How to Prepare for a Puppy: Creating a Safe SpaceNovember 7, 2021
Getting a puppy soon? Congratulations! A new puppy brings joy and energy to your life like nothing else. But as you prepare for your puppy, you’ll need to think critically about how you’ll create a safe, calm spot for your future canine companion.
But what exactly is a puppy safe space and why do you need to create one? Let’s break down puppy safe spaces and dog crates in detail.
The Importance of Setting Up a Safe Space for Your Pup
There’s certainly a lot to consider when it comes to training your puppy! You’ll have to teach them how to socialize with other dogs and people, how to have manners, how to obey commands, and how to eat at the right time.
But on top of all that, you’ll need to set up a safe space for your new pup. Why? There are lots of reasons why a safe spot, commonly called a crate, is vital for bringing your puppy up right so they grow into a mature, friendly adult dog. These reasons include:
- Giving your dog a safe space gives them a part of the house that is “their own”. Giving them a space that they can feel belongs to them does wonders for their mental health and emotional stability, especially in their early years.
- When many puppies come home, they’re scared and confused because they may have been separated from their parents and/or siblings. But training them that they have a special space that’s all for themselves gives them grounding as they acclimate to their new environment.
- As they grow into adult dogs, the safe space remains a sacred, calm spot where your dog can retreat from socialization if they become overstimulated. It’s also a place they can go to if they ever become scared, such as during the Fourth of July fireworks.
Ultimately, a safe space for your puppy is good for them and good for you. The most well-behaved dogs have a dedicated spot where they can relax and go to sleep at the end of the day. If you want to avoid your dog climbing into bed with you every night, you’ll have to give them a safe space and train them to use it ASAP!
What Makes a Good Safe Space?
With all that said, you can't just plop down a dog bed in a corner of your home and expect your dog to find it satisfying or secure. Several factors can determine whether a given spot in your house or apartment will work as a safe space for your pup.
Let’s take a look at these factors one by one.
It’s Quiet and Stress-Free
For starters, any safe space for your dog needs to be quiet and ultimately stress-free. Although dogs can’t tell us about it, they receive sensory input just like we do, often at higher levels through their ears and nose! Dogs have much better hearing and senses of smell than we do, and it’s easy for them to become overstimulated, especially when they are still puppies.
A safe spot that is quiet and stress-free gives them a place to relax and unwind. If you have an energetic dog, this will also prevent them from spiraling into a hyperactive mode where they bounce around and sprint back and forth because they are overstimulated.
Quiet and stress-free spots can include:
- A corner in the living room
- A spot in your bedroom
- A place beside your bed
It Has Food and Water
Next, your dog's safe space needs to have access to water at a bare minimum, and maybe even some food depending on what feeding schedule you decide to go with. You can keep their food bowl in their safe space, which may add to the sense that it's "their" nook or little home.
Keeping a water bowl with fresh water in your dog's safe space is also crucial. Dogs should feel like they never have to go thirsty in your home, especially when they are puppies. This all helps to increase their sense of security and make them feel that they can let their guard down around you and your family.
Lots of dog crates will include slots where you can place food and water bowls. By giving your dog fresh water in their safe space, you also allow them to get a drink if they need to when you place them in their crate for nighttime rest.
Naturally, any suitable safe space for your puppy needs to be comfortable! In the case of a dog crate, you can solve this by placing a comfortable dog bed within the crate, such as a crate pad made of memory foam.
But regardless, your dog’s safe space should include a dog bed of some type that they find comfy. As they train with their crate, they’ll get used to their bed, especially as it starts to smell like them. This, in turn, will calm your dog down and help them become a well-mannered little pup in no time.
Plus, your dog’s safe space will be where they sleep most of the time. So the space has to be comfortable so they can get a good night’s rest just like you do!
It Has Enough Room
This factor could be a little tricky to nail down depending on the size of your dog or their breed. But regardless, any safe space has to have enough room for your dog to stand up and turn around comfortably.
A good dog crate doesn’t have to have so much space that your dog can exercise inside, but they should be able to get up and squish down their bed to make it comfy without too much trouble. If you have a puppy that will grow into a larger dog, the safe space for them also has to be manageably big.
That’s why many of the best dog crates, like our Revol Dog Crate, come in several sizes so you can choose the size of crate that’s perfect for your new furry friend.
Last but not least, your dog’s safe space needs to be “dog-proof”. For example, if your dog’s safe space is a crate, the crate needs to be made of materials that they can’t chew through in the middle of the night or when they become stressed.
If your dog’s safe space is going underneath a table or desk, there shouldn’t be anything your puppy can get into or damage. As you’ll soon learn when you get your puppy, they love to put everything in their mouths!
But if your puppy grabs something and bites it into oblivion, it’s not their fault. After all, they’re just exploring the world. It’s your responsibility as the pet parent to make sure that your pup’s safe space is safe for them and doesn’t include anything they could chew or swallow by accident.
