Cozy Time Paws: Do Dogs Need a Mat or Bed in Their Crate?

If you want your dog to sleep blissfully in their crate, then yes, a bed is necessary, but overall comfort is the key to keeping them happy. The dog crate bedding must also be in a spot where your dog can feel relaxed and not feel threatened while they’re asleep.


Dog crates are psychologically similar to a dog den and are considered to be a substitute for a den. Dogs and wolves that live in the wild dig dens so that they can have a safe place to sleep, to whelp and to raise their puppies. Dens are quiet and comforting for dogs and give them a sense of security. Keep in mind that dog crates are not “cages” and do not have the same purpose of a cage. Even though there are people, including dog owners, who confuse the concept of a crate to a cage.

A crate is a quiet place where your dog can sleep without being bothered. It’s a place where he can go to be alone whenever he feels stressed out or if the house is too noisy or if there is too much movement. It’s a place that belongs to him and he does not have to share with anyone. However, if you do have another dog, it would be better to get a crate that is large enough to hold both of them where they can enjoy cuddling together.


The crate can be used to teach your puppy the basics of housebreaking. You can train him to take his naps in there and recognize it as a place that he should not soil. Initially, you can allow your puppy to stay in the crate for two hours. At two months you can allow him to stay for three hours before you take him out to use the bathroom. As he gets older, you can leave him in the crate for much longer periods before taking him out. Keep in mind that puppies cannot go too long without using the bathroom. If you are a working person and are unable to check on your puppy during the course of the day, then you should make arrangements with a neighbor or a friend to come over to your house and take your puppy out.

Buying a Crate

When you get a crate for your dog, make sure that it is large enough for him to stand and turn around. It doesn’t matter if his head touches the top of the crate. The important thing is for your dog to be able to lie down. There are people who think that they should get the biggest crate for their dog. This would defeat the purpose of your dog having the crate as a snug den. Just like dog houses, you should get a crate for your dog big enough for him to feel comfortable in. Your dog would not feel secured in a crate that is too big.

For Travel

If you are traveling in your vehicle you will need a crate for your dog to travel in as it is safer for your dog to be inside a crate rather than being just in the vehicle. Just make sure that you get the appropriate size, because if you should have an accident, it would help your dog from being thrown around inside the crate and getting seriously injured. If your dog is traveling by air, you would need to get an appropriate size crate for your dog. If the crate is too big, your dog may want to stand up while flying and be thrown about inside the crate and get hurt. You should check the side of the crate for manufacturers guidelines. They usually have it on the side to help you select the right size crate that would suit the breed of dog you have or the size of dog.

For Flying

If you are flying with your dog anywhere or shipping him somewhere, make sure you get a crate like a Vari-Kennel crate that is made out of hard plastic. These type of crates are difficult to break and are a requirement by all airlines. They are also good crates to put your dog in when traveling in your vehicle. They are very strong and would hold up well in an accident and protect your dog from getting seriously injured. However, if you want to keep a crate at home for your dog, you can get him a wire crate. These types of crates are not too heavy, they can easily be folded and can be moved around without any effort. There are also lightweight mesh crates that some people like to use for their dogs but they are not recommended for dogs that like to scratch. Dogs that scratch can easily tear the mesh and get out of their crates.

Training Tips

Training dogs to use their crates is not a difficult task. Most dogs that have been trained to use their crates will have no problem going in and out of them. In fact, you may see your dog sleeping in his crate regularly. Training your dog to use a crate will help him with housebreaking and provide him with a quiet place. It would also give you a peace of mind. A crate also provides your dog with a safer way of traveling without you being too concerned about his safety.