Home » Dog Care Tips » What To Put In Dog Crate At Night? (Adults & Puppies)

What To Put In Dog Crate At Night? (Adults & Puppies)

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As a dog owner, you’re responsible for caring for your dog and ensuring that they have everything they need to live a happy and healthy life. In order to do this it’s important to know the answers to the most diverse questions, like “ what to put in a dog crate at night?” 

Having a toy for them to play with helps reduce their anxiety and boredom while they wait for you to come home from work.

However, one common mistake made by owners during this process involves providing their dogs with the wrong toys or providing toys to dogs while in their crates at night.

Well in some cases this is okay, there are times when this is very dangerous. We will be breaking everything you need to know about what you should be putting in a dog crate.

In this post we’ll discuss:

  • What things you should have in your dogs crate
  • Why some people choose not to use crate toys at all.
  • The DO’s and DONT’s associated with crate safety at night
  • And much more

Let’s dive in.

Should Dogs Have Toys In Their Crate At Night

What Should Adult Dogs Have In Their Crate at Night?

There are a number of things that you should consider putting in your dog’s crate at night.

Should dogs have toys in their crate at night? What kinds of beddings are best? Should I be keeping my dogs water bowl and food bowl in the crate? These are a few questions most people ask.

We are going to break down each of these specific items so you can find what’s best for your unique pup.

Let’s start with the toys.

Should Dogs Have Toys In Their Crate At Night?

Do you have a dog that loves toys?

If so, then you’re probably wondering if dogs should have toys in their crate at night. Dogs love to chew and they get anxious when left alone for long periods of time.

Having something to play with helps them pass the time while also helping reduce their anxiety.

Crate toys are a great way to keep your dog occupied and happy while they wait for you at home or on vacation!

They can help reduce your dog’s anxiety by giving them something fun to do instead of chewing up furniture or other items around the house.

But there are some concerns about having toys in crates with dogs overnight

This is because of the potential safety hazards like choking and intestinal blockage issues.

should you put toys in dog crate at night

Some people choose not to use crate toys at all because of these risks; however, others find ways around these problems by using safer types of toys or taking extra precautions like removing small parts before leaving a dog unattended with a toy inside its crate overnight.

This is really dependent on your dog’s chewing habits.

If you know your dog chews everything in its path and loves to shred toys then you won’t want to leave your pup unattended with toys in a crate.

Even if your dog is not a super chewer, it’s still the safest option to supervise toy play and never leave your dog with toys unattended.

If you decide your dog is okay to have a toy, the next step is deciding what’s good or not, and certainly not all toys are suitable for unsupervised play when you are away or sleeping.

This means no toys with small bits they can break off and swallow, and no toys with pieces they can get caught up in and become trapped and distressed.

You know your dog best so picking the best toy for their crate will depend on your pup. Regardless we still recommend sticking to more durable toys with the least risk to your pup.

So the answer to the question of should dogs have toys in their crate at night, is, well, it depends on the toy and your doggo!

Here are some of the best toys for unsupervised play:

Best Overall: Kong Classic Dog Toy

This is the most recommended dog toy by vets, dog trainers, and canine behaviorists worldwide!

Not only is this a toy that will keep your dog entertained for prolonged periods of time when you are away but it will also help with mental stimulation, teething pups, separation anxiety and serves as one of the most reliable chewable toys in the market.

Runner Up: West Paw Zogoflex Tux Dog Toy

West Paw Qwizl the Tux is a tough and durable toy. This is one of the best toys to entertain your dogs due to its unique design.

The WestPaw Tux floats, bounces, and stores all sorts of treats to keep your pups fully entertained for hours! 

Best Plush Toy: ZippyPaws Skinny Peltz (Mess-free Stuffed Toys)

ZippyPaws is no stranger to making some of the best toys to entertain your dogs. They create all sorts of amazing quality products that benefit both the dog and the owner.

The unique aspect to the Squirrel Skinny Peltz is the lack of stuffing and not having to worry about a mess to clean up.

Due to their long shape and high quality material.

This is a soft plush toy so if your dog is a heavy chewer this is not going to be safe for unsupervised play.

