The Norman Transcript

Features

January 2, 2014

Crates: Dens or prisons?

NORMAN — Dear readers: I have received letters from some readers whose dogs refuse to go inside their crates. When the dogs are forced inside, they fight to get out and even bare their teeth.

While a few dogs will never accept being shut inside a crate, most will accept short periods of confinement once they feel the crate is a pleasurable refuge. Many will also use the crate as their den while the door is kept open so they can enter and leave as they choose. The trick is to make it rewarding by putting a familiar-smelling blanket in the open crate and laying out a trail of treats leading into the crate.

Eventually, the dog will willingly go into the crate to reach a treat or favorite toy tossed inside. Close the door for a few seconds to begin with, and give the dog a food puzzle toy or hollow rubber toy stuffed with cream cheese or peanut butter.

Dear Dr. Fox: We have a 10-month-old Pomeranian, weighing 10 lbs., who becomes very anxious when she goes in the car. She starts to hyper-salivate before we even start moving, and she vomits about a mile into the ride.

Our vet gave her Cerenia, which did not work. We tried a Thundershirt for anxiety — not good. The vet gave us Xanax and told us to give her Dramamine, but that did not work, either. He upped the dose of Xanax, to no new results. I have tried Benadryl and ginger. We do not feed her the day of travel. We are at a loss for what to do.

We have tried short trips to the mailbox or around the block, but nothing seems to work. I am thinking of changing vets because he does not know what to do for her.

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