Comfort and functionality are two of the most important aspects of choosing between dog crate sizes. This usually means making sure that a crate isn’t too small – but what if it’s too big?
While a crate that’s too big for your dog will never make them cramped or give them sore muscles like a smaller crate might be guilty of, there are still cons that come with an excessively large crate.
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Potty Training Problems
Many people use crates to help with potty training, but getting one that’s too big can lead to failure and frustrating setbacks in training.
If a crate is too big for a puppy (or even an adult dog), they may take advantage of the extra space and relieve themselves on one side while still having enough room to relax and lie down on the other.
Getting a crate that’s roomy enough for your dog to stand up, lie down, turn around, and stretch while still being fitting for their size is the best way to prevent this issue.
Traditionally, wolf dens are small, cozy spaces in which wolves can relax safely. Many pet owners today try to use crates in a similar way for their dogs.
By laying down bedding and making a crate a desirable place to be, your dog can feel the security of having their own space. If a crate is too big, the den-like quality may be lost and your dog (puppies especially) may feel uncomfortable, lonely, or anxious.
An extra note on making the crate a safe and happy “den” for your dog: it shouldn’t be used as a form of punishment, but rather something associated with treats, toys, and relaxation.
The Bottom Line
In general, it’s better to use a crate that’s too large as opposed to a crate that’s too small. Physical comfortability should be a bigger priority than preventing extra messes.
With that said, there are definite negatives that come along with using a crate that’s too big. Not only will your dog be more likely to treat it as their bathroom, but they may feel more lonely or become anxious or stressed.
There are so many things to keep in mind when choosing the right crate for your dog, including: what you’ll be using it for, which type works best for you, and of course, size. Take the time to research the different crates out there until you find one that’s just right!
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