How Long is Too Long For a Dog to Be in a Crate?

Owning a dog is a huge responsibility. You should take care of it, and spend as much time with it as you can. Unfortunately, as we all know, spending lots of time with your dog is not always possible, and sometimes you need to leave your dog alone for some time.

Now, you have two options when it comes to leaving your pet. You can let it wander around your house, and you can leave it in a crate. And here is where certain limitations and rules should be followed.

So, before you go out there and spend thousands on crates for dogs, let’s answer the most important question there is. How long is it too long for a dog to be in a crate? Let’s find out.

How Long Can a Puppy Stay in a Crate?

First, you should know is that the time you leave your dog in a crate should vary from its age. Keep in mind that younger dogs have smaller bladders, which means that you limit the crate time to a minimum.

But how exactly can you leave your puppy in a crate? Again, it all depends on its age. So, for example, if your puppy is 3-4 months old, you should leave it in the crate up to four hours tops.  And if it’s five months old, your puppy can stay in a crate for up to six hours.

Also, keep in mind that puppies demand more breaks during the day, and the ones younger than six months have to go for a pot break in the middle of the day. And what if you leave your puppy in the crate for too long? Well, it may have some severe consequences.

Crating a puppy for too long can cause separation anxiety, and may even lead to some crate accidents. What’s more, if you force your puppy to hold its pee for too long, it can cause serious urinary infection.

So how can you deal with that? Well, if you want to crate your dog, you should ask your friends and family to come into your home in the middle of the day and leave your puppy out. This would allow your dog to get some time outside of the crate and your house as well.

Secondly, you should crate train your puppy. Keep in mind that crate training may take some time, but it’s crucial to make sure that your dog stays safe, happy, and healthy. It also teaches your puppy how to start respecting his sleeping environment.

How Long Can an Adult Dog Stay in a Crate?

Okay, but what if you own the fully grown-up dog? How long can it stay in the crate? It depends on many different factors, but various specialists claim that the absolute maximum is nine hours.

Also, when it comes to adult dogs, these hours may vary. You need to consider such things as your dog’s temperament, medical history, behavior, or personality.

Some dogs have to use the bathroom much more frequently than others, and that’s what you should keep in mind when owning, adopting, or buying a dog.

It also depends on the training your dog had. If you didn’t train it to stay in the crate while you’re away for the day, you’d find it much more challenging to teach it to do that without causing any problems.

Keep in mind that for dogs, the sooner you start adapting your dog to stay in the crate, the better the results you’ll get.

Can I crate my dog for 12 hours?

Dogs should not be held in a cage for more than 6 to 8 hours. So 12 hours in a cage for a dog to be left alone is definitely something every pet owner should avoid. Although a crate could be a safe space for any dog, you should never be leaving your dog in the crate for that long.

Every day should be treated differently when it comes to your dog. Make some room on your schedule to go outside with your dog at least twice a day. This will drastically reduce the time a dog gets to spend in the house, and you won’t have to crate them for a long period of time.

Is it bad to leave my dog in his crate all day?

This is an obvious YES!!! Pet owners need to understand that dogs need human interaction. If you leave your dog in a crate for a long time, then issues and bad behavior will start developing due to the isolation. Usually, crates are used to isolate dogs and cats for short periods of time. The “Crates” are not meant to be used to leave your dog on a crate at home all day while you are taking care of business at work.

Other owners think that leaving their dogs in small dens is not the same as crating a dog. However, tiny dens on the house will likely act as a crate if it is too small for a pet. The appropriate approach to crating is the fact that eventually, your dog is going to start wanting to spend time on his crate because it is a relaxed environment for him or her.

You should understand the importance of dog care, and having a pet sit on a crate all day is not creating a healthy life for your pooch.

3 Things You Can do to Reduce Your Dogs Crate Time

Pomeranian getting into a crate by itselfLeaving your dog at home alone can cause them depression or separation of anxiety. They need human interaction to have to the opportunity to play and enjoy your companionship. This is much more important when it comes to puppies.

