11 Hours in Dog Crate Too Long

Home-alone dog needs daycare or midday walk.

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Q. My daughter has a 2-year-old dog whom she crates when she goes to work. She puts him in at 7:30 a.m. and sometimes doesn’t get home until 6:30 or 7 p.m., running errands after work. Is this harmful to her dog?

A. Although many dogs do well in a crate and learn to hold their elimination for long periods of time, this is not ideal for any dog. Eight to nine hours is really the reasonable time frame for a dog to be crated, and hopefully this is not every day.
 
Your daughter should consider dropping her dog off at a doggie daycare facility, or asking someone (how about yourself?) to go over at noon and let her out.
 
Extended urine or feces retention can lead to urinary tract problems or constipation, and there is always the possibility of dehydration if water is spilled. Dogs are social creatures who can get lonely and bored just like people. Twelve-hour stretches on a continual basis borders on substandard care.
 
See if you can help your daughter, financially or otherwise, to get her dog some play time with other dogs, or at least a walk around the block at midday.

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Helen   Hamilton, ON

9/30/2010 8:10:21 PM

12 hours in a crate is abuse! The animal need company and exercise, besides needing to eliminate. Imagine if you were locked in a cage that long without a friend or a potty. That owner clearly doesn't have room in her life for a dog. Maybe a cat (or 2) would suit her lifestyle better.

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lynn   Surgoinsville, TN

5/29/2008 5:54:02 AM

She should put herself in the dog's place. How would she feel if she were confined to such a small space for that length of time. If no solution can be found to give the dog more time outside during the day, then the owner should give the dog to someone who has the time to really take care of the animal.

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Tammy   Hudson, MI

3/24/2008 8:26:11 AM

Why have a dog if you're not home?

What kind of companion are you to each other?

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Pat   St Louis, MO

2/15/2008 1:26:40 PM

Good God! Eleven to twelve hours a day in a crate??? (And I'm wondering if the dog gets crated again at bedtime.) In addition to having to hold the bowels and bladder, I can't imagine what it would be like to be so confined for that long of a stretch, especially on a daily basis. The dog's muscles must be atrophying at the same rate as the dog's brain. I know people who do this and their dogs seem to be OK but they are like maniacs when they're let out of their crates. Admittedly a lot of people have to work fulltime. But I'd at least give the dog the run of the house and let it look out the window from time to time. If it chooses to sleep away most of the day, that is it's choice. But it can move around and entertain itself when it wants to. Even having someone come over at lunchtime to let the dog out to pee doesn't seem like much of a solution if the dog goes right back in the crate 15 minutes later.

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