Dog Crates: The Ideal Solution
As you can see from the breakdown above, dog crates offer each of the above benefits and more. Dog crates:
- Can be positioned anywhere in your home where you have enough space, allowing you to show your dog to their nook in a place that makes the most sense for your home
- Can often be collapsed or moved around, making it easy for you to shift your dog’s safe space if necessary (such as when visiting family, when going on vacation, and more)
- Can be closed or latched shut, which can be excellent when crate training your puppy and showing them where they sleep for the night
- Can be fitted with comfortable beds so your dog has a plush, warm place to snooze during the day and at night
- Are usually made with durable materials that your dog can’t break
There are lots of reasons why crate training your puppy is ideal. Crate training your dog teaches them that they have a dedicated space just for them and that their space is a place for rest and relaxation, not play.
In the end, it’s a good idea to get a dog crate for your puppy’s future safe space instead of going with another solution, like giving them an open bed to place in the middle of your living room floor.
Choosing the Right Spot for a Dog Crate
Of course, just because you can purchase a dog crate doesn’t mean that the crate will automatically be the best safe space for your puppy. Your pup needs their crate to be positioned in the ideal place for them to get maximum benefits.
The best spots for a dog crate and a safe space for your pup include:
- A quiet nook in the house
- A corner of your bedroom
- A corner of the living room
Each of these areas has advantages and disadvantages.
If you place your puppy's dog crate in the living room, the environment might be too stimulating for them to rest during the day until everyone goes to bed. On top of that, your puppy might feel lonely when everyone else retires to bedrooms away from the living room!
It's up to you to look around your house and find the best spot for your pup's safe space and dog crate. Try to find a place where it's reasonably quiet but not so separate from the rest of the house that your puppy might feel lonely or abandoned if you place them in their crate for a nap (and trust us—puppies need lots of naps!).
What To Look for in a Dog Crate
While there are lots of dog crates to choose from, no two crates are exactly alike. Some dog crates are certainly better than others. With that in mind, let’s break down what you should look for in a dog crate to set up in your pup’s safe space.
A good dog crate needs adequate durability, as we broke down above. To that end, make sure that any crate you purchase is made of tough materials rather than cloth. Even small puppies may eventually chew through cloth crates if they wake up early and decide to do a little play or exploration!
Space To Grow
A good crate should also have plenty of room for your pup to grow. Think early about what kind of puppy you’ll get in terms of their breed and maximum size. Go for the largest crate you think you’ll need, then set it up before you bring your puppy home.
Next, look for a dog crate that can be folded up or collapsed so you can take it with you on your adventures. Foldable dog crates are much easier to fit into your car trunk than crates that have to be lugged around in their full-size configurations.
Easy To Clean
Lastly, the best dog crates will also be relatively easy to clean. No matter how well behaved your puppy is, messes are a fact of life! But easy to clean dog crates, like those with removable bottoms, can make cleanup quick and easy and minimize frustration.
The Revol Dog Crate
Diggs’ Revol Dog Crate offers each of these features and more.
Not only does it come in four sizes, but it’s also designed for safety and durability in equal measure. It’s also an ideal training crate for puppies thanks to the included puppy divider and ceiling hatch, allowing you to reach through and check on your furry friend (or refill their treat training tool!) without having to remove them from the crate entirely.
Even better, our dog crate comes with a garage-style side door to give your pup plenty of open space and help them feel comfortable in their new safe spot. Our crate is also travel-friendly thanks to its collapsible nature. It even comes with a set of wheels and a carrying handle and it's very easy to set up!
The Revol Crate is easy to clean and is totally made of toxin-free, rust-free materials. It's the ultimate in terms of safe, stylish dog crates, and it's a perfect solution if you want to set up a safe space for your puppy before you welcome them home.
Other Safe Space Considerations
While it’s important to make a safe sleeping place for your puppy, you’ll also need to “puppy proof” your home or any rooms where your puppy is expected to play and learn. Puppy proofing involves:
- Getting rid of any hazardous toys or objects that your puppy might chew and swallow
- Removing any objects you don’t want to be harmed or damaged by your puppy’s play and exploration
It’s up to you to look through your home and figure out what items are possibly dangerous to a puppy. For example, small utensils or decorations that are reachable by your pup should be lifted out of reach or removed entirely until they are properly trained.
Similarly, you might consider training your puppy primarily in an area where you won’t mind occasional messes. Potty training takes a few weeks at best, and even afterward, your puppy might still have an accident from time to time. If you have a beautiful and fancy couch in one room, for example, try to train your puppy in another room to minimize the likelihood of a disaster!
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into creating a safe space for your future puppy. But it’ll be well worth it in the end. Once you create a safe space, both in terms of a place for them to sleep and in terms of their training area, your puppy will feel safe, secure, and respond more readily to your training efforts.
At Diggs, we're dedicated to providing the safest, most comfortable puppy and dog crate you need as a new pet parent. Whether you need a dog crate like our Revol Collapsible Dog Crate or a memory foam bed, we can help you create the comfiest spot for your new canine companion. Check out our store today!
Crate training 101 | Humane Society
Crate Training Benefits: Why A Crate Is Great For You And Your Dog | American Kennel Club
Dogs' Dazzling Sense of Smell | NOVA
Puppy-Proofing Tips for Your Home And Yard | American Kennel Club
The Diggs Team
We believe our dogs deserve safer, better designed pet products.