The dog crate should be a comfortable and inviting place for your puppy; a place where they will enjoy spending time in. It also has to be safe for your pet and not be a threat to his health or life.
However, even before you decide on what to put in the crate to make it comfortable, you have to know where to put the crate.
Dogs as social animals and being part of the family activities make them happy. Since you want them to love the crate and enjoy spending time there, you cannot put it in a quiet corner of the house or they will feel like they are being punished and isolated. For puppies, you might want to have them sleep in a crate in your bedroom so they do not feel alone in the night and start whining. Here are a few ways on handling a dog crate and making it comfortable for your puppy.
Since you want your puppy nice and warm, your first instinct is to put in some warm blankets. This may not be a very good idea since puppies are in the habit of chewing things around them and might chew these up in one night. When they chew the blankets, they not only cost you money but also stand the risk of getting hurt by swallowing parts of the blankets. It is advisable to first, leave the floor bare as you train them to focus on chewing the toys other than the blankets. Once they master this, you can introduce the blankets. You can also get tougher material that they cannot chew up and use as beddings in the early days.
It is advisable to leave tough chew toys in the crate for your puppy to chew on as it has several benefits to the both of you. With the toys in the crate, the puppy will not get bored and start chewing on the beddings or your things when you are out of the house. It makes being in the crate a fun moment for them because they have some of their favorite toys in there. However, it is a terrible idea to leave your puppy with soft teddy bears or any soft toy that they can tear and ingest. This would cause intestinal blockage that could be fatal for them. If this occurs, make sure you visit a Pleasantville, NY animal hospital immediately.
It may not be a good idea to leave water in the crate for your puppy especially in the first few days when you are still training him on the house rules. Puppies will fill up on the water and might mess up their crate. Leaving them without water for a few hours is safe and will not cause them any harm or discomfort.
However, if for medical reasons or other important reason that you need to crate them for longer, you can have a water bottle mounted on the crate but under no circumstances leave water on the ground. As for snacks, you can stuff some of his favorite foods in his chewing toys to keep him occupied. As for regular meals, you can serve him in the crate to re-inforce the idea that the crate is a positive place where good things happen and not a place they are taken to as a punishment.