Why Does My Dog Hurt Himself In His Crate? [7 Reasons | Solutions]

Why Does My Dog Hurt Himself In Crate

Providing proper crate training for a dog can be quite challenging. Some dogs tend to injure themselves while in a crate, which can be concerning for most dog owners.

Here’s why a dog may hurt itself while inside a crate:

A dog may hurt itself in a crate due to separation anxiety, boredom, panic attacks, changes in the crate environment, aging effects, lack of proper crate training, or an uncomfortable crate. Possible solutions include using a DAP or Adaptil collar, providing frozen stuffed Kongs, proper crate training, or using a plastic crate.

Of course, this behavior can occur due to both normal and abnormal circumstances. However, by identifying the exact cause, you can determine the appropriate remedial process.

Reasons why do some dogs hurt themselves in their crates.

It feels so weird and bad when your dog does this for the first time. 7 different reasons can influence this behavior.

Carefully step through the reasons in order to understand the exact issue with your loving pooch. In that way, it’ll be pretty much straightforward to land on the relevant solutions.

Most dogs hurt themselves in crates by rubbing their noses and scratching crates from their paws, resulting in wounded noses and swelled paws. So folks, without any further ado, let’s head over to reasons.

1. Separation anxiety.

The most suspicious reason to show such behavior to your dog is separation anxiety. Many people take this easy. But you shouldn’t as it can worsen over time.

Here are some signs that a dog may be suffering from separation anxiety, in addition to harming itself inside the crate.

  • Destructiveness. Possibly chewing sheos, and other belongings.
  • Heavy barking.
  • Howling.
  • Whining.
  • Pacing.
  • Overly salivation.
  • Try to escape.

Here are common root causes of why does a dog being prone to separation anxiety.

  • Change in ownership.
  • First few days of coming to a home from a shelter.
  • Loss of a household member.
  • Change in routine.
  • Being left alone for the first time.

2. A dog may harm itself in the crate due to boredom.

The second most likely cause is boredom, especially can be seen among high energetic breeds.

If your dog is suffering from boredom, it is more important to take the necessary steps to relieve that and essential to take the required precautions to prevent this from happening in the future.

Apart from hurting himself, Here are the common signs of a boredom dog.

Here are the common reasons for boredom in dogs.

  • Lack of exercise.
  • Lack of mental stimulation.
  • Health issue.
  • The time of the day.
  • Doing the same thing repeatedly. For a istance, if you give the same training regularly prior to crating, the dog will get bored.
  • Left alone for a long time.

Here is whether you need to place a crate upstairs and downstairs.

3. Panic attacks.

If a dog suffering from panic attacks, he is most likely to harm itself in the crate by rubbing its nose or scratching the crate’s door.

In general, panic attacks among canines can also be described as a pace of separation anxiety. Moreover, going through stressful circumstances can increase the chance of panic attacks.

Sudden pacing, shacking, urinating, excessive drooling in the crate, shaking, hiding behavior are common signs of panic attacks in dogs.

4. Change in crate environment.

Dogs would love to stick with routines and live in stable environments. So, a dog might become stressed and exhibit restless behavior when you move the crate to a new place.

Moreover, washing its blankets and pillows will give a whole different scent, giving some unfamiliarity experience inside the crate.

Even if you don’t put the crate in a new spot, changing the surroundings could make the dog anxious.

5. Due to aging effects.

In general, old dogs tend to have a weak bladder, resulting in incontinence and urinating inside the house.

Even though a dog can stay in a crate for several hours for sure, the dog will need to go out for urinating quite often as the dog ages.

So, the dog will try to open the crate door by scratching and putting the snout out through the metal bars, which results in harming itself.

6. Lack of crate training.

Lack of crate training is also a major factor in the persistence of this problem. So, if you found that your dog isn’t familiar with its crate, providing good solid crate training is the best thing to do at the movement.

If you don’t know how to crate train a dog, please consider taking help from a professional dog trainer as it requires numerous subject knowledge, and you cannot let the dog harm itself inside the crate anymore.

7. Uncomfortable crate.

Having an uncomfortable crate is also one of the reasons why does a dog exhibits such behavior. A dog crate can be uncomfortable due to the following reasons.

  • Lack of space. This is a huge factor.
  • Not having bedding. (Blankets and pillow.)
  • Placing the crate in a middle of a room.
  • When the dog cannot see what’s happening in the house.
  • Too worm or too cold.
  • Uncomfotable sorroundings.

By the way, here is why doesn’t your dog eat in the crate.

How to keep a dog from hurting itself in the crate?

After observing the possible reasons for this matter, we need to look into the solutions and some of the best-proven tips to avoid this behavior.

