How Long Can a Dog Stay in a Crate Overnight?

By Bethany Tate

As a rule of thumb you can keep your dog in their crate overnight for up to 8 hours. However the maximum amount of time you should leave your dog in their crate overnight will vary based on temperament, age, and breed. 

What is the maximum time you can crate your dog Overnight?

Can I crate my dog overnight for 12 hours?

Some dogs can be crated for up to 12 hours, but there are some things you should consider if you’re thinking about crating your dog that long overnight. 

The first is your dog’s age. If you have a puppy or younger dog who isn’t completely house broken, then crating them for 12 hours is probably out of the question. If you have an adult or senior dog who is able to hold their bladder longer and is potty trained then they can stay in a crate overnight for longer periods.

Another thing to consider is whether or not your dog minds being in their crate for long periods of time. Some dogs are more laid back and are perfectly comfortable sleeping in their crate for 12 hours. This is especially true of more easy going dog breeds. Other dogs want to stay in their crate for as short of a time as possible. Temperament can vary from dog to dog, so it’s important to keep your dog’s personality in mind. 

If your dog is already being crated for long periods throughout the day then you might not want to crate them for 12 hours at night. Dogs are social animals and they are generally happier and healthier when they are free to run around and experience their world. If you do have to leave your dog in their crate during the day and overnight, it’s important to set aside time each day for play and exercise for your dog’s physical as well as psychological well-being. 

Tips for helping your dog stay in a crate overnight

Potty break before bed

If you want your dog to stay in a crate overnight it’s important that you take them outside for a potty break before bed time. This will help your dog be more comfortable at night as he won’t have to worry about holding his bladder. 

It might also be a good idea to limit your dog’s food and water before bedtime to further lessen the chance that your dog will have to go to the bathroom at night. 

Make your dog’s crate comfortable

Just as it’s easier for humans to sleep in a comfortable bed, it’s easier for dogs to sleep in a comfortable crate. Besure your dog has a comfy crate mat or dog bed, soft blankets, and maybe a toy they find comforting and relaxing. 

Wear your dog out during the day

Exercise and playtime are one of the best ways to help your dog stay in their crate overnight. The more tired your dog is, the better he’ll sleep and the easier it will be for him to stay in a crate for long periods. 

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Bethany Tate
Writing and analyzing data are her superpowers. Dogs, nature, and trail running are her oxygen. Bethany passionately believes pets make the world a better place. Her world is made better by Nemo, her pet dachshund.