One of the best things about society today is that there’s zero tolerance for practices that may qualify as abuse. And that’s perfectly fine because pet cruelty should never be tolerated. But what about trends that are popular and somewhat controversial at the same time? For instance, when pet parents ask – is it okay to lock a dog in a room?
Generally, it’s okay to lock a dog in a room provided they have enough food, room to run, and activities to keep them entertained. Locking a dog in a room helps owners avoid using crates, providing safety, protecting valuables, and helping dogs acclimate to a new environment.
If you’re looking for answers about whether keeping your dog confined to a room is an acceptable form of pet care and how you can go about doing it safely – you’ve come to the right place. Stay with us as we discuss how and when you can keep your pup in a room safely and whether your furball should have a free run of the house. Here goes.
Reasons To Lock Your Dog In A Room
The term ‘lock your dog in a room’ doesn’t sit well with anyone the first time you hear it because you have visions of a cute little furbaby staring from behind bars.
Confining a pet to a particular space is never something dog owners take lightly or do without good reason. Here are some of the most common motives behind keeping canines restricted to one room.
Creating A Den Environment
Canines are den animals and feel the need for their own space (or sanctuary) to unwind or relax. Generally, dogs will make do with any area large enough to fit them to wriggle into. It may sound a little perplexing to humans, but it allows your furball to relax away from prying eyes and hands.
Pet parents invest in dog crates and train their pups to recognize and accept the crate as their sanctuary, but the problem with crates is that they’re too compact to be used over long periods.
However, trying to create a den environment in a room – complete with your dog’s favorite bed, toys, food & water bowls, along with a potty training pad in case of emergencies is a different story.
As long as the temperature is controlled and set to suit your pet’s needs – creating a den environment in a room will help Fido ward off separation anxiety and not feel too cramped at the same time.
To Avoid Dog Crates
Even though dog crates are available in various sizes, even the most enormous crates can feel claustrophobic to your furbaby after being confined for a couple of hours.
That’s why pet parents feel more comfortable leaving their canines inside a room (equipped with all their needs) instead of dog crates.
Additionally, keeping a canine restricted to one room in your absence doesn’t make it go stir-crazy because there are still plenty of distractions at its disposal. For instance, your pet is free to move around the room, gaze out a window, play with its toys or eat or drink at its leisure.
To Keep Canines Calm
Dogs are social animals, and they don’t like being left on their own for too long. That’s why pet experts recommend not leaving canines alone for over four hours. Doing so can lead to Fido developing anxiety, stress, behavioral concerns, and destructive tendencies – like chewing on furniture or excessive barking.
However, if you fill up your canine’s me-time constructively, you can keep your pet from developing anxiety issues. Holding a pup in a room that has all the amenities it can need, along with the right temperature setting, can help keep your pet distracted in a healthy way and evade stress-related problems like separation anxiety.
As much as we’d like to give our dogs a free run of the house – sometimes that’s not possible. Sometimes allowing your pet to roam free can expose it to dangers, such as running into aggressive pets in the neighborhood or exploring in rooms with sharp objects like the kitchen.
By holding your furball in a room, you have the advantage of controlling the environment and removing anything that can harm your pet. In addition, it is easier to make one room dog-proof than work on your entire house.
Pet parents adopting canines from a shelter may need to consider that not all pets take to new environments very quickly, and sometimes a sensory overload (with new faces, scents, sounds) can lead to anxiety.
However, you can help your pet acclimatize to its new surroundings better by introducing it to your home in increments. This way, your dog has time to adjust to the rapid changes it’s undergoing one at a time and cope with them better – without any unpleasant side effects.
Can I Lock My Dog In A Room At Night
No two dogs are created equal – which means canines aren’t short in the personality department. For example, some dogs prefer being confined or locked in one space for the night (after they’ve gone for their after-dinner walk to unload). While others hate being cooped up and like to sleep near their family members.
On the whole, you can easily keep your canine locked in your room at night, as long as your dog’s comfortable – otherwise, no one will be getting much sleep.
Also, make sure you have a comfy dog bed installed in their room, along with a water bowl and its favorite toy. Also, don’t forget to adjust the temperature according to your pet’s needs.
Is It Cruel To Lock A Dog In A Room At Night
According to the Humane Society, cruelty to animals “…encompasses a range of behaviors harmful to animals, from neglect to malicious killing.”
So if you’re locking your canine in a room at night for its own good, be it from a safety perspective or anything else – your behavior isn’t harmful, neglectful, or malicious. However, before you pick a room to confine your pet in, it’s vital to ensure you’ve made the space safe for your pup and that it includes everything your dog may need during the night.
Is It Okay To Lock Your Dog In The Bathroom
A room doesn’t exactly equal a bathroom. A room can be equipped with carpeting, necessities for your dog, such as a bed, its toys, water & food bowls, and it also offers proper ventilation.
However, bathrooms are too small for your pet to move around in freely, have cold bare floors that canines should not sleep on, and won’t provide much in the way of adequate temperature control – which is why locking your dog in the bathroom isn’t okay at all.
Should I Confine My Puppy To One Room
If you’re thinking of confining your puppy to one room to help improve its life or make it easier in some way – you can restrict your puppy to one room, provided you take care of all its needs.
For example, the room you’re thinking of confining your puppy to needs to be puppy-safe. Additionally, you’ll have to ensure the room comprises whatever else your pup will need to spend a few hours in that space comfortably.
How Long Can You Lock Up A Dog
As per the Humane Society, it’s not advisable to keep puppies under six months of age in a crate for more than four hours – because they cannot control their bladders.
So, by that reasoning, you shouldn’t leave a puppy under six months of age locked up in a room for more than four hours either.
Adult and senior dogs can comfortably stay crated for up to eight hours – but they need a timeout in between to stretch their legs and answer the call of nature. Similarly, we wouldn’t advise pushing your doggo to beyond that time limit – even if it’s locked up in a room.
Should Dogs Have Free Run Of The House
Pet experts recommend dogs should have a free run of the house during their teenage years – when they’ve picked up on basic obedience and commands. However, because canines have distinct personalities, your pet may be ready to have a free run of the house much sooner. But, of course, it all depends on your pup and its nature.
Things To Consider
It’s never okay to try out something because most other dog parents are in favor. However, here are some vital aspects to consider before deciding on confining your dog to a room.
Some hounds are hyper-active and love running all over the house, whereas others are quieter, more relaxed, and like spending their time close to their families.
That’s why, before you think about confining your pet to a room for whatever viable reason – think about if the action’s needed at all. If your doggo isn’t a Nosy the Explorer, you can give it a free run of the house without fearing for your dog or the house.
Picking The Right Room
The dimensions of a room will matter depending on the size of your pet. So, if your pet happens to be a giant-sized Saint-Bernard, the amount it’ll need to move around comfortably will be different than what a Chihuahua may require.
While there’s no sure-shot scientific formula to decipher how much space a dog needs, you can always eyeball the dimensions and ensure your pet has enough space to take a few steps. Not to mention, the room needs to be big enough to fit all your dog’s required items too.