Establishing Your Dog's Safe Space

Establishing Your Dog’s Safe Space

Posted Dec 23, 2019 in Health & Safety

Just like you, sometimes your pooch needs a break from everything to just have some time to themselves. When your canine companion has a designated spot to call their own it helps reduce their anxiety because they know they can always retreat to their own private area when necessary. Here are some tips to get you started. 

What Exactly is a Dog’s Safe Space?

You can think of your dog’s “safe space” as a sort of extended crate. Just like you wanted your pup to view their crate as a positive space, you want them to feel the same way towards their “spot” in the home. By providing Fido with a particular area they can escape to when needed,  they’ll learn how to appropriately cope with stressful situations and become more confident when they arise. Stressful situations for your furry friend can be things such as thunderstorms, fireworks, parties, or a new addition to the family. 

Essentials of Your Dog’s Safe Space

When creating your canine companions “safe space,” these are things to keep in mind:


  • There should be enough space for your furry friend to stretch out, relax, and sleep cozily.
  • Pay attention to where your four-legged friend naturally goes when they need a break, and try to create their “safe space” in one of those areas.

Food & Water

  • Make sure your pooch has access to clean water, and better yet make it available in a spill-proof water bowl.
  • Feeding your furry friend in their safe space is also recommended to help them build a positive association around it as well as prevent resource guarding.

Easy Access

  • Ensure Fido always has the choice to retreat to or leave their safe space as desired.
  • On that note, you don’t want this area to be used for time outs or confinement when you’re gone. 
  • Dogs are social by nature, so even though they might want a break they still love to be near their pack – so make sure their “safe space” isn’t totally isolated. 

Stress-Free Zone

  • For dogs with noise phobias (like fireworks), “safe spaces” are especially valuable. Because of this, you should try to set up their “safe space” as far away from outside noise as possible. You can also set up white noise or relaxing dog music to play during times of stress as well.
  • If your canine companion is one who gets especially anxious consider investing in a pheromone diffuser – it can help almost immediately.

Dog-Proof It

  • Triple check everything to ensure Fido’s space is clear of any safety hazards such as toxic plants, power cords, cables, and plastic bags.

Helping Fido Get Used to Their Safe Space

You’ll want to introduce your furry friend to their “safe space” as early in their life as possible, which doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have one ready the day you bring them home, because your pup may pick an area naturally. Regularly feeding them in their “safe space” will also encourage them to have a positive association with the area, along with providing them a treat (particularly long-lasting chews) when they willingly go to their spot. 

Safe spaces are extremely helpful for pups who get stressed often (and even those who don’t). Everyone, including your pooch, needs some alone time every once in a while. 

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