Best For Separation Anxiety: SmartPetLove Snuggle Dog Toy 

Now, not only is this one of the cutest toys that you can get online but It is known to drastically reduce negative behaviors resulting from anxiety.

These behaviors include whining, barking and destroying furniture. The unique aspect with this toy is the real-feel pulsing heartbeat and internal heat source that is included with the toy.

This is another plush toy so if you know your dog is an aggressive chewer then this will not be the toy for you.

However, If your dog has separation anxiety then definitely check out this article we wrote on the best toys for dogs with separation anxiety for more options to help find a better choice.

What To Put In The Puppy Crate At Night

A puppy is still growing and learning about the way of the world. Therefore, its best to leave a puppies crate with the bare minimum at night. During the day when you can keep an eye on them its okay for them to have more in their crate but at night you are not supervising them.

Puppies should not be left unattended with toys or anything they could potentially swallow or choke on. If you must leave your puppy with a toy, make sure its a very durable one like a Kong.

In addition, when a puppy is in potty training you also dont want them having access to food and water at night.

The bottom line is that the less there is in the crate at night, the less of a chance there is for something bad to happen. So keep it simple! Just some bedding and maybe a crate cover.

What To Avoid Putting In Your Puppies Crate

Here is a list of the things you should avoid having in your puppies crate at night:


Unless its a very durable toy, its best to avoid leaving toys in the crate at night.

Food & Water

Its best not to leave food and water in the crate at night while potty training.

Anything Small Or Breakable

Puppies can be playful and destructive so its best to avoid leaving anything small or breakable in the crate at night.

Blankets Or Pillows

These can be a suffocation hazard so its best to avoid them.

A Collar

It might seem like a good idea to leave a collar on so your puppy doesn’t get lost but it can actually be a strangulation hazard.

Anything With Strings

Strings can be a choking hazard so its best to avoid leaving anything with strings in the crate at night.

The best thing you can put in your puppies crate at night is some bedding and maybe a crate cover. This will help keep them warm and comfortable and will minimize the chances of something bad happening.

What Kind of Bedding Should I Put in My Dog’s Crate?

safe dog toys for crate

You’re probably wondering what kind of bedding you should put in your dog crate.

Well, you don’t want to use anything that is too soft because it might be chewed up and swallowed by your dog.

That could cause a blockage or even an intestinal obstruction. It can also lead to other medical problems like vomiting and diarrhea if the material gets stuck in their digestive tract.

So, what should you use? 

The answer is that it depends on the type of bedding and how old your dog is.

If they are a puppy, then you need to be careful about choosing something soft enough for them to snuggle up against but not so soft that they can chew through it.

Puppies will often chew on things like blankets or towels when they get bored or lonely, so if you have a puppy then make sure the blanket isn’t too tempting for them to nibble at.

Older dogs tend to be less destructive than puppies but still love having something comfortable inside their crates.

They may even choose one corner as their own special place where they go when left alone during the day which makes it extra important that this area remains cozy and inviting all year round!

Just Make sure the material you use is not something that can be chewed up by your dog, especially if you know your dogs will chew on just about anything they can get their teeth into.

You know your dog best so select a bedding based on their needs.

There are many options available for bedding but one of the best choices is actually shredded paper products such as recycled newspaper or cardboard boxes.

These materials are inexpensive, easy to clean up, and they won’t get torn apart by dogs who love chewing on things!

Here are a two of the best crate beddings we have reviewed:

MidWest Bolster Crate Bedding

This bed is made for kennels/crates and comes in numerous sizes ranging from as small as 18-inches all the way up to 54-inches so whatever breed your pup is, you’ll find the right size for them with this choice.

Around the perimeter of the bed there are padded cushion bolsters to allow your dog to rest their head in an elevated position acting like a pillow. We love pillows, so do our furry friends!

Mora Pets Ultra Soft Dog Crate Bedding

The cozy cushion of this bed is great to help protect a young developing pup’s joints and spine and can also serve to help relax older dogs’ stiff joints.

It is also designed to be functional in a variety of places, whether it’s just your crate or if your dog doesn’t want to leave it behind when they travel with you, it’s great for carriers and vehicles as well.

