Kids & Crate SafetyMay 18, 2021
Did you know that crate safety extends beyond just your pup? For everyone’s safety, it’s necessary to make sure that each member of your family is using the crate in the safest way possible.
Just as it’s important to train your puppy as they adjust to their new home, it’s important to chat with your kids about how they should behave around the crate, especially while your puppy is inside. Crates are oftentimes super appealing to kids: they’re interestingly shaped, look fun to climb, and are forbidden (which makes them all the more tempting). It can be tricky to encourage good habits in both pets and kids, but positive reinforcement is key. If you help your child understand why the crate is like the puppy’s private room––and why it’s not meant for kids––you can help foster a safe, happy friendship between your babies and your furbabies.
The following are some helpful rules to establish with your family:
However, for everyone’s safety, it is still necessary to make sure your family is using the crate in the safest way possible. Just as it’s important to train your puppy as they adjust to their new home, it’s important to chat with your kids about how they should behave around the puppy and the crate. Crates are sometimes super appealing to kids: they’re interestingly shaped, look fun to climb, and are forbidden (which makes them all the more tempting).
It can be tricky to encourage good habits in both pets and kids, but positive reinforcement is key. If you help your child understand why the crate is like the puppy’s private room—and why it’s not meant for kids—you can help foster a safe, happy friendship between your babies and your fur babies. The following are some helpful rules to establish with your family:
1. The crate is an off-limits zone for kids.
The crate is your dog’s personal corner of your home. It’s important to teach your kids that the crate is an off-limits zone. The AKC explains that “your dog’s crate needs to be his sanctuary, and it is off-limits to kids.” Explain to kids that when the dog is in their crate, they are not to be disturbed. Your kid’s room is their space to sleep, hang out, and play—the same goes for puppies! Sometimes they need a safe haven to have a “time out” and rest up.
2. Don’t allow children to climb into the crate.
Children should NEVER climb inside Revol or any kind of dog crate. Crates are designed, tested, and approved for dog occupants, not for children; there could be serious safety hazards if a child uses the crate in an unintended way. Petco recommends that parents “do not allow children to play in or on your dog’s crate, and never allow a child to crawl into the crate with your dog.” This is important for both your child’s safety and your dog’s well-being. By crate training your pup, you’ve established their understanding of the crate as their very own space. If they see kids climbing in it, they might feel like the crate is no longer that safe space—and it could undo your training efforts!
3. Don’t allow children to open or close the crate door(s) without permission.
Especially while your child is young, it might be best to instruct your child not to open or close the crate door at all. If a child closes or opens the crate door at the wrong time, the pup could be let out unsupervised or be stuck in the crate when they’re not supposed to be. It’s best to wait until you’re comfortable leaving your dog and your child alone together unsupervised before letting kids operate the crate door.
4. Follow Crate Instructions
Once a child is responsible enough to interact with the crate by themselves, it’s essential to show them how to use it correctly. Teach them how to use the doors safely, and make sure they understand that they should never pull on the sides or poke their fingers in the mesh. For more info on how to operate Revol safely, you can consult the Revol user manual and explore our other safety blog posts.
5. Don’t approach your dog while they’re eating in the crate.
If your dog eats their meals, chews bones, or enjoys treats on Groov while in the crate, make sure children don’t try to engage with the dog or the crate. Explain that while your puppy is eating, they’re busy and don’t want to play! Pet Assure advises that parents should direct kids to “Never attempt to touch a dog that is eating or in possession of a bone or a treat of some sort, even if you gave him the bone or treat initially.”
6. Let your puppy sleep in their crate undisturbed.
Similar to leaving a dog alone while they eat, kids shouldn’t try to wake up a dog while they’re sleeping. If they are startled, any dog could react negatively. (We all get a little cranky when we’re rudely awoken from a nap!) In general, helping kids understand the importance of being gentle and calm around pups is crucial.
Remember that every puppy and kid is unique, so you may need to adjust these guidelines based on what works best for your family. Some dogs are great with kids; others need some time to get used to young children or babies. If your pup seems afraid of children, or if it seems like your child is having trouble interacting appropriately with your dog, be patient and try not to rush into anything. The AKC says that “the most important thing to remember with anything involving dogs, or kids – or dogs and kids together – is that you can’t expect a finished product right out of the gate. Plan out your encounters between dog and child – no matter what the age – and start simple: Create tiny successes and build from there.”
If parents take time to help children interact safely with pups and pet products, you will set them up with skills that last a lifetime. A healthy relationship between your child and your pup will create a special bond and a magical friendship!
The Diggs Team
We believe our dogs deserve safer, better designed pet products.