Many people seem to have something against dog crates. Sure, I agree that dogs shouldn’t spend their lives locked in cages. However, using a crate doesn’t mean the dog is being locked up inhumanely, or mistreated. As long as the dog isn’t locked in the crate all day, with no interaction, exercise, play, training, or time outside of the crate, it is perfectly okay to crate them. I don’t think it’s cruel at all to crate a dog whenever you leave the house, whether you’ve gone to run some quick errands or had to go to work.
Crating is for the dog’s safety, but it is definitely something that shouldn’t be taken advantage of. Some people put their dogs in crates and just leave them there. This is improper use of a dog crate! Even with well behaved dogs, crating can protect them. My Aussie, for example, is very well mannered. However, she destroyed my cell phone today. She literally picked up off of the coffee table and chewed it to pieces! Something she has never done in the past (she doesn’t even chew her own toys).
Some dogs have been known to get into the trash and eat things that could potentially be harmful to them. As a child, my parent’s had a Rat Terrier who would get on the coffee table when we weren’t home, and she would take Hershey’s kisses out of the candy jar. She would literally lay under the dining room table and unwrap the Hershey kisses. That dog ate so much chocolate, it was a wonder she never got sick!
As an adult now, my household is very dog-proof and I’m extremely strict with the canine rules around here. No jumping on the furniture and no table scraps. But when I’m not home, I know Sammy likes to lay on the couch, Motley likes to drink out of the toilet, and Helo likes to surf the counter tops. Dogs will be dogs. They will follow their noses! I just can’t imagine what my house is like whenever I leave all three unsupervised.
People can try to tell me that I’m a cruel pet owner because I crate my dogs (which I haven’t in a very long time since I work from home). But I’m going to start doing it again soon, especially when I get a new part-time job. I am a supporter of dog crates, if used appropriately, and I’m not afraid to admit it!