Move that Dog Crate! How to Easily Transport Your Pup’s Home Between Rooms

Introduction

A dog crate is an enclosure used for containing and transporting dogs safely. Crates come in different materials like wire, plastic, or fabric. They have multiple uses including housetraining, preventing destructive behaviors when unsupervised, and travel. Dog owners may want to move crates between rooms in their home for easier supervision, confinement during events, or adjusting a puppy’s environment during training. While crates are very useful tools, they should not be used to lock up dogs for excessively long periods.

Safety Considerations

When moving a dog crate from room to room, it is crucial to keep safety top of mind for both you and your dog. Securing the crate properly while moving is vitally important to prevent any accidents or injuries. According to a study by the Center for Pet Safety, insecure crates can fail in crashes, leading to the injury or escape of pets.

Make sure to fully close and latch the crate door before picking it up. You’ll also want to move slowly and keep a sturdy grip on the crate. Avoid tilting or jostling the crate excessively. Your dog should remain safely inside the secured crate throughout the moving process. Allowing your dog to roam freely while carrying the crate risks the chance of them darting underfoot and getting injured.

Additionally, be mindful of any slick floors, stairs, or doorways you may encounter on the way to the new location. Take your time and don’t rush. The short time it takes to move a crate between rooms is not worth risking an accident. Your dog’s safety comes first.

Preparation

preparing the crate by removing loose items inside and lining the bottom with towels or blankets.

Before moving your dog’s crate to a new location, it’s important to properly prepare the crate and your dog. Start by removing any loose items inside the crate that could potentially shift around and injure your dog during the move, such as heavy toys or dishes. Take out the cushion or bedding as well so it doesn’t get dirty if any messes occur. According to industry guidelines on airline pet travel from PetTravel.com, it’s recommended to wipe out the inside of the crate with a mild soap and water solution before travel to sanitize it.

Next, line the bottom of the crate with some old blankets or towels to help cushion your dog during transport and prevent sliding. You may want to place familiar bedding or a worn t-shirt with your scent inside as well to help reduce stress. The Aspen Pet Porter crate comes equipped with a fleece travel bed that can be secured in place. If your crate doesn’t have one, use zip ties or velcro strips to anchor the bedding. Just make sure to remove any loose strings or ties before putting your dog inside.

It’s also wise to prepare a “crate moving kit” with some basic supplies. This might include some of your dog’s favorite toys or treats, a collapsible water bowl, poop bags, paper towels and cleaning solution in case of accidents, and a slip lead or harness to securely leash your dog during the move.

Moving the Crate

When moving your dog’s crate from room to room, it is important to use proper lifting techniques to avoid injury. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), you should keep your back straight, bend at the knees, tighten stomach muscles, and lift with your legs when moving heavy objects. Make sure to avoid twisting while lifting. See OSHA’s guidelines on proper lifting techniques here: OSHA Proper Lifting Techniques: Safe Lifting Ergonomics.

You can make moving the crate easier by placing furniture sliders or crate wheels underneath. Furniture sliders, available at most hardware stores, allow you to slide the crate across smooth floors with minimal lifting. Crate wheels mounted to the bottom of the crate make it very easy to roll the crate from room to room. Just make sure to use heavy duty crate wheels rated to hold the weight of the crate when loaded. Using furniture sliders or crate wheels allows you to move the crate without having to lift the entire weight at once.

Selecting a New Location

When choosing where to move your dog’s crate, select an area that is relatively quiet and low in traffic. This will help minimize disruptions and make your dog feel more secure. Ideal locations include a spare bedroom, office, basement, laundry room, or any place that is somewhat secluded in your home.

Be sure to place the crate near access to water, toys, and bedding so your dog has everything they need nearby. Having their food, treats, blankets and playthings readily available will make the space feel familiar and comfortable.

Some things to consider when picking a spot:

  • Avoid high traffic zones like the kitchen, living room or entryway.
  • placing the crate in a quiet, climate controlled room away from loud noises or traffic.

  • Select a location that is climate controlled – not too hot or cold.
  • Make sure the crate is level and stable.
  • Place on a non-slip surface so the crate doesn’t slide around.
  • Keep away from noisy appliances like washers, dryers or televisions.
  • Stay clear of drafty areas.