A three month old puppy would need lots of social interaction due to age sensitivity. Other adult dogs can handle more being alone for more hours a day. With that said, here are three things every pet owner should start doing to reduce the amount of dog crate time every day:

Ask a Family Member to Pet Sit

There is always a relative that is willing to take care of a puppy. Not only would the dog feel comfortable with a family member, but also you are not going to have to worry about who is taking care of your pet while you are at work.

You can just leave the dog at your family member’s house before you go to work. Later on, you can pick the dog up right after you leave work. This is no brainier if you have this option available to you. Additionally, most of the time, a family member would not charge for this if you hire a pet sitter, then most likely it is going to cost you.

Take Your Dog To Work If Allowed

Depending on your boss and what type of working environment you have, this can also be a valuable option. Although some companies are not that pet friendly, you will be surprised by the answer to some of your superiors. Here is where crate training becomes an important factor. If your dog has been crate trained, your odds of bringing your dog to work will significantly increase, especially for older dogs.

Hire Dog Walkers To Come To Your Home

Dog walkers are just the perfect solution for those who don’t have the time to come back during lunch hours. If you can afford dog sitting, this would be by far one of the best options. Your dog can get human interaction, exercise, and they can leave the house to go explore the neighborhood, what we call “short adventures.”

For this, you would have to install a special keypad door lock or leave a lock-box with a key. Do not want to leave your home door open, especially during the hours that you are at work. Make sure it is a simple security system that you can change the combination with easy.

Once you have this security in place, you can allow the dog walker to come to your house to spend a few hours with your dog. There is always a new entrepreneur in your neighborhood who wants to make an extra buck walking your dog around. This exercise will keep your dog in shape, and it would help them to sleep for a long, long time.

Get a Dog Training Class

Basic house training would not be enough for your pooch. If you are at work all day, a dog trainer could be a valuable solution. A professional would provide dog food and teach them how to behave in public. They can also help with potty training. Having a dog trainer will drastically improve a dogs life.

Eliminating the time that your dog spends in a crate with puppy training lessons is just the smart way to go. Remember, a dog can be crated for tops six hours. Making this time tough for those who can’t come home for lunchtime. Here is where the professional trainer comes in handy. You will notice the change in their pets health and body language.

Basic Rules and Restrictions You Should Know About

Pomeranian chilling inside of a crateOkay, now you know how long you can leave your dog in a crate depending on various factors. But knowing that is not enough. There are also many different things you should be aware of when leaving your dog in a crate.

First of all, talk to the vet. You should always consult things like that with a specialist who will tell whether it’s okay for you to leave your dog in a crate. And if it’s okay, for how long should you leave it.

Secondly, make sure that your dog has something to do while he stays in the crate. Leave your dog a toy or something to chew. That’s an essential part of crate training because it makes your dog think of a crate as a safe place.

Aside from these simple and basic things, you can also invest in a camera to monitor your dog’s behavior when you’re away.

Creating a safe environment for your dog is crucial. If you fail, it may even lead to so-called caged dog syndrome. So, now that you know all these rules you can go buy your pet one of the best crates for dogs.


You should always give your dog all the love and attention it deserves (and it deserves plenty), but unfortunately, in most cases, you won’t be able to stay with your dog all the time. Try not to keep your dog in a crate for more than six hours a day.

While you’re at work, crating your dog is one of the solutions you have, but you need to follow some basic rules and restrictions if you don’t want to cause it any harm. Crate training would be a plus for any puppy, especially if you’re planning to leave him alone for a long time.

So, before you buy your dog a crate, make sure you talk to the veterinarian and learn for how long you can keep it in the crate. The time varies from age, type of dog, and other factors like dog’s temperament, behavior, or medical condition.

Also, keep in mind that for a three months old puppy, you should never treat the crate as a form of punishment. Turn it into a safe space, and make sure it adjusts well. Adding that comfy bed would attract him to get some sleep time in the crate more often.

Last Updated on 27/08/2020 by Karen Snow

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