Does Putting a Blanket over a Dog Crate Help?

When it comes to crate training a dog, the question often arises: Does putting a blanket over a dog crate help? This seemingly simple act can have a significant impact on your dog's behavior, comfort, and overall crate experience. In this article, we delve into the world of crate covers and explore whether this practice is beneficial, discussing the pros, cons, and essential considerations for making the right choice.

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The benefits of covering a dog crate

Cover your dog's crate

Creates a cozy haven

You might have noticed your furry friend seeking out an enclosed space such as beneath the bed, under the table, in the corner of the couch, or even against a wall. Believe it or not, this is completely natural dog behavior. Unlike us humans, dogs have a natural inclination toward confined spaces. They are, after all, den animals.

However, despite the confinement of a crate, it may not offer the level of seclusion your dog truly wants. That's where the idea of covering the crate with a blanket comes into play. This simple addition can transform the crate into a secure sanctuary that your dog instinctively prefers.

Reduces visual stimuli and noises

A crate with a cover serves as a great shield against external sounds and visual distractions that might trigger anxiety or excessive enthusiasm in your dog. This proves especially beneficial for anxious or easily excitable dogs, as it can effectively reduce instances of barking and whining.

When you're on the move with your canine companion, be it a road trip or air travel, this is where a dog crate cover truly shines. Traveling can be overwhelming for both humans and dogs alike. However, with your dog comfortably cozily tucked into a crate with a cover, you're providing them with a soothing and protective sanctuary, helping them remain calm amidst the chaos of travel.

Establishes bedtime routine

Once you've settled your dog into the crate for the night, simply draping the cover over it can act as a clear signal that bedtime has arrived. To reinforce this routine during training, you can pair it with a command like "Go to bed" or "Good night," letting your dog know it's time to unwind and catch some z's.

For some dog owners, covering the crate during the day is also a handy trick to create a darker, more sleep-friendly environment for their pup. Some dogs are more prone to light sensitivity than others, thus covering the crate makes it easier for them to relax during the daytime. Just remember to ensure proper airflow, allowing your dog to breathe comfortably.

Covering your dog's crate: Important safety precautions

Cover a dog crate


Leaving your dog inside a covered crate for extended periods can cause overheating. To ensure your dog's comfort and safety, it's advisable not to keep the crate covered for too long, especially during the hot summer months. It's essential to maintain a comfortable temperature inside the crate.

Moreover, for your dog's well-being and to prevent potential hazards, avoid placing the crate near heat sources like radiators or air vents during the winter. This also helps reduce the risk of fire in case the blanket is flammable. In the summer, be cautious not to position the crate too close to a window, as excessive sunlight can raise the temperature and make your dog too hot.


Crate covers that are overly thick or dense can obstruct airflow. When securing the crate cover, ensure there's at least an inch of space between the edge of the blanket or cover and the floor or the sides of the dog crate. This gap is crucial to ensure your dog can breathe freely. You might even consider leaving one side of the crate uncovered to provide adequate ventilation.

Additionally, it's essential not to leave your dog in the crate for too long. Regularly check on your pup when you can, ideally every hour to every few hours, if you plan to have them in the crate. This helps ensure their well-being and comfort.

Chewing behavior

A crate cover can be a tempting target for dogs, particularly young puppies or dogs with a history of destructive chewing. Your dog may be inclined to grab onto the corner or threads from the blanket, pull it inside the crate, and rip it to shreds. There's also a risk that your dog may ingest some fabric, leading to choking and other issues that may require surgery.

While there are methods to discourage chewing behavior in dogs, a more practical approach is to replace a dangly and snaggy blanket with a commercial crate cover that's made of thicker, more durable material. Additionally, ensure that your dog can't nibble by fastening the edges of the crate cover to secure them in place.

Should you cover a dog crate

How to introduce your dog to a covered crate

Start only after your dog is crate-trained

When it comes to introducing your dog to a covered crate, two important things to keep in mind: Start early in the training process, but introduce the crate cover only after your dog has successfully completed crate training.

Starting early will reduce the chance of your dog barking and whining, as it's generally more challenging to train an adult dog compared to a new puppy. Prioritize essential training, such as potty training, before delving into crate training with a cover. A properly trained dog is more receptive and will be more likely to accept their covered crate faster.

