Today, we will get down to some specifics of crates.
What size cage should you be looking at?
I recommend the Precision crate. Make sure that when you are ordering that you do tell them that you want the size that you puppy will be when he/she is an adult. When they are first put into the crate, it should only be big enough for them to get up, turn around and lay down. This way, they will not want to urinate or defecate in the crate; because they instinctively do not want to lay in it.
Open vs Closed
There are two types: open and closed. Closed crate/den look like real big cat carriers.
Open crates looks like a cage. It can be covered with a towel to help the puppy sleep. I personally prefer the open crate. They collapse bettes to be stored. Here is the link for the precision crate. http://www.precisionpet.com/detail.aspx?id=54 or call 800-261-3523
I would recommend purchasing a divider panel. This way, you can make the crate smaller for the puppy, and adjust it as the puppies grow.
They usually eat what ever you put in the crate, so I don't recommend putting anything in the crate with them except water. But, if you want to try something, try the fleece pad. Just watch out that he does not chew on it, as that could cause an obstruction which would need to be surgically removed.
Is a folding cage the best bet?
It is personal preference. Folding crates, which are open crates that fold down, are great for traveling in the car. They also offer the benefit of folding them up for storage, when/if you are done using it. You can save it for the next puppy!
Where is the best place to put the crate?
Where ever it is most convenient for you. Some people want it in their room. Others in the high traffic area, such as the kitchen. Others want it in the basement. If you have the puppy in your room, they will likely want to sleep in your room for the rest of their life. That is fine, if you can tolerate a dog barking and snoring in their sleep.
I am looking up crates. Do I need to buy a pan for the bottom? Or would you buy a floor grid to place on top of the pan???
You should not need to get an extra pan or grid. It comes with a pan. The grid is so that if they urinate or defecate, they won't lay in it. However, it is not as comfortable to lie on for the puppy. Their toes can get caught in it, too. The puppy will not be going potty in the crate very much after the first week or so; especially if you keep a log for the first 2 days of when the puppy goes potty. You will be able to be proactive in taking the puppy out. Here is the link for the precision crate. http://www.precisionpet.com/detail.aspx?id=54 You can also call precision for a dealer near you. 800-261-3523
Cynthia Mazzola DVM has been practicing for over 20 years. In addition, she has been breeding and training Labrador Retrievers for over 30 years.
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