Alternatives To Dog Crates

There are a lot of reasons that you or your dog may not happy with the idea of a crate.  Some dogs just don’t acclimate to a crate, and that’s fine.  There are several alternatives to dog crates that will get you the same result of safety for your dog.

Free Roam

This is ideal for well-behaved or well-trained dogs. It takes a lot of trust to let your pup roam free around your house or apartment, but it is an ideal option for a larger dog or even a dog whose personality won’t be caged.  Sometimes, dogs won’t enjoy all the freedom. They will feel responsible to protect the whole home and that can be anxiety-inducing. It’s important to observe your dog’s behavior after you’ve left them for a while alone. If you come home and they are anxious, nervous, or stressed out then you can conclude that they probably didn’t enjoy their independent time and space.  If they seem to be excited that you’re home, but relaxed and happy, then they probably loved the freedom!

Dog Sitter or Daycare

This approach is typically best for dogs who need supervision constantly. Whether they are a puppy, untrained, or just don’t like to be alone for long periods of time, this is a great option. Dog sitters and daycare help relieve stress when you leave your home and your pup. You can be at ease that they are being taken care of. However, it can cause financial strain if they need constant daycare or constant watching.


Very similar to a crate, but with slightly more freedom and breathability.  Dogs seem to love this alternative to crates. They are still in an enclosed, restricted area, but with room above them so they don’t feel trapped. In addition, playpens usually provide a little more room for walking around than crates do, and this can be good for dogs who will be left alone for long periods of time. It gives them room to be active and stretch a bit. The only thing you need to be aware of for this choice is making sure your dog will stay secure. It can be a harder choice for larger dogs as they can jump higher and could get over the playpen wall.  Playpens also take up more room than crates, but if you get a foldable one, you could always move it out of your way when you’re home.

Baby Gate

An ideal alternative to a dog crate if you have the right space for it. A baby gate can serve as a great way to block your dog off in a designated area in your home. Baby gates are typically good fits for both small and large dogs. They give freedom, with limits, and are easy to put up and take down. The only thing to make sure about this option is that you have a hallway or a room, often the kitchen, that you’d be comfortable leaving your dog in. If so, this is a great choice for you and your furry friend!

Dog Room

This is one of the ideal alternatives to dog crates for those who have an extra room or space in their home. A dog-friendly room can be very enjoyable for your furry friend.  It gives them a smaller area that they can be protective over, without feeling overwhelmed.  In my house, this is the mud room with its stone floors.  The room provides security for you, knowing they won’t escape if you leave the house and it gives your pup the comfort they desire.  Eva’s mud room is tricked out with her dog bed, a ever fresh water bowl, and its also where we feed her.  She loves hanging out there, watching the birds and waiting to hear my car pulling up.


Overall, there are many options and alternatives to crates for your pup to enjoy.  Your preferences and your home environment will determine the best fit, and there’s no wrong choice.  Just find one that works for you and your dog!

And if you want the best information on how to crate train your dog, check out