Now that you know some good bedding ideas let’s move onto food and water bowls in your dog’s crate.

Should You Put Food And Water In A Dog Crate?

what to put in crate with puppy at night

If you’re wondering if it’s okay to leave food and water in your dog crate, then the answer is typically no.

Food and water bowls can be knocked over or spilled easily, which means that they can make a mess of your dog’s crate/bed.

This will not only make a big mess but also attract pests like ants, mice, and can lead to bacterial growth or moldy smells.

It is best practice to remove food and water bowls when you put your dog in his/her crate at night or during extended periods away from home (like work). Another reason it’s recommended to leave water and food out of the crate is to prevent any accidents!

If you have a new puppy, they typically need to pee soon after drinking water, so to avoid them peeing in the crate we keep water and food out of the crate.

There are some exceptions to this though!

If your pup has a medical condition where they shouldn’t ever be without free access to fresh drinking water due to increased risk of dehydration – like diabetes insipidus (“water diabetes”), diabetes mellitus (“sugar diabetes”), kidney disease, Addison’s disease etc.

Another exception would be if your pup is on medications that make them more prone to dehydration (e.g., Lasix or other diuretics, steroids), then you’ll need to leave them with water.

In these cases go with a bowl that doesn’t tip or spill! You can get either a free-standing bowl, one that attaches to the crate bars or a lickable water bottle that attaches to the crate bars.

Here are the best options we reviewed:

Best Tip-Proof Water Bowl: Ray Allen Buddy Bowl

Best Crate Clip On Water Bowl: Midwest Snap’y Fit Stainless Steel Bowl

Where To Put The Dog Crate In Your Home?

By this point you should know exactly what to have in your dog’s crate that will be safe.

Our number one job as pet parents should be making sure nothing hazardous is around that they could potentially break and choke on.

Secondly we need to make sure we have located the crate in a safe location.

Make sure your dog crate location is in a place away from an area that can get too hot or cold. You want to make sure the crate is not near any widows where sunlight can shine onto.

The last thing we want is our pet being locked in a cage that is getting blasted by the sun causing them to overheat.

In addition, avoid placing the crate near any vents that could potentially blow hot or cold air directly onto your pup.

Remember dogs are social animals so they need to be near their family, be able to see what’s going on around them and feel like a part of things to live a fulfilling life.

We want their crate experience to be positive. They should want to spend time there!

It’s not a punishment. And locking them away in a crate in a quiet corner of an out of the way room will feel to them like they’re being punished, excluded and isolated.

So to keep your dog feeling part of things, place the crate in a busy area of the home where they can see and hear what’s happening with their family. 

dog in crate

Should You Cover A Dog Crate?

There isn’t a simple ‘yes or no’ answer to this as dogs personalities, their likes and dislikes are different.

Some dogs will love this, and others will hate it.

Over time dogs find their crates to be their own little safe get-away. Most plastic or fabric crates will already have enclosed sides.

However, wire cages are mostly open and can leave some pups without that feeling of security so covering the crate may help.

In contrast, some dogs are opposite and would rather see everything outside their crate. They can get stressed if they can’t see anything.

So If you find your dog has one of these closed off crates and does not seem to enjoy it, the solution might be to get a wire crate that is more open.

And vice versa if your pup seems to hate open crates, try covering the sides.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, what dogs should have in their crate at night depends on what type of dog you have and their unique characteristics.

Should dogs have toys in their crate at night? Typically, no. But some dogs don’t chew up toys so there is not much risk for them to have toys.

Dog crates are very useful to keep dogs in their best behavior. They give your dog a place to rest and sleep on, whether you are at home or away from the house.

So making sure you know how to properly set up their crate is important.

Depending on your dog’s needs will determine what kind of bedding you should put inside, if they can have toys, or if they should have food and water inside.

We hope this article helped put to bed the question of should dogs have toys in their crate at night.

Other posts you may find interesting:

How To Stop A Puppy From Crying In Their Crate | Simple Tricks

What’s the Purpose of Crate Training Your Dog?

How To Crate Train An Older Dog W/ Separation Anxiety

The 10 Best Dog Crates For Separation Anxiety