How Many Hours in a Crate Is Abuse?

Animals have long been considered as beloved companions, providing us with unconditional love and joy. However, amidst this seemingly perfect relationship, there exists a dark reality that threatens their well-being. Cruelty and negligence towards animals have been ongoing issues that continue to plague our society, raising questions about the boundaries of acceptable treatment. In recent times, one of the topics that’s sparked controversy is the practice of crating dogs for prolonged periods. While initially intended as a means of training and ensuring the safety of our furry friends, concerns have been raised regarding the potential harm caused by extended confinement. The Lincolns, prominent advocates for animal welfare, have shed light on a distressing revelation – some individuals subject their pet dogs to exceedingly long periods of confinement, with reports suggesting up to 18–22 hours per day. The impact of such practices on the psychological and physical well-being of these animals can’t be underestimated, prompting us to reflect on the boundaries of responsible pet ownership and the line between care and abuse.

Can I Crate My Dog for 12 Hours at Night?

This allows for secure containment and minimizes the risk of injury in case of sudden stops or accidents. However, if your dog is crated for an extended period of time, such as a 12-hour car ride, it can be stressful and uncomfortable for them. They may experience discomfort, anxiety, and even physical strain from prolonged confinement.

Similarly, crating your dog for 12 hours at night on a regular basis isn’t ideal. Dogs are highly social animals and need regular exercise, mental stimulation, and social interaction. Being confined to a crate for such long durations can lead to boredom, frustration, and behavioral issues.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to leave your dog crated for 12 hours due to a family emergency, take measures to ensure their comfort and well-being. Make sure they’ve access to fresh water, toys or chews to keep them occupied, and a comfortable bedding.

Consider enlisting the help of a trusted friend, family member, or dog sitter to check on your dog and let them out for a bathroom break, stretch their legs, and provide some interaction during the long duration of crating. This will help alleviate the stress and potential negative effects of being crated for such an extended period.

If you’re away from home for an extended period regularly, consider alternative options such as doggy daycare, hiring a dog walker, or creating a safe and dog-proofed area in your home where they can have some freedom while you’re away.

Remember, your dogs well-being and happiness should always be a priority, so it’s best to avoid prolonged periods of crating.


In conclusion, it’s evident that confining a dog to a crate for excessive periods of time, such as 18-22 hours a day, can have detrimental effects on the animal's overall well-being. While crates can be effective tools for training and providing a safe space, using them as a means of extended confinement can lead to behavioral issues, physical discomfort, and emotional distress. It’s crucial for pet owners to recognize the importance of giving their dogs adequate exercise, mental stimulation, and social interaction to ensure their physical and mental health. Rather than resorting to prolonged crate confinement, alternative solutions should be sought that prioritize the dog's overall welfare, promoting a balanced and fulfilling life for our beloved companions.

Scroll to Top