Creating Dog Safe Spaces: Easy and Cheap

A dog safe space sounds like a space free of dogs, doesn’t it? That’s not a space I would like. Actually, I don’t think it’s a space, my dog, Henry would like either. Does your dog ever seem like he or she needs some space or alone time? Or does your dog suffer from anxiety? Then your dog might be a good candidate for a safe zone. Heck, who wouldn’t need a safe zone? So, today let’s dig in and learn about creating dog safe spaces your pup will love. 

a terrier dog is happy to retreat to one of his dog safe spaces
disclaimer note

Budget tip:

Creating a dog safe space honestly won’t take any additional funds. Or at least it didn’t for me. However, giving your dog a safe place to retreat from anxiety is a great idea. It’s good for your dog and your vet bills. Dogs with anxiety, under a lot of stress, trauma, or continuous stress will tend to manifest physical ailments such as bowel issues.

Additionally, a dog under stress will often try to release that stress by destroying items in sight such as furniture. But by a creating a dog safe space you give your dog a place to retreat. It helps your dog’s health and mental health.

Moreover your pocketbook loves that it’s free and keeps vet bills down. It only takes a few minutes to create dog safe spaces yet it’s a major WIN-WIN for you and your dog!

What does creating a dog room mean?

It’s a place your dog can retreat to when he/she feels scared or overwhelmed by too many people, activities, noises, or something else. Think of it as a place for your dog to go when he/she wants to be alone because there’s too much going on in the world. It’s often the same reason people use a shed or man cave. It’s a retreat for our dog’s mental well-being. 

Do you sage your home? Have you wondered if it’s safe for your pets? In this article, I explain everything you need to know to keep your furry friends safe.

What are the benefits of a dog retreat for my pup?

It gives your dog comfort, helps to alleviate anxiety, and allows your dog to just be him or herself. This is particularly important with rescue dogs since they tend to have more trauma. A safe zone helps to build their foundation for a better and happier life in their new home. Furthermore, it gives your dog the ability to remove him/herself from an anxiety-driven situation. Overall, it gives your dog a better way to deal with a stressful situation. 

How can I create a dog room in my home?

1. Locate a space that your dog finds comfortable

  • Closet
  • Corner of a room
  • Spare room
  • Kennel, dog crate, or inside doghouse 
  • Dog proof space
  • Baby gates or even boxes be used to create more of a safe haven

This should be a dog-friendly space. Additionally, it needs to be a temperature-controlled space so your dog is not too hot or cold. Basically, your dog should be baby bear from Goldilocks.

Alternatively, if you’re confused about where your dog safe space should be, then simply watch where your dog naturally retreats. That’s most likely where you should place your pup’s dog safe space. 

Henry’s dog safe spaces explained

As an example, I currently have four dog safe zones in my home for Henry. He’s picked each of these areas.

Moreover, each of Henry’s dog safe spaces he treats differently depending on his level of anxiety.

For instance, if he retreats to his crate, then I know he’s having a high level of anxiety. Personally, I think it’s good he knows what to do.

However, he often wants me to help him with high anxiety and walk with him to his dog crate. It’s kind of cute. I always think it’s the equivalent of “I’m scared. Hold my paw and tell me it’ll be ok.”

Additionally, one more trick I use for Henry’s crate dog den is to cover it with a light towel. It helps to keep it dark inside. Moreover, when he uses his crate zone, he nestles in the back and curls up from the scary world.

Thus, he seems to like that his crate is more cocoon-like when he’s in a full-on anxiety attack.

Furthermore, if he’s having a high anxiety attack, then I’ll close the door for him, which he also likes. But I check on him frequently. Or I will just sit near him and talk calmly to him.

Henry napping in his safe place within my dog proof my home. He enjoys each of his dog safe spaces.
Henry sleeping in one of his DIY dog safe spaces.

Do you know how to dog proof your home? In this article, I share how to do it and prove that it helps to reduce your dog’s expenses. 

