Dog Crate Vs. A Room | Which Is Better For Your Dog?


dog crate vs room

One of the initial thoughts right after the immense joy of getting a dog is the decision of whether they should stay in a room or a dog crate. Although this decision might seem small to some, it’s crucial to know how it can affect you and your dog in the long run.

When your dog is a young puppy many trainers recommend keeping them in a crate for a better/faster house training experience. Once they’ve learned the house rules it’s up to you whether they continue to stay in a crate or are free to roam a room.

The question here is knowing the pros and cons of both scenarios and identifying which case suits you and your dog the best according to their age, personality, and the chemistry between you and your pup.

Let’s dive right in and weigh the differences between the two choices.

Why Choose a Dog Crate Over a Room?

Choosing a proper crate and training your dog to feel comfortable inside one has a few benefits over a room. Firstly, it’s a great way to make them feel safe and protected. This way they not only learn how to settle inside a crate but also feel comfortable in their surroundings.

Moreover, it helps in housetraining. Dogs mostly learn to hold their bladder sleeping in a small space to keep their environment clean. It’s in their instinct to not soil an area that they consider their space.

Make sure to not keep them in for a long time (even less for pups) without a bathroom break. Another major benefit is that your room stays safe from havoc and wreckage. We’ve all seen one of those TikTok & Instagram videos where the room is wrecked after leaving a dog unattended.

Some dogs are less destructive while some can be more mischievous. Every dog has their own personality and can bring different levels of destruction to your room, if not properly trained. Keeping them inside a crate without your presence can help avoid this situation.

Why Choose a Room over a Dog Crate?

If you prefer not to keep your furry friend locked up in a crate and feel bad for your dog while being away, you can always choose to let them be free in your room.

By choosing to let your dog roam free in a room, you’re giving it the luxury to be free and putting your trust in them to follow the house rules. This helps build a stronger bond between you and your pup and increases love and affection if done right.

With proper training, you won’t have to worry about your dog making a mess while you’re away. Your dog can stay relaxed, calm, and move around freely without causing trouble.

Complete Pros & Cons List of Dog Crates

Before making your decision, you’ll want to understand both options in depth. Using and training with a crate can be a challenging task for some. It requires patience from both ends, nonetheless, the positives and negatives should be weighed out.

Pros

Protection from Harmful Substances

Naturally, some dogs like to chew and put objects in their mouths. Unintentionally they may consume something poisonous or dangerous which can harm them while you’re away and they aren’t crated. 

Using a crate is a great way to protect your dog from harmful substances and teach them to only chew on toys and certain things you allow.

Easier Traveling & Fewer Troubles In Your Room

With proper crate training of your dog, you won’t have to worry about traveling with your dog or leaving them unattended if you have some quick errands to run. 

By leaving your dog inside a crate, the biggest benefit is that you don’t have to worry about returning home to a mess. 

Formation of Den Instinct in Your Dog

Dogs have the innate instinct of forming a den that serves as their safe environment. If a crate is used properly, it can become your dog’s safe place, their den, and they’ll feel safe inside it when you’re not around.

Bladder Control and Potty Training

Dogs can learn to control their bowel/bladder when they’re in a crate. Using a crate when you’re not around will keep your room clean from waste and smell.

Additionally, if your puppy isn’t house trained, using crate training accurately will help them get the hang of when and where to go number 1 & number 2.

Cons

Can Cause Emotional And Physical Distress

A crate that is not the right fit and is too small for a dog can bring physical distress to them. Keeping your dog inside a crate for a long time can harm them emotionally.

While a crate is a valuable tool, if used improperly by the owner, it can have negative effects on your dog that are easily avoidable.

Hazardous if Not Properly Ventilated And Assembled

Depending on the quality of the crate you’ve purchased, the way it’s structured could be hazardous.

If it’s not properly assembled or isn’t a sturdy, good quality crate, it could fall apart with your dog in it (not very likely to happen). Also, some crates don’t have a whole lot of places for air to circulate which can be stressful for a dog as well as dangerous.

Complete Pros & Cons List of Using a Room

At some point, many dog owners consider leaving their pups with the ability to roam around a room in the house while they’re gone. While the idea of leaving your dogoo free to roam is a nice idea, you should still be aware of the benefits as well as the drawbacks of this.

