While not everyone uses crates with their new puppies, most of us do. Crates can be a safe place for puppies to be confined when we can’t be watching them. It can help prevent housetraining accidents and destructive chewing, but it also can help keep puppies safe from harm when we’re not right there.

Most people have been taught the guideline to give puppies just enough room to stand up, turn around and lie down. But to not give them too much space or they will potty on one end and sleep on the other. Now, that might be true if you are keeping puppies crated for extended periods of time. But puppies should not be crated for extended periods of time.

For my puppies, I use an extra large wire crate that I first bought when I adopted by first retired racing Greyhound a long time ago. Romeo was about 10 pounds when we brought him home at 8 weeks. Zuzu was not even 8 pounds when we brought her home at just under 6 weeks. They both use the giant wire crate. And neither have ever had an accident in it.

When dogs come to stay with us for boarding and people bring crates with them, quite often the crate was fine for the dog when he first came home and was much smaller. But as the dog has grown, the crate was not upsized. I will not keep a dog in a crate when he can barely stand up and turn around in it. They should be able to lie comfortably, especially if it’s a dog who gets warm easily and needs to be able to sprawl out.

When Zuzu first came home, we actually used an ex-pen with a tarp down. Because she was so young and had next-to-no bladder control, the ex-pen and tarp gave her an option for peeing when needed if I was not able to get her out immediately. (And for her, it was literally within less than 3 seconds from getting up from a nap.)

Romeo and Zuzu both have never pottied in the giant crate, and it will still fit Zuzu when she is full grown.

While you don’t need to go overly large, please err on the side of giving your pup a bit more space rather than not enough. While you might not need a king size bed to sleep in, I am betting you would not be very happy if you had to sleep in a baby crib every night. Make sure your crate size is appropriate and comfortable for your dog.