1. Use DAP or Adaptil collar.

Investing in DAPP or Adaptil collar is worth trying as they are excellent at relieving anxiety in dogs. Moreover, placing a thunder shirt on your dog when he is crated will be beneficial as it relieves stress like a charm.

2. Try frozen stuffed kongs.

Frozen stuffed kong toys are one of the best investments you can do as it works great on dogs prone to separation anxiety or stress.

What I suggest is to try a frozen stuffed Kong with your dog; you will be amazed at how fast he will stop hurting himself inside the crate.

3. Try a plastic crate.

Although there is a clear definition of why this happens, dogs tend to do better in hard plastic crates rather than regular folding metal wire crates.

Moreover, many dog parents have proven this plastic crate thing (I also have some experience with this), and they would like to give A HUGE THUMBS UP for those who gonna buy a plastic crate. No more nose rubbing, scratching the door, harming itself.

4. Provide a proper crate training.

As we discussed earlier, lack of crate training is also one of the main reasons why does a dog wanna hurt itself inside the crate.

If you are unable to provide good crate training or you don’t have much experience with dogs before, consider hiring a professional dog trainer.

5. Make the dog is comfortable with the crate.

A dog is most likely to hurt himself in the crate due to uncomfortableness with its crate. Let’s look into some of the key factors you need to remember

Here are some of the tips you wanna keep in mind. 

 ♦ Let the dog feels its crate as a secure place.
 ♦ The dog should discern his crate as his territory.
 ♦ Provide comfortable beddings including blankets, and pillows.
 ♦ Put inside its favorite toys including puzzle toys, frozen stuffed kong, or bully sticks.
 ♦ Place the crate in a corner.
 ♦ Put a blanket over the crate. 
 ♦ Play a soothing sound. There are numerous of dog calming musics available in the internet. 
 ♦ Place the crate where most people hang out in the household.
 ♦ Wath out for extreme temperatures. 
 ♦ Don't keep the crate exposure to huge noises.  

6. Practise your leaving.

If your dog becomes more anxious and starting hurting himself in his crate whenever you attempt to leave the house, the best thing to do is practicing the dog for your leaving.

In most cases, a dog can understand that its owner is gonna leave the house by grasping many different cues, including picking up the keys, putting on shoes, putting on jackets, etc.

So, if you can make the dog feel those cues are ubiquitous and there is nothing to worry or care about.

Try leaving the house for about 5 minutes and return home. Then stay for a while and again leave the house for about 10 minutes. However, make sure to return home exactly in about 10 minutes. Do this several times a day while gradually increasing the time.

7. Teach the dog some crate games.

Teaching some crate games is a great way to make a dog familiar or comfortable with the crate. Because it is difficult to show you in words, consider watching the following video.

8. Keep the dog in your bedroom 

If your dog always attempts to hurt itself when inside the crate, consider keeping the dog crate in your bedroom during the night, especially if the dog is a still puppy.

So, you will see how quickly it will stop panicking and pawing at the crate.

Other things will help to keep your dog calm in the crate

After observing the exact reason and the solution, I would like to give you more tips to keep your dog calm in the crate without letting it be hyper, restless, and harm itself.

Doggy cam: Consider fixing a dog camera when you are away from home. In that way, you can see what’s your dog is doing. Moreover, setting up a webcam on your laptop or smartphone camera will also work.

Keep your t-shirt in the crate: By putting a sweaty stinky t-shirt will visualize to its nose that you are in the home as it gives your smells. Of course, the dog knows that you aren’t home. But this will definitely help to calm him down up to some extend.

Anti-anxiety medications: If your dog is prone to separation anxiety, consider chatting with your veterinarian for a chance of getting anti-anxiety medications for your dog. Because you cannot keep watching the dog continue to hurt itself in the crate.

Things to be aware of.

You now seem to know exactly why a dog wants to hurt itself in its crate and the possible solutions for that. Despite all of the above causes and solutions, there are certain things you need to be aware of as a responsible dog parent.

Here are some of the things worth considering.

  • Don’t confine the dog inside a closed room or bathroom.
  • Don’t punish or yell at its bad behavior. Moreover, don’t let the dog feel the crate as a punishment tool. It should be its territory.
  • By forcing your dog to go into the crate what happens is that the problems only get worse.
  • Don’t keep fragile dog toys, or bones inside the crate. Because the dog is likely to swallow those pieces.
  • Take the dog out for peeing or pooping proir to crating him.
  • Don’t skip regular vet checkups.


Many dog parents are desperately trying to find causes and solutions for why their dogs continue to hurt themselves in crates. Well, this comprehensive guide is compact with information that tells you possible reasons, solutions, and other related concerns regarding this matter. Hope you found this helpful.


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