Just how important is the dog crate and cage and playpen? How about sofa or baby gates? Here are a few things you need to find out which way to confine your dog better.
Crate - Dog crate is made of sturdy materials ( wire, fiberglass or molded plastics ) to confine your dog. Crate should be large enough for your dog to stand up, turn around and lie down in it. It is also a good way to train your dog but do not use the crate to discipline your dog. It can become your dog's own personal space. Lay a towel and a toy inside so that your dog feels comfy and not bored. It's a good practise to keep your dog in the crate when you travel in your car. Some people think confining dogs in the crate or cage is cruel but hey, don't you worry! It's part of training your dog. As long as you do not lock your dog inside for more than 4 hours! ( which I discourage! ) Well, if you really really have no choice due to some reasons to confine him more than 4 hours to attend important things say.....you need to rush to hospital, then again you may also want to consider putting your dog in a pets' hotel or get someone you can trust in taking care of your dog like dog nanny. ( More about the advantage and disadvantage of putting your dog in pets' hotel and how to choose the right pets' hotel later.) If you think you have no choice no other options and need to confine your doggy more than 4 hours then you may consider a much bigger cage or setting up baby gates or fencing up playpen so that your dog can have more freedom of movement. And if your dog is aggressive or too strong, you may consider a permanent fence, well if you have the space. See also Puppy training where you can learn about crate training and what you should do on the first day and night and learn about puppy housetraining, puppy housebreaking and playing with your puppy and more!
Cage - Use it as the same purpose as crate. Cage has a layer of tray underneath the platform to keep the dog's poo. Lay few pieces of unwanted newspaper on the tray, wash the tray every time after your dog passes urine and poo. Cage should be large enough for your dog to stand, turn and lie down in it. Choose either the crate or cage, it's essential item to prepare before getting a dog home.
Note : It would be good to have both crate and cage. You may have a cage at a permanent place but you need to standby a crate in case you need to travel with your dog by public transport. Or if your dog is aggressive or too active, crate is ideal to confine your dog in a car.
Sofa - Sofa gives your dog comfy to sleep on or to cuddle himself. If your dog has very bad habit to chew most of the things at home then I would suggest you not to get the sofa with the cane basket. Make it a habit to wash the sofa regularly. So is it a must to prepare one before getting a dog home? Well, it is optional but I would suggest you to get one! It will be nice if your dog can cuddle himself in it especially when the weather is cold, one of the ways to pampered your dog! Another alternative is to get a mat. Whether you get a dog sofa or a mat, they both serve as a bed for your dog. There are many types of dog beds in different shapes, some are designer dog beds which costs a bit more, most importantly you must find a right size. You should tell the sales assistant at the dog accessories shop or pet shop the type of breed of your dog so that he or she can recommend you the right size of bed for your dog and it should be big enough for your dog when reaches his or her adult size.
Baby Gates or Playpen - Do you need that? Well, optional. The fence is also one of the ways of training your dog. Larger space for your dog to move around compare to crate and cage. It is good if you need to confine or isolate your doggy for longer hour. In another word, it works like the crate and cage where you can confine your dog but more space for your dog's movement. Please see Puppy Training. Please take note : do choose the gates properly, and that goes to the cage, whether it is made of wood or plastic, make sure the holes of the fence is not too small as it may traps your puppy's or doggy's head. Also make sure your dog does not chew the fence! So, make sure you supervise your doggy for the first few days. If you have a big, strong or aggressive dog like the Boxer for example, then I would like to remind you to stable the fence well so that it will not collapse easily when your dog pushes.
**Please note, to get the right size of dog playpen, crate and cage or sofa, you should get them only after you've decided which breed of dog you want.
So should you choose crate and cage or others? My advise is.....you need to have at least two types of confinement cage for dog other than the sofa. Choose between crate and cage or dog playpen or baby gates or set up permanent fence, one for mobile or "dog travel cage" which is the crate and one is permanent, either cage, playpen or baby gates.
Essential items you must have for your doggy besides crate and cage - Items like dog collars and leashes, dog shampoo, toys, brush and comb, dog treats, type of bowls, dog food and others.