Cover the crate partially

It's completely normal for many dogs to feel uneasy inside a covered crate initially, however, patience is key in dog training. To help your dog adjust, you can start with a desensitization process.

Begin by partially covering one side of your dog's crate. Invite your dog to enter the partially covered crate, and reward them with a treat when they do. Keep the crate door open during this stage and repeat this exercise several times. Personally, I find it effective to leave my dog Link's favorite toy with a treat inside the crate to encourage him to stay inside for longer periods.

Gradually cover other sides of the crate

As your dog becomes more accustomed to the new environment, you can gradually drape the cover over other sides of the crate, one at a time. Work your way up until the crate is almost completely covered, except the front. Be patient during this process, as it may span over several days or even weeks. If your dog starts whining at any point, pause the process, wait a few days, and then resume.

Once your dog spends several minutes inside the fully covered crate, close the crate door and drape the cover over the front. If your dog does not protest, it's a sign that they are now completely at ease inside a covered crate. At this point, you may slowly increase their time inside the covered crate as needed.

Finding the right dog crate cover

Dog crate

We recommend starting with a blanket or a large towel during the initial stages of training if your dog does not show any excessive chewing behavior. Once your dog is used to being in a covered crate, you can look for a commercial crate cover as a long-term investment. Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping for a cover:


It's crucial to choose the appropriate material depending on the season. Opt for a breathable fabric, such as cotton, linen, or microfiber during the hot summer months to keep your dog cool. In colder weather, a thicker material, such as knit blankets or plush covers, can provide warmth and insulation.

If you have an outdoor dog crate, prioritize a sturdy crate cover that can withstand rain and snow, as well as keep your dog cozy and block out noises. Be mindful that materials that are bulkier and heavier do not facilitate air circulation as well as thinner ones, therefore you may consider leaving one side of the crate uncovered when using these types of materials.


Dog crates vary in size, so it's essential to consider the dimensions of the crate cover. An ideal crate cover should neither be excessively large nor too small for the crate. It should offer ample fabric to almost entirely cover the crate while allowing a small space for proper airflow.

Conversely, a cover that is too small wouldn't be suitable either. It could leave too much open space, enabling your dog to see and hear the outside environment, which might undermine the purpose of covering the crate.


Let's be honest, some crates are just ugly. I'm talking about those wire crates and plastic crates in particular. Although they serve their purpose, they do not look great and do not blend in with the rest of the room. An unattractive wire crate can seriously ruin the aesthetic of your house.

That's why it's a good idea to cover up a wire dog crate with a blanket with a pattern or color that will go well with the rest of your furniture. A good crate cover will help you transform an unsightly crate into an object that can fit in perfectly with your room's design.

What if my dog does not like their crate covered?

Blanket over dog crate

For dogs coping with separation anxiety, aside from choosing a heavy-duty crate, leaving the crate partially covered could be a practical option. This setup permits your furry friend to maintain visibility of their surroundings, hear familiar sounds, and occasionally interact with family members. By doing so, your dog won't experience a sense of complete isolation from the rest of the household, which can help alleviate anxiety.

However, it's worth noting that an uncovered crate is still a viable option. In certain cases, if covering the crate seems to be causing more distress than comfort, it may be better to leave it uncovered. It's essential to prioritize your dog's health and comfort above all else, and sometimes that means opting for an open setting.

Is it inhumane to cover my dog's crate?

Crate training a dog is far from a cruel practice, despite misconceptions that some pet owners may hold. In fact, crate training is a valuable tool in helping a dog establish boundaries and learn discipline. Covering a crate is a natural extension of this training process, offering several benefits that contribute to your dog's wellness. It provides a safe and secure space for your furry friend, shielding them from disturbance, and creating a cozy sanctuary where they can find comfort and relaxation.

Final verdict - should you cover a dog crate?

In conclusion, the question of whether you should cover a dog crate ultimately comes down to the individual needs and preferences of your furry friend. The answer, in general, is yes—you should consider covering a dog crate, as it can offer numerous benefits such as privacy, security, and comfort. However, it's essential to pay close attention to your dog's reactions and preferences. If your dog doesn't seem to enjoy the covered crate or displays signs of discomfort, it's perfectly acceptable to leave the crate without a cover.