at it as a punishment. If you close it after every mistake they make, they will feel unhappy and punished. In the end, a dog crate, depending on the breed, might be very big and take space, especially if you have a small apartment. We bring you 10 alternatives to crate training.

Tespo Pet Playpen

Best 10 Dog Crate Alternatives

1. Dog Gates

It is completely possible to house training an older dog without a crate using simple solutions. Dog gates are the ideal solution if you don’t have enough space for a crate, but still want to limit your dog from not going into a certain room. There are many types of gates made from different materials. But just be sure they are pet-friendly. Usually, there are two solutions: mountable or free dog gates. The first type is ideal if you want to get used to your dog in its space and train it for the future. The second type is ideal if you just want to limit it when you do chores or have guests.

2. Playpen

The playpen is an ideal solution if you want that your dog has a playing field and you don’t have a backyard or space in a room for it to play. The bottom is usually made of a soft sponge which allows it to play freely or sleep comfortably. Also, it doesn’t have a top and your dog won`t feel like it is closed. Sometimes, they will try to jump over it, but be sure to load it with toys and to make time spent in it more attractive and interesting. This is only a minor obstacle, usually used as a better solution if you ever wondered how to keep a puppy from crying in the crate.

3. Fenced Yard

For people with a yard, it may be ideal to leave dogs in the open space during good weather. This means it must be warm enough for them to stay all day. Also, be sure that they have access to water and food. Shelter them from rain and during hot days because they shouldn’t be in the sun. The grassed yard is the most natural option for dogs and they will enjoy being free. Yet, this is the most dangerous solution and you should be sure that you have secured all exits and possible escapes.

dog gate

4. Dog Door

A dog door on your backdoor is a good solution only in combination with a fenced backyard. This is a good option if your dog is energetic and needs more space to play. If you leave it alone for some hours, it may become bored and tear apart furniture out of boredom. To prevent that, you can leave them a solution to get out and play. Dog doors should be light-weighted for them to remove easily. Also, it should be possible to get back in once they are out of the house. Be sure that your dog can reach them and climb safely.

5. Dog Bedroom

It is the ideal solution to find some extra space in the house that can be designed as a dog sleeping space. It can be done in any room, but then it is supposed to be their private space. This can be an even more creative and stylish solution and a simple and ugly dog crate. It is ideal to use space under stairs and make it a comfortable hiding space. Fill it with pillows and favorite toys, but don’t make it complicated for them to sleep. Also, the dog bed should be simple and nothing similar to the real one since it needs to have enough space to stretch and change position.

6. Dog Camera

A dog camera is an excellent solution if you’re afraid to leave your dog at home during your working hours. It can control what they are doing and give you good information about how they feel alone. Also, dome cameras have speakers and microphones, so you can yell their names and train them to go to their place. Indoor dog camera can be a great solution if you are busy or just want to stay somewhere longer to check on your dog.

7. Dog Day Care  

If you are afraid to leave your dog alone during the day, but still don’t want to close them and to be active, you should organize daycare. A dog nanny can come to your place and take care of a dog or you can bring it to a daycare yard. It has many positive effects. Firstly, you don’t need to worry about its needs and will they make a mess. Secondly, dog nannies usually spend much time in open spaces and they will work out regularly. Lastly, if you use their space, they will socialize with others and become better in your private time with them. This is the most expensive solution and you will need to add it to your budget.

dog in the bed

8. Dog Hotel

Dog hotels are a bit cheaper than daycare, but not as active and interactive. Usually, it is rooms where you can keep your dog to be monitored. Unfortunately, all people in charge may not have enough time to go for a walk or to dedicate enough time. While this can be a cheaper solution, your dog might feel unhappy and closed like in a crate.

9. Closed Door

If you don’t want to waste money and space on any solution, choose the simplest option: just close the door to the room you want your dog to be in while you`re gone. Be sure that it has enough space and air, but also that the room temperature is pleasant. What is more, you should know that your dog is feeling safe and comfortable in the room. If you open the door and it is barking or leaves a mess, then you should find another solution.

10. Good Dog Training

Good dog training is always the best dog crate alternatives. Raining your dog might be a long and exhausting process, but it will have great and satisfying results. There are many ways to teach your dog how to respect space and behave and you can do it alone or in a training school. While you need to invest time and will at the beginning, this will be the cheapest solution in the future!

To Sum Up

There are many alternatives to crate training; you should pick the best one for your dog. This means that you should monitor its behavior and be ready to change some options to find the best one. It will take you some time and nerves, but you will be safe in the future and have a satisfied dog. If you want to check some of the dog crates from the market, we suggest reading this post about the best black dog cages, or the best-rated cloth dog crates.

Joana has graduated in Linguistics in 2014. and began her work experience as a journalist and freelance writer. Her professional writing experience, as well as experience with pets, brought her to Petovly where she’s an editor. Working on the site, she collaborates with vets and animal shelter workers she has met when she was volunteering as a student. This experience made her an expert in pets’ care, breeds, and diseases.