Some households choose to crate train their dogs for multiple reasons. Dogs have a natural instinct to nestle into dens and areas that make them feel safe. But, should we feed our dogs in the very areas meant to be safe spaces? There are many factors that could contribute to this decision, so let’s explore them all! Here are some of the pros and cons to feeding your dog in a crate. 

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One reason why feeding your dog in the crate might be beneficial is to create a happy place. At first the crate can look scary and intimidating, so feeding them their daily meals in the crate makes it much more pleasant. As soon as you fill their food bowl, they will want to run into the crate! They will be more willing to enter the crate and stay in it after if you need to leave. 

If you have more than one dog, feeding them in crates can eliminate aggression issues.It gives each dog a separate place to enjoy his or her food, which prevents the anxiety that another may take it away. You can leave them be and not have to worry about any fights arising. It also gives them a place to slowly enjoy their food without getting any digestion issues. 

Many dogs struggle with general food aggression. The crate is an easy, safe place they can eat away from children or any other people that may bother them. Bite prevention is very important, especially with children. Never pet a dog while they are eating. Rescue dogs that were found on the street or starved are more likely to guard their food, so the crate keeps all threats away. 

a small dog in a crate with a bowl of food
@youdidwhatwithyourwiener

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If your dog spends a lot of time in the crate during the day while you are home,it may not be the best place to feed them. Try picking a quiet, sunny spot away from distractions. This will be your dog’s favorite spot when you come home!

Many dogs like to be next to water during their breakfast and dinner. Feed a dog in their crate might not be the best spot to eat if your dog drinks a lot of water after a meal. It will make the crate wet and create more of a mess. Your dog’s den is supposed to be a clean, warm environment for them to relax. 

If your dog is a grazer, it might be best to keep their food in an accessible areainstead of a crate. It is important for them to eat enough throughout the day, so it should be in a spot they walk by often. Keep in mind that this usually only works in a household with only one dog. 

two dogs in a dog crate with blankets
@connorlipke

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Depending on the dog, the crate may or may not be the best place to feed them. Try feeding them inside the crate for a week to see what happens. You can always change their feeding station back to the original place. A full dog is a happy dog, no matter where they are fed!

Looking for the perfect crate? Learn how to pick out the right crate for your pet here.

Author

Caitlin is originally from Vermont and has been working with animals since she can remember. She studied Behavioral Neuroscience and is now Mastering in Animal Shelter Management in Colorado. Her hobbies include horseback riding, fostering animals, and hiking in the Rocky Mountains. She has volunteered at five different animal shelters and worked in three different vet hospitals. Her passions include animal health, behavior, and enrichment. Caitlin also spends time taking high-quality photos of shelter animals to help them get adopted faster.

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