Two questions we commonly get asked at Vets in the Village are:

Q: Why does my pet love to hide under the bed and couch?

Q: Why do they prefer this rather than sitting with me?

Well, Paddington certainly does!

(If I’m looking for Paddington, the first place I look is always under the couch)

This is a very common phenomenon we see in pets and we see it a lot in our clients in St Lucia! And it’s all because of the denning principle. To understand this, we need to look back to their wild ancestor heritage… Denning is a behaviour that is deeply ingrained in dogs, and it refers to their natural tendency to seek out a safe and secure location to rest and sleep.

In the wild, dogs would use dens or burrows as a denning space to protect themselves from predators and harsh weather conditions. This instinct is still present in domesticated dogs today, and by sleeping under things, they create a small, enclosed space that provides them with the sense of security they need to rest.

For this reason, our team at Vets in the Village recommend crate training for your pet. I can’t stress the benefits of crate training enough! In fact, I bring a crate EVERY DAY to St Lucia Vet, for our clinic mascot Paddington. Not only does it provide a safe and comfortable space for your pet to relax, but it also teaches boundaries helping with toileting training, separation anxiety and destructive behaviour. 

So, you want to start crate training? Here are vets in the village’s TOP TIPS:

  1. Make it fun – we want to make the crate your dogs favourite area of the house with lots of toys, treats and blankets. Remember we a creating a safe space your dog enjoys and wants to spend time in.
  2. Remember, size matters Use a crate big enough for your pet to stand up in, turn around and lie down comfortably. 
  3. Go slow – gradually introduce the crate slowly with short sessions, slowly increasing the time your dog spends in the crate. 
  4. Familiar is best – keep the crate in a familiar area so your pet feels comfortable.
  5. Open access allow your pet open access to the crate at all times of the day. 

If you have any questions about crate training, please reach out to us at Vets in the Village in St Lucia and we’d be happy to assist.