2. Place items your dog loves in your dog’s space

  • Comfy or anxiety-reducing dog bed
  • Blanket
  • Comforting stuffy dog toys or even a favorite chew toy
  • Mental enrichment toys helps some dogs as well

Does your dog not like toys? Henry doesn’t either. In this article, I share how your dog really wants to play. 

3. Clean fresh water

Make sure your dog has access to water in the dog zone. If it’s close to mealtime, then also supply food as well. 

Do you know that simple clean water can reduce your dog’s costs? Find out how in this article.

4. Noise distractions

I know for Henry, I generally use either soothing music or a funny and happy movie in his dog zone. However, some dogs do well with white noise or DogTV. Overall you want to reduce loud noise disturbances or other stress inducers.

5. Accessibility

While you may not think there’s a reason for your dog to retreat to his/her dog zone, your dog may think differently. I’ve often been surprised to find Henry has taken refuge in his safe place. With this in mind, I always make sure the door is left ajar and his kennel door is open as well. 

How to get my dog used to the dog space?

Feed your dog in this area for a while. Additionally, you may want to entice your dog with some yummy dog treats. Your dog will recognize it’s a good spot in no time. Basically, it’s a matter of positive association. However, make sure not to introduce intrusive items to the space like band practice. 

Do you know that homemade dog treats can save you a lot of money and help improve your dog’s health? In this article, I break it all down for you.

How do I give my pup a safe dog space while visiting friends or family?

Whenever I’ve visited my brother’s home, Henry and I use a room upstairs. However, Henry doesn’t always like climbing stairs or so many stairs. So, I make up two dog safe spaces for Henry. 

First, is one downstairs in the living room. It’s behind the couch with a comfy dog bed and water nearby. He can hear the birds tweeting and other soothing outside noise, which he enjoys. 

Meanwhile, the second safe zone I use for Henry is upstairs in the bedroom we use. I keep the closet door slightly open, with a bed and water nearby. Additionally, I can leave the TV on to a funny movie for him. Furthermore, both of these locations are perfectly climate controlled. It always works great for Henry and me.

Worried about an overnight visit with your dog? In this article, I share how to do it and get an invitation back. 

How does a dog room impact my budget?

You may be surprised to know that something as simple as a dog space can positively impact your dog’s expenses. Although, there are times when chronic anxiety is a red flag for other health issues. However, there are times when a safe dog retreat for your pup can actually reduce your expenses. For example, consider the following:

A note about anxiety and dogs. There are many remedies available for dogs. Each dog is different and how they respond to anything will be different. As I did with Henry, I always suggest checking with your vet for help with your stressed-out pup. Also, always run any ideas past your vet before adding them to your dog’s diet. You might be surprised by what your vet may come up with to help your pup. 

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Summary of creating dog safe spaces

It may be surprising that a simple thing like a dog den or safe place for your pup is essential, but it truly is regardless of your dog’s age. Also, it doesn’t matter if your dog is a rescue, gift, or came to you by any other means. Your dog needs and deserves to have a safe place. Moreover, as the caretaker for your dog, you deserve to provide this place with love and tenderness.

In short dog safe spaces are your pup’s retreat that helps him/her deal with the world. I know I’ve been surprised at times to find Henry curled up in one of his safe places. I truly believe in a dog den (or in Henry’s case many dog safe spaces). It’s good for your pup and gives you peace of mind (it certainly does for me). I know a safe spot helps Henry handle his stress and prevents more serious health issues. How could I deny him such a simple ask from my furry friend and family member?

a husky dog is calming down after an anxiety attack in one of his dog safe spaces

Are you excited about creating dog safe spaces in your home? Or do you have one now? What do you have in it for your pup? 


Categories Other Savings and Tips

About Terri Rodefer

Terri Rodefer is the founder of Tail Wag Wisdom, a blog focused on affordable pet care. She likes to say helping pet parents afford and love their animals even more, makes her tail wag. As a lifelong lover of all animals with a background in economics, biology, and marketing, allows Terri to bring a unique spin to pet care. 

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