How to Keep a Dog Busy in a Crate?


If you need to put your dog in a crate for whatever reason, you might have some trouble keeping them busy. A bored dog in a crate can make a terrible racket, and all of that whining, barking, and crying can get on your nerves.

If you are traveling with your dog, and they’re in a crate in the car, and they won’t stop making noise, it’s not going to be a fun trip. If your dog has to be in a crate while you go to work, your neighbors certainly won’t appreciate all of that anxious barking.

Luckily, there are ways to keep your dog busy in a crate. Let’s take a closer look.

Get a Companion

One of the best things you can do for a dog, whether they are bored in their crate, bored in general, or just lonely, is to get it a companion. Getting a second dog so that they can keep each other company is a great way to go about keeping your pet busy in the crate.

Not only will a companion relieve the loneliness, but it also helps relieve boredom.

Two dogs can play with each other and keep each other busy. Of course, getting a second dog may not be a viable option for you. If this is the case, move onto the next solution for keeping your dog busy in a crate.


Did you know that many dogs enjoy watching television or simple YouTube videos? Some dogs have been known to stare into the screen for hours, completely ignoring the world around them. Of course, it is not like your dog will understand the plot of Law & Order or understand what is going on at all, but that’s not the point.

The moving images, colors, and sounds will keep your dog entertained. Not all dogs will be entertained by these moving pictures and colors, but those that do tend to really love it. So, if your dog is really bored, especially while in the crate, try setting them in front of the TV and see what happens.

Radio or Music

If you don’t want to waste electricity by running a TV, but you still want to make your dog feel like somebody is there, leaving the radio on is another good option. Now, the radio may not keep your dog busy, like watching TV, but music can be calming.

It has been shown that classical music calms dogs down, just like it does for people. A calm dog is a dog that will probably just lay down and sleep. Sleep is a great way to keep busy until you come back home.

A Plush Toy

Something that you can do to keep your dog busy in the crate is to give it its favorite plush toy or toys.

On a side note, generally speaking, dogs are like little children, and the more toys they have, the more occupied they will be. More often than not, the simple act of deciding which toy to focus on is more than enough to keep a dog busy.

Not only will a plush toy provide your dog with something to play with and to chew on, but it will also help calm them down and give a sense of security. Just like you had your favorite blanket or stuffed animal as a child, it was something that made you feel safe. A plush toy does this for your dog.

Puzzle Feeders

Another great way to keep your dog busy in the crate is to give it a puzzle feeder. Puzzle feeders are special items for dogs, and they come in different shapes, types, and sizes. Quite simply, these require your dog to solve a simple puzzle to get a tasty reward.

At first, it will probably take your dog time to figure it out. This will keep them busy, and as they get the hang of it, they will have fun dispensing treats. Many puzzle feeders come with multiple aspects or individual puzzles. Of course, the more the puzzle feeder involves, the busier it will keep your dog.

The other cool part about these puzzle feeders is that they have been shown to keep a dog’s mind young and healthy. It’s a brain game that helps train the mind. The other benefit of these puzzle feeders is that they force your dog to slow down while they eat because we all know that eating too fast is unhealthy.

A Chew Toy or Dental Chew

Dogs love to chew on things. Such is their nature. So, what better way to keep your dog occupied than with a good chew toy? This could be a rope, a really tough rubber ball, a squeaky toy, or anything else of the sort. Dogs can spend countless hours chewing on a toy and ripping it to shreds.

You might need a constant supply of fresh chew toys, especially if you have a dog that likes to destroy things, but it will keep them busy.

On that same note, a dental chew is never a bad idea. They will keep your dog busy and keep your dog’s teeth clean as well. Dogs like to chew, and as long as they have something to gnaw on, they should be happy.


There are many things that you can do to keep your dog busy while crated. We recommend a combination of chew toys, plush toys, some treats, and you can leave the radio on. Always give your dog something to do while in the crate, or else they will start to hate that small space. It becomes prison more than anything else.

***SmartlyPet is supported by readers. If you click one of my links, I may earn commissions. I am also participant in the Amazon affiliate program and I will also make a commission from qualifying purchases. Thank you***

Field Dogs 300 x 600
Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated
Is Chicken Breast Good For Dogs?

Is Chicken Breast Good For Dogs?

If you have ever read the composition of different food brands, you may have noticed that chicken is a primary ingredient in all feed formulations made for dogs. As far as “Chicken breast” is concerned, YES, chicken breast is good for dogs; in fact, it is the...

What Causes Dog Diarrhea At Night?

What Causes Dog Diarrhea At Night?

As a dog owner, there is nothing more annoying and frustrating than if you have to clean up dog diarrhea after you wake up in the morning. In fact, it's never good for your dog to have diarrhea; however, diarrhea at night is a worse scenario. Diarrhea is an indication...

Can Dogs Eat Corn Starch?

Can Dogs Eat Corn Starch?

Corn starch is one food ingredient that most dog owners have never agreed on whether it's good for dogs to eat.  Some corners say corn starch contains no nutritional value to a dog.  While others, mostly dog food manufacturers, disagree since it is a great...

How To Stop Dog From Begging For Treats?

How To Stop Dog From Begging For Treats?

It can go without saying that people tend to enjoy being able to give their dogs treats throughout the day. Not only do the dogs enjoy it, but they tend to be cute and their reactions have their humans coming back to give them more treats. At least, that is ideally...

How Do You Calm a Hyper Dog In a Car?

How Do You Calm a Hyper Dog In a Car?

Driving is a task that requires immense concentration, and the more distractions you have in the car, the more complicated it can become. In cases such as these, you may dread the idea of bringing your pet into the car, especially dogs that become agitated once they...

Do Dogs Get Cranky When Tired?

Do Dogs Get Cranky When Tired?

One of the most accurate comparisons that people make to their pets is when people compare their dogs to young children. There are many similarities between the two, ranging from both of them being able to learn words and concepts to behavioral issues that both young...