Taking the time to find the optimal crate location will help your dog adjust to their new space.

Re-acclimating Your Dog

Dogs can struggle with adapting to new environments, so it’s important to help them get comfortable before confining them in a crate in an unfamiliar place. Let your dog explore the new area thoroughly before attempting to crate them. Allow them to investigate on their own and sniff around the space. Bringing familiar items from home can also help dogs feel more at ease. Place blankets, toys, or beds that your dog regularly uses in the new area. Having these recognizable scents and textures around can provide comfort. According to the article “How to Help Your Dog Adjust to a New Environment” on Now Fresh’s website, “Bringing familiar items from home like bowls, toys and bedding can help reduce stress” (https://nowfresh.com/en-us/help-your-dog-adjust-to-a-new-environment). Making the new space smell and look more similar to your dog’s old environment will make the transition smoother.

When Not to Move the Crate

allowing the dog to get comfortable in the new area before confining them in the moved crate.

Moving a dog crate from room to room can cause stress and anxiety for your dog. There are certain times when it is best not to move the crate location to avoid further stressing your pup.

Do not move the crate if your dog is already anxious, sick, or injured. Signs of anxiety in dogs include pacing, shaking, panting, yawning, drooling, and compulsive behaviors like licking or chewing [1]. Moving the crate during times of stress will only make these behaviors worse. Allow an anxious or sick dog to remain in their familiar crate location.

Also avoid moving the crate during thunderstorms, fireworks, or other loud noises that may startle your dog. Exposure to stressors like storms, loud noises, or construction can trigger anxiety symptoms in dogs [2]. Keeping their crate in a stable location will help maintain a sense of security during stressful events.

If your dog is injured, such as after a surgery, moving their crate around could disrupt the healing process. Let an injured dog rest comfortably in a stationary crate without adding the stress of changes to their environment.

Alternatives to Moving the Crate

While moving your dog’s crate from room to room can keep them close by, there are some alternatives that avoid having to relocate a heavy crate.

Using an exercise pen or x-pen provides an enclosed space for your dog without being as cumbersome as a crate. X-pens have mesh walls that can be configured into different shapes and sizes to contain your dog in the room you are in. They allow your dog more room to move around while keeping them from getting into trouble. X-pens are collapsible and portable so they can be set up wherever needed (Creative Confinement: Dog Crate Alternatives).

Another option is having multiple crates set up in the rooms you frequent. Keeping a crate in the bedroom, office, living room, etc. allows you to confine your dog without transporting a crate. This does require an initial investment in multiple crates but avoids any disruption from moving one crate from place to place. Your dog also has familiar crates that they are used to in each location (Crate Alternatives: What To Do When Your Dog Hates The …).

Consider if an x-pen, multiple crates, or continuing to move one crate makes the most sense based on your space and needs. The goal is keeping your dog safe and happy while making confinement easy on both of you.

Deciding What Works for Your Dog

Every dog is unique, so you’ll need to monitor your dog’s reaction to having their crate moved from room to room. Pay attention to signs of stress like whining, pacing, panting, barking, or other anxious behaviors. If your dog seems very unsettled by having their crate moved, it may be best to keep it in one location they are most comfortable in.

monitoring the dog's reaction to having their crate moved to watch for signs of stress or anxiety.

Younger puppies and more anxious dogs may have more difficulty with moving their crate frequently. On the other hand, well-adjusted adult dogs who are used to their crate may take moving it in stride. Get to know your dog’s personality and tolerance for change when deciding what will work best.

You can also experiment with moving the crate for short periods of time to see how your dog reacts before committing to a permanent change. Monitor them closely for signs of stress and make adjustments as needed. The goal is setting up a crate situation that provides your dog with a feeling of security.

Conclusion

In summary, moving a dog’s crate from room to room can be done safely and smoothly with proper preparation and care. The key is to move the crate gradually, keep routines consistent, re-acclimate your dog to the crate in its new location, and monitor them for signs of stress. Consider your dog’s individual needs and whether moving the crate aligns with their temperament. While leaving the crate stationary is often ideal, slight location changes are usually fine when handled appropriately.

For further reading on successfully crate training puppies and dogs, check out these helpful resources:

https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/crate-training-101

https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/how-to-crate-train-your-dog-in-9-easy-steps/

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