Pros

Freedom of Space For Your Dog

Obviously moving from a crate to an entire room will be a major upgrade in the amount of space your dog has to explore.

Many dogs will enjoy this added freedom. Some may take advantage of it and make a mess, but not all dogs.

Reduction in Stress Levels

If a dog isn’t trained to enjoy their time in a crate and is only put there so their owner can feel better about leaving the house and not coming back to a mess, this will likely stress your dog out.

By giving them access to a room instead they will likely feel less stressed about you leaving.

Hopefully they behave while you’re gone!

Give Them More To Do To Pass The Time

If you’re choosing a room to give them access to, think about choosing one with a window. This will allow them to watch whatever happens outside and enjoy seeing things happen.

They’ll also have the ability to choose between more toys that otherwise wouldn’t all be able to fit inside their crate.  

Security And Safety Of Your Home

Whatever breed you have, guard dog or not, you know your dog can/will bark and alert the neighbors in case of a robbery or emergencies.

With this greater sense of safety while away, you’d have more peace of mind to focus on what you’re doing.

Cons

More Cleaning To Do

If you’re planning on giving your dog access to a room, you must be well prepared to do a whole lot more cleaning. Dogs are going to make your room messier, there’s really no way around it. Their fur and smell will get trapped wherever they decide to rest while you’re away.

Might Trigger Allergies

It’s possible that your allergies may flare up after entering a room your dog has been able to roam free in. When your dog comes back from a walk, allergens can get attached to their fur. Then if they lie down in places where you relax too, they can easily spread to you causing your allergies to flare up.

Fear Of The Unknown

If you’re the type who overthinks every situation, you’ll stay worried and anxious about what your dog might be doing while you’re gone. This can get mentally exhausting every time you leave your house.

This is especially the case when everytime you come home, they’ve gotten into something new.

They Could Harm Themselves

If they rip a toy or something else apart and eat it, it could be very dangerous if no one is there to stop them.

Also, as dogs age they can become more clumsy and could potentially hurt themselves. This could happen attempting to jump up or get down from somewhere where they used to be able to with ease.

When Does a Crate Make More Sense For a Dog?

There are situations when keeping your dog inside a crate would be far more feasible than letting them out. 

Proper crate training comes in handy in plenty of situations.

Especially during traveling or not being physically present around your dog, using a crate will keep your peace of mind. Your dog can stay in a crate while you get your work done.

In emergencies or sudden situations, a dog trained and comfortable inside a crate will be much more calm and easy to work with. 

Also, if you’re around people or guests that aren’t super comfortable around dogs, a crate that your pup is comfortable being in won’t cause a ruckus or bad behavior from your dog..

It’s important to not use the crate as a form of punishment. It should be your dog’s den and act as a safe haven instead.

When Does a Room Make More Sense For a Dog?

Similarly, there are moments when keeping your dog in a room can be a better option.

Specifically, if they’re not a pup anymore and have been crate trained properly, you can let them out to roam freely while you’re away. You’ve likely built up trust with your doggo that they’ll behave while you’re gone. 

Once they’re a little older and have been crate trained, giving them a little more freedom once they’ve shown you they can be responsible isn’t a terrible idea.

If your dog’s been inside a crate for a long time, it’s a good idea to let them out so they can burn off some energy. 

Final Thoughts

Sticking to one choice permanently is not an effective solution. Balance is the key here. While keeping your dog in a room is attractive, crate training is critical because it’ll help in many situations in the long run.

Focusing more on crate training as a puppy will be beneficial and once your dog is comfortable with it, you can give them more freedom by opening them up to a full room.

It’s also completely fine to continue to crate them into adulthood. Remember, when trained, a dog learns to love their crate as their home inside your home.

Other posts you might find interesting:

How To Crate Train An Older Dog With Separation Anxiety

Are Dog Crates Humane? (Important Facts)

How & When To Stop Crate Training A Dog | Simple Steps

Alec Littlejohn

Founder and Reviewer at Pawscessories. He is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! He grew up in a family of vets and to this day he helps out around the family clinic and shares his learnings on Pawscessories. Learn more about Alec's story here

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