Your dog’s crate is a special place. While it’s certainly very convenient for you as a dog owner, it’s also a safe spot that allows your dog a bit of comfort and control in a home that’s usually made for someone much bigger than him or her. While your dog might think of his or her crate as a perfect little home while you are away, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to fit in perfectly with your décor.
In all honesty, most dog crates are a bit on the ugly side. They’re not meant to be eyesores, of course, but they are primarily designed with functionality in mind. They are big items that tend to stand out in most homes and they definitely emphasize safety over any kind of aesthetic sense. As such, it’s entirely necessary for many pet owners to figure out how to decorate a dog crate and make it look a little nicer.
Unfortunately, decorating a dog crate may not be as straightforward as you might hope. Though it’s very easy to find items that could look nice in and around the crate, it’s vital that everything that you add to the area around the crate will still allow it to function as a safe space for your dog. Fortunately, a little research can help you to find items that are perfectly safe and perfectly lovely at the same time.
Ideas for Decorating Your Dog’s Crate
There are many different ways to safely decorate a crate that will keep both you and your dog happy. If you’re looking for ideas, though, it never hurts to look at some of the more successful choices that have been made by others. Below are some common crate decorating ideas that can really help you to make your dog’s crate look less out of place in your home.
Disguising the Crate in Spare Spaces
One of the most popular ways to decorate a crate actually has more to do with hiding the existence of the crate than decorating it. This is a very simple solution that does require a little bit of work, but it can help you to create a perfect space for your dog that won’t stand out in your home.
To perfectly hide your crate, you’ll need a space with an unused cabinet on the floor. Simply remove the cabinet door and either slide the entire cage inside the cabinet space or replace the cabinet door with a wire crate door. This creates a safe, cave-like space for your dog that will fit perfectly with your existing décor.
The big question most have, of course, is what to do if you ever want to move out of your home. Regardless of the option you choose, you’ll be able to switch things back around by removing the crate or door and replacing it with a cabinet door. You might want to do a bit of cleaning inside when you’re done, but this is otherwise the kind of job that just about anyone with a screwdriver can accomplish.
Fitting in With Crate Furniture
Sometimes the best way to make a crate blend in with your home is to stop and think about doing things the other way around. Instead of trying to match a crate to what you have, why not invest in furniture that already matches the crate? If you can use items that already look like a crate, you’ll be much better off.
One great way to do this is to find a crate that’s large enough to serve as a table but that still has room for your dog underneath. This gives you much more utility and actually frees up a great deal of space in your home. You’ll want to make sure that the crate is large enough to be steady, of course, and you’ll definitely want to make sure that you don’t put anything breakable on top.
As a rule, you’re still going to want to make sure that you put your pet first here. While some furniture that looks like crates might be a good idea, you’ll still want to make sure that your pet has enough room and that he or she feels comfortable. If you’re not sure if a piece is big or safe enough, you’ll definitely want to move onto something that might serve your dog a little bit better.
Working with Live Plants
Sometimes good old-fashioned camouflage is the best way to keep your dog’s crate hidden.
Live plants can be wonderful tools for disguising just about anything. The biggest problem you’re going to have with this particular technique is not finding plants, but rather making sure that you are able to find plants that are safe for your dog. You’ll want to start by making sure that any plants you use for this purpose are far enough away from a dog kennel that he or she can’t get to them and then make sure that the plants are non-toxic for dogs in the event that your dog does figure out a way to get to the plants.
If you’re worried about the plants, you can also take a further step to protect your dog by placing a wooden board on the top of the crate and using that board to hold your plants. This is a great way to keep the plants away from curious dogs, but you’ll definitely need planters with wide bases that won’t be easily moved when your dog decides to move around in his or her crate.
So, what kind of plants can you use? Spider plants are great, as are Boston ferns and polka dot plants. Pineapple sage is a good fit, as is rosemary and even marigolds. You need to be sure to avoid other plants, though, with ivy, umbrella plants, and lilies taking up the top of that list. As always, though, you should do your own research to find out which plants are and are not safe for your dog.
