Two dogs should not share a crate. Although there are exceptions to this rule, each dog should get its own crate. The crate should be a safe space for dogs when they want time alone. When dogs share a crate, they may feel like the other dog is intruding on their belongings.
We all know that purchasing doggie accessories can add up. Crates can end up costing a lot more than you expected.
If you just got a second dog, you’re probably wondering if two dogs can share the same crate. Not only would this save you a lot of money, but it also saves quite a bit of space.
The short answer is a tentative yes, but we do not recommend it.
Sharing a crate between two dogs can lead to a list of problems that may outweigh any benefits. If you have no other choice than to house two dogs in one crate, keep an eye on them at all times.
Potential Problems With Two Dogs Sharing a Crate
The crate is considered a safe space for dogs. They view it as a sanctuary from the outside world.
It’s small enough to see all the edges and secure enough to sleep in without fear of being disturbed.
The crate is similar to the shelter that wild wolves would seek when settling down to sleep. This means that a crate is a very important location for your dog, with a lot of personal significance.
As a side note, this is also why sending your dog to their crate should not be something you use to punish them.
You may already see why putting another dog in such an important space can lead to issues.
Could Create a Fight or Flight Response
A crate is not a very big space. Even for small dogs, there is not a ton of room for them to have company in a crate.
If the two dogs are cooped up within the same crate, there is no way for them to escape. While one dog in a crate can feel secure by the closed space, two dogs will not feel the same way.
This can cause your dogs to panic. The panic response in dogs will cause them to become agitated, and they will try to either get away or fight what is causing their discomfort.
Because a crate will not allow the “flight” response, the “fight” response takes over and can make your dog become aggressive towards their roommate.
This does not mean that they are a bad dog. it’s a primal, physiological response that they cannot control. Dogs that are best friends can turn on each other if they are locked in the same crate.
One of the main issues with two dogs sharing the same crate comes down to resource guarding. If you are adding a dog to a crate that already has a dog that typically uses it, the original dog will consider any food, toys, or other items within the crate as part of their personal property.
Any attempt of the other dog to eat or take these resources can lead to aggression and fights.
The common term for when a dog refuses to allow one of its items to be used or touched by anyone else is “resource guarding.”
There are plenty of ways to correct this behavior, but they require a lot of training. Sharing a crate may cause dogs to start resource guarding, even when they have no previous history of doing so.
The addition of their roommate makes them feel that if they do not fight for what they have, it may be taken away.
Night-Time Crating: The Possible Exception
Having two dogs in the same crate is not the best idea. That being said, there are some exceptions. If you have two dogs that never have any problems with each other, who also like to cuddle up with each other at night, you can explore having them in the same crate.
The night is when your dogs should wind down anyway, and they may enjoy the warmth and company of another dog next to them.
However, if you choose this route, it’s recommended to also leave the door of the crate open. This will allow each dog to leave if they feel unsafe and may help mitigate the feeling of being trapped.
Your dogs may cry when you try to separate them at night, so a bigger crate with the door unlatched can be a suitable compromise that lets them feel accompanied and safe at the same time.
Do not forget that any kind of issue that your dogs have with each other will become exacerbated by the close proximity that a crate brings, so do not put your dogs together in a crate if one of them seems even slightly hesitant.
Types of Crates
When buying a new crate for your dog, there are a lot of things to consider. Storage, size, durability, airflow, and other factors all play a role in finding the perfect crate for your dog. A few designs have been around for years that fulfill both the dog and the owner’s needs.
Probably the most common, these crates often fold together for easier storage. They resemble a cage, typically with a tray on the bottom to provide a convenient space to set up a dog bed.
These are popular because of how available they are and how easy they are to clean. If your dog requires darkness to calm down or sleep, you can toss a blanket over the top and sides of this crate.
These crates are less durable than the metal wire crates, but they still get the job done. They are also called pop-up crates, or soft-sided crates. These crates are ideal for traveling because they are lightweight, but if your dog is a chewer, this might not be the best option.
Also, large dogs typically do not do as well in these kinds of crates, as they can end up collapsing the crate from the inside.
Plastic Shell Crates
If you are looking for something sturdy, easy to clean, and provides a darker interior, consider buying a plastic shell crate.
These crates often have a handle for easy carrying of the smaller models. This type of crate is often used for smaller dogs, so finding one that fits a larger breed may be challenging. They can also become more expensive as the size increases.
It’s Best For Each Dog to Have Their Own Crate
If you are expecting a furry addition to your family, it’s best to get them their own crate.
Forcing them to share a crate with another dog can lead to disaster. While it may work with constant supervision, the reality is that you will most likely need to get a new crate for a new dog.
If your dogs do not show any misgivings with sharing a crate, you can try letting them sleep together in one crate with the door open, but this may not work.
You can always put your crates close to each other if you are worried about your dogs becoming lonely.
There is a wide variety of dog crates to choose from, so you should have no trouble finding the best option for your pup.
Make sure the crate is a comfortable size for your dog and lets them lie down comfortably. A proper crate will become your dog’s favorite place in the house and will provide them with a safe and secure place of their own to rest and get away from the world.
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