What Items You Should Put Inside the Crate

When deciding what to put inside the crate with your dog, you should attempt to make the crate as comfortable as possible while keeping your dog’s safety in mind.

Your puppy’s first few nights in the home
If you have just brought home young 8-12 week old puppy from a breeder or shelter, you should keep in mind that your puppy most likely has been sleeping with its litter mates up until now. The first night in your home is the time you will begin teaching the puppy how to cope with being alone now that they are living with humans.

My goal for a puppy at this age is to try and make the first night away from the litter to resemble sleeping with the puppy’s littermates. Puppies often snuggle with each other during sleep and they become accustomed to feeling body heat from the other puppies. For this reason, I will place a chew proof water bottle filled with warm water (simulates body heat) and a few stuffed animals inside the crate with the puppy for the first few nights. You can also toss in a few safe chew bones such as antlers or buffalo horns.

I know that it is very appealing to want to sleep with your puppy, but the sooner you teach your puppy how to manage being alone, the better.

Choosing Appropriate Bedding
The bedding that you put in the crate should be easy to clean in case your puppy has an accident. I recommend a few towels or blankets. The blankets that you use should not contain stuffing inside that the puppy can ingest if they tear a hole in the blanket.

As puppies begin to grow, their proclivity to chew objects increases. If your puppy has the tendency to chew up bedding in the crate, you should rotate appealing chew objects to keep your puppy busy. For habitual bed chewers, you may need to remove all bedding for the time being due to safety reasons or go with a chew proof dog bed.

Stuffed Animal Toys
Dog toys that have stuffing inside should be used with caution. If your puppy rips open the toy and swallows the stuffing, it can be very dangerous for your puppy. Some puppies do not rip up toys, but in my experience most do, which is why I usually lean toward chew bones and other more durable toys.

Safe Chew Bones
Carefully selected chew bones can help the puppy pass the time in the crate. You should always observe how your dog chews specific items before you leave them unsupervised. An appropriate chew bone for the crate is one that will not splinter into shards. Antlers, buffalo horns, and kong toys are usually safe bets. However, even kong toys can be dangerous if you choose an incorrect size for your dog. Raw marrow bones are another great option although they can be a little messy. You can generally buy marrow bones at the grocery store and then give them to your dog frozen.

Check out My Ultimate Toy Guide for more Ideas

Published on July 23, 2017

2 Free Lessons!

Hi, I'm Tommy Grammer and I have helped thousands of dog owners just like you.

I teach people how to train their dogs and resolve behavior that is causing owners frustration. Sign up for my free tips and as a gift to show you how my methods work, I will send you 2 sample lessons from the members' area!


Not sure if a membership is right for you? Here are a few free samples to get you started.

Free dog training videos


Take a quick tour inside the member's area.

Free dog training videos


Join my email list if you would like training tips delivered straight to your inbox.

Unleash your dog's potential by learning how to train like a professional trainer.

Join Today