Choose Something Soft
For many, the best way to keep a crate looking great has more to do with what’s on the inside of the crate than what is on the outside of the crate. Keeping the right items in the crate can be easier than you might think, so be prepared to have some fun with this process. It never hurts to make sure that those materials inside the crate are washable, though, and investing in a little waterproofing can save you some expensive headaches.
There are, of course, other concerns that you need to keep in mind besides your dog’s bladder. Definitely make sure that the items in the crate aren’t so thick that they’ll make your dog overheat and try to ensure that there is nothing flammable in the crate. If you can keep the crate away from heating and cooling units, you can actually find a variety of different crate mats that you can use to give your dog’s crate a bit of seasonal flair.
Items to Avoid When You Decorate
While the ideas above are all great for decorating a crate, it’s perhaps more important to know about the items that you need to avoid when decorating. These are all items that can cause your dog harm and might even put your pup in serious danger if you’re not careful.
One of the biggest things to avoid is hooks. While they’re natural inclusions to something with as many bars as a dog crate, they can be eaten by dogs and cause major damage. Not only that, but an ill-placed hook has the potential to scratch your pup. Likewise, anything that has batteries or electric cords is usually a good idea to avoid because of the possibility of your dog chewing on the wires or ingesting the batteries.
While almost anything small is a bad idea because of the possibility of choking hazards, you should also make sure to avoid anything that’s too big or heavy. The last thing you want is for something to fall over and hurt your dog, so try to make sure that anything placed in your cage is light enough for your dog to shrug off.
How to Make Sure Your Dog’s Crate is a Safe Place
It’s always important to make sure that you keep your dog’s comfort in mind when you are setting up his or her crate. While it might be nice to set something up that looks great in your home, this is ultimately your dog’s space. Everything that’s in the general vicinity of your dog’s crate needs to be safe for your dog, and if he or she can’t chew on it the item needs to be moved away.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t exercise at least a bit of creativity when you are creating a perfect space for your dog, though. If you can follow all of the tips discussed here and pay attention to your dog’s needs, you can create something that works well for both of you. As long as you remember exactly why the crate is in your home, you’ll be able to ensure that both you and your dog are happy with how it functions in your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do you disguise a dog crate?
There are many ways to disguise a dog crate. If possible, you can actually disguise the crate under furniture or even inside a cabinet, but those who don’t have such options can often cleverly disguise the crate with common household decor. You don’t have to completely hide a crate to disguise it – sometimes taking the time to add a few touches here or there is enough to break up the lines of the crate and make it fit into your home a little more easily.
2. What can I put on top of my dog crate?
It’s vital that you stop and think before you put anything on top of your crate. At the very least, you need to make sure that anything that’s on the top of your crate won’t be easily moved by your dog’s motions. This usually means that you’ll want something relatively substantial as a base, like a large piece of wood. Anything on top of that base should usually have a wide base itself so that it doesn’t move too easily. Be careful, though, because anything that’s too heavy could end up falling off and harming your dog.
3. Does putting a blanket over a dog crate help?
Sometimes putting a crate cover your dog’s cage can help. For some dogs, having a space that is dark and covered can work wonders when they are stressed out. This is also often a good move if your dog is trying to sleep and lights and sounds tend to bother him or her. With this said, it’s important that you make sure that there is plenty of ventilation and that placing the dog crate cover or a blanket won’t get your dog too warm. using a relatively thin or light blanket can be a good idea here, but try to leave at least one side of the crate uncovered so that there is a reasonable amount of airflow for your dog to enjoy.
4. How do I make my dog’s crate cozy?
It’s important that you make your dog’s crate cozy for your dog, not for your own sense of style. It’s fine to keep some pillows and blankets in there, as this will give your dog some added comfort and give him or her something into which he or she can burrow. Don’t fill up the crate too much, though, because you do want your dog to feel like he or she has enough space in the crate. You may also want to throw in one or two favorite toys so that your dog has something inside to occupy himself or herself before settling down.