When to Stop Using a Crate at Night? how Do You Tell when Its Time?

It can be challenging for new pet parents to supervise their dogs, especially pups, day and night. Pups can have accidents indoors and can even eat or chew chemicals and items they’re not supposed to eat and chew. If crate-trained properly, a crate for a pup can be like a cradle to a baby – they’re safe and protected.

Although it isn’t a must to crate a dog in order to teach them social etiquette properly, it can be a great management tool for busy pet parents who need around 4 to 5 hours of personal time daily. But many often wonder when is the right time to let your doggo be more outdoors and not confined. Well, we’ve got the answer!

Read on to find out when to stop using a crate at night for your dog and if or not it is cruel to crate a dog at night. But first, let us start by discussing how long you should crate your pooch at night.

How Long Should a Dog Use a Crate at Night?

How long a dog can use a crate at night depends upon the sleep cycle of your doggo. If your adult pooch sleeps peacefully throughout the night and can hold their pee for 8 – 12 hours, you can confine your pet in a crate overnight. However, the hours can be significantly lower if you have a pup or a senior dog with a weak bladder capacity. 

As locking your pup’s crate at night is seen as cruel, we advise keeping the pup’s crate inside your bedroom or somewhere close, even if you confine the dog. This way, your pooch will whine or demand to be let out in case of emergencies.   

Moreover, make sure your dog has been to a toilet or outdoors to relieve themselves before going into the crate. And ready to wake up early, dogs often pee as soon as they wake up. As long as you’re aware of your doggo’s feelings and demands and

At What Age Do You Let a Dog Sleep out Of a Crate?

While it is not a compulsion to transition your pooch from a crate to a dog bed, if the baby doesn’t like being stuck in a crate and is demanding more freedom, you might want to consider letting them sleep out. However, you must ensure that your dog is physically and emotionally mature enough to sleep in its own dog bed at night before you transition them out of the crate. 

Dogs are high in energy, stubborn, and easily overwhelmed around 5 to 18 months of age, also called their ‘Adolescence or teenage phase.’ Although a pup is potty-trained correctly in about a year, our recommendation to you is to allow your dog to sleep out of the crate only once they are out of the rebellious phase. Doing so will make the transition much easier as your doggo is more calm and understanding, thus avoiding further whining and accidents.

Your dog must be able to differentiate between playtime and bedtime and also be able to understand what are their chewable toys and what is not meant to be chewed. Get your doggo a comfortable after-crate dog bed and supervise them for at least a week or two before the full transition. Puppy proof a room, add a camera and leave the crate’s door open in order to give them total freedom.

Is It Cruel to Crate a Dog at Night?

While it is not recommended to crate a dog for more than 4-5 hours during the day, you can definitely crate your dog overnight. However, you might need to wake up in between to ensure they’re not having any bladder or poop accidents in their crate. So, whether it is cruel to crate a dog at night depends on your dog’s age, as not all dogs can hold their pee overnight. 

As long as your pooch’s crate is cozy and they can walk as they please during the day, it is definitely not cruel to crate a dog at night. However, it is recommended that you take your dog out before bedtime so that they don’t have any emergencies at night. It is also necessary that you crate train your pup properly and place the crate strategically such that they don’t feel isolated or see the crate as a punishment and sleep safe and sound at night.  

Furthermore, many adult and senior dogs can hold their bladder overnight for 8 – 12 hours unless they’re suffering from incontinence. So, we assure you that your adult pooch will be fine in its crate at night. Also, please ensure that your pup’s housing is big enough for them to live comfortably.

When Can You Stop Using a Dog Crate at Night?

As long as your pooch is comfortable sleeping in its crate, there’s absolutely no need to stop using a dog crate at night. So, to answer the question – ‘when can you stop using a dog crate at night; you can stop the crate use at around two years of age, once they are mature and fully trained. However, please note that there’s no strict rule that your doggo cannot use a dog crate beyond this age limit.

Surprisingly, many of us don’t realize that our pets need their personal space, too; a crate for dogs is like a bedroom to us. If your pooch has been trained with love and they associate the crate as their shelter and safe space instead of as a metal box to cage them in, you doggo will go to their crate whenever they seek sleep and comfort. In that case, it would be rude to take away your doggo’s den from them.

Nevertheless, if your major intention was to potty train, you can stop using a dog crate at night as soon as your pooch starts to behave indoors. Once the dog has gained full bladder control and is adequately trained, you can consider allowing them unsupervised outside their crates during the night. However, as you can’t supervise your dog at night, it is probably a safe bet to let your doggo sleep in their crate to avoid unwanted surprises in the morning.

When Is a Puppy/Dog Ready to Sleep out Of a Crate?

Puppies are ready to sleep out of a crate once you can trust them with their behavior, which should be around two years of age. However, not all puppies become emotionally mature at the same age; in fact, small-sized dog breeds can be trusted out of the crate much sooner. We recommend you assess your pooch’s habits for a few weeks before deciding whether or not to let them sleep out of a crate. 

Emotionally mature dogs are less stubborn and aren’t too overwhelmed easily by incoming guests and environmental changes. If you aren’t sure if or not your pup is ready, you can consult with an expert, as they might be able to give you a better insight into the breed of dog you’re parenting. Besides the age and social etiquette, your pup should be fully potty-trained before you allow them to sleep out of a crate.

Remember that you must also put enough research and thoughts into swiftly transitioning your doggo. Take it slow and steady and make the transition easy and desirable for them by using the best of the best after-crate dog bed.


We hope we answered your query – ‘when to stop using a crate at night?’ Although the general rule of thumb is at around 18 to 23 months, the number can be unique to your pooch. Some dogs enjoy their crates during the night; given their crate is comfy and filled with toys and happiness, they’re free to roam around during the day; others despise being confined and enjoy their freedom. In the latter case, please note that it isn’t recommended ever to force your doggo into a crate. We hope you make a wise decision for your doggo!