Can I Use Shredded Paper in a Dog Crate?

The crate environment must feel like a den.

The crate environment must feel like a den.

Dog crates are useful for transporting your dog, teaching him to accept separation from his people and for toilet training. They need to be comfy and offer the dog security and respite from the hustle and bustle of domestic life. However, it is not advisable to line the crate with shredded paper as this may encourage the dog to soil the crate.

General Benefits of Shredded Paper

Shredded paper is good for toilet training. It is absorbent, easy to clean up and because of its texture, it is distinct from other surfaces in the home, such as carpets and wood flooring. This makes it easy for your dog to distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate areas on which to relieve himself. For this reason, shredded paper is ideal for the toilet training of young puppies. By putting down shredded paper, you can guide them away from the carpet or floor to relieve themselves. This is ideal if you need to go out or want to give your pup a backup option if he can’t make it to the garden in time.

Denning Instinct

Dogs, both wild and domestic, have a strong denning instinct. This is nature’s way of telling them that safety lies in a concealed, warm spot away from predators. When using a crate to toilet train your dog, you actually exploit his denning instincts, as dogs hate to soil their den. So while he is in the crate, he’s less likely to go.

Unsuitability for Crates

The reasons why shredded paper is ideal for toilet training are the very reasons it is an unsuitable material with which to line the crate. The last thing a dog wants to do is soil his den. Once soiled, the dog may become distressed, anxious and it may cause him to develop an aversion to confinement in the crate. By putting in a material that emulates the sort of spots he would use in the wild, you’re almost tempting him to soil his crate. This is especially true if you’ve already taught him to use shredded paper around the house.

Making the Crate Comfy

Shredded paper is soft and comfortable, which is why some dog owners mistakenly see it as a suitable crate material. Soft materials, such as blankets and paper, can confuse a dog and cause him to chew it or use it for a toilet. Instead, use his own bedding. If his own bedding won’t fit, give him a smaller item of bedding to use outside of the crate so he learns that this item is his. Then, once you put that in the crate, he won’t be tempted to soil it, as he will have built a denning association with the item.

 

About the Author

Simon Foden has been a freelance writer and editor since 1999. He began his writing career after graduating with a Bachelors of Arts degree in music from Salford University. He has contributed to and written for various magazines including "K9 Magazine" and "Pet Friendly Magazine." He has also written for Dogmagazine.net.

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