Crate Training

Crate Cover Safety

March 25, 2021

Crate training is a really important step in bringing your new puppy (or adult dog) home, by teaching them to associate their crate with a safe, warm space! Using a crate cover can make their home even cozier, but like us, dogs have preferences on how dark and enclosed they want their home to be. Adding a crate cover can be a big change for your pup, and it’s important to introduce them to it properly!

Why should I cover my dog's crate?

Dogs are den animals, and love having a safe spot in your home that’s just for them! For some dogs, an uncovered crate is plenty comfortable. Other dogs get excited or even anxious from seeing things outside the crate while they're in it. A crate cover can reduce this stimulation and help them stay cozy and calm.

A covered crate can also be helpful to teach your dog their daily routine! A covered crate is a good way to indicate it’s quiet bedtime, while an open crate means playtime!

How do I get my dog used to a crate cover?

If your dog has never been in a covered crate before, a gradual introduction is best (just like crate training)! They’re going from a totally open space where they can see you and what you’re doing to something completely enclosed, and that can be really scary at first. Fortunately, the unique design of Diggs’ crate cover makes this process a breeze! Following these steps can help make the transition easier:

1. Place only the ceiling panel cover on your crate, and allow your dog to enter the partially covered crate on their own. Gradually increase the amount of time they spend in the partially covered crate, until they’re as comfortable in their crate as they were before the new addition.

2. After a few days, place one of the side cover panels on the crate. If you leave your crate against a wall, cover the side closest to the wall. Repeat the process of letting them get used to it!

3. Put the cover for the back panel of the crate on next, followed by the side door, and finally the front door! Always leave whichever door is your dog’s main entrance until the end.

4. You want to help your dog develop a positive association with the covered crate, so they’re calm and relaxed - which is why it is important to never ever cover the crate as a form of punishment.

If your dog has used a crate cover before, or a towel, they will still need some time to adjust to the new cover as it smells totally different! A new cover can make their crate feel like a completely foreign space, and that can be hard for some pups to handle. Although they may be used to their current cover, the transition to the new one should still be done gradually. We’d recommend following a similar transition process:

1. Place the Revol Crate Cover ceiling panel on the crate of your Revol, and put your old crate cover on top. Cover all the sides as you normally would, and let your dog enter their crate.

2. Gradually add on the Revol Crate Cover panels (first the sides, then the front and back), each time allowing your dog to get used to the panel before adding new ones. Keep using your old crate cover for any sides of the crate that aren’t covered by the Revol Cover yet. This gradual transition allows them to get used to new smells, without being overwhelmed.

3. Once all your panels for the Revol Cover are attached, and your dog is comfortable, you can stop using the old one entirely.

During the process of getting your dog used to a new cover, it’s really important to keep an eye out for any new signs of distress or anxiety (whining, pawing, biting, excess drooling, etc.). If you notice this, you may have to go back a step, or slow down the transition, until your pup is calm and happy. Patience and consistency are key to introducing your dog to new things!

Will my dog like their crate being covered?

For some dogs, a covered crate is a dream come true! For others, it can provide too much solitude and can cause more fear for them than relaxation. Anytime you introduce your dog to something new, it’s important to do so slowly and observe them as you make the change. If you notice new or worsening signs of anxiety during the use of a crate cover, particularly with a dog that’s already crate trained, you may need to start the acclimation process all over again.

Some dogs also prefer an only partially covered crate, which is where the Revol Crate Cover really shines! If you notice your dog doesn’t like the front door or a side covered during the acclimation process, simply leave it off. No rolled or bunched up fabric here, thanks to the modular design of our cover!

How can I keep my dog safe around the crate cover?

As with any new product, toy, or food added to your dog’s routine, you’ll want to supervise your pup around their crate cover while they’re not in the crate. Our crate covers are designed for durability, but it's still super important to prevent excessive chewing or scratching for your pup's safety.

Safe usage and storage of our crate covers is easy! While the panels are not in use, just make sure to store them out of your pup's reach, such as in a drawer on or on a table. While the panels are set up on the crate, keep an eye on your dog to make sure they don't try to pull the panels off. The Revol Crate Cover attaches onto the crate with a strong magnet, but an ambitious pup might be able to tug them down. It’s always important to check in on your pup to make sure they’re not up to anything too sneaky!

The Diggs Team

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