Crate training for puppiesPuppies are often crate trained as part of an introduction to a new household. This can be an effective way of helping puppies to feel safe, secure and to prevent injury overnight. However, things do not always go smoothly and crate soiling or messing can be a frustrating aspect of toilet training for owners. If faces are normal and the puppy is well in itself, it may be that your puppy has not got the hang of toilet training yet. However, there are some medical reasons why a puppy may pass faeces in the crate, particularly if the pet is suffering from diarrhoea.This article was written by a FirstVet vetDid you know that FirstVet offers video calls with experienced, UK registered vets? You can get a consultation within 30 minutes by downloading the FirstVet app for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play.✓ Included free as part of many pet insurance policies✓ Help, treatment and if you need it, a referral to your local vet✓ Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year Rating: 4.9 - more than 1600 reviewsRating: 4.9 - more than 1300 reviewsRating: 4.9 - more than 1600 reviews BOOK Causes of crate soilingAnxietyMedicationsParasites or wormersDiet changesInfections/tummy bugsDietary indiscretionToo young to be able to hold onSigns of ill-health If your puppy is passing faeces more frequently than normal, has diarrhoea or soft faeces, or if blood or mucus is present then this suggests there is a problem with the intestinal tract. Other signs may include straining to pass faeces, worms present in faeces, lethargy or a reduced appetite.Prevention of crate soilingIntroduce crate training in gentle steps to make sure your puppy is comfortable and calm in the crate. Ensure worming treatment is up to date. See our article on intestinal worms for more informationIntroduce diet changes gradually over the course of 5-7 daysIntroduce new foods such as treats slowlySeek advice for diarrhoea. See our article or vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs for more informationFeed correctly for age, weight, expected growth. See our article on choosing an appropriate diet for your puppy for more information.Feed at regular intervals appropriate for ageWhat to do if your puppy is crying in its crate?If your puppy is crying it can be difficult to know whether this is due to toileting or just not appreciating being in the crate. Follow the below steps.Do not feed your puppy too close to bedtime, around 5pm latest. Make sure your puppy is tired with play before sleep time and make sure they have had sufficient exercise in the dayBefore putting your puppy in the crate for the night, take them on a short walk or trip around the garden to give them time to toiletMake sure the crate is in a suitable place, warm, quiet, dark and dry. Make sure it is big enough and your puppy has a comfy bedIf your puppy cries immediately, then ignore the puppy. If it has not settled after half an hour, go to the puppy and take them straight into the garden with no fussing, attention or play. Just out to the toilet and back inThe same technique should be used at night if your puppy wakes up. This teaches them that crying only gets them a potty breakIf your puppy persistently cries in the crate and gets very stressed, it may just not be a suitable temperament for crate training. You could instead try a small room or playpen. Persisting when your puppy is distressed can lead to other issues so it is important to accept that crate training will not suit every dogIn the day it is sensible to give your puppy food and treats in the crate with the door open to make it a positive environment to be inGet into a consistent routine. It may take a few days for your puppy to learn the ropes, but trying to stick to similar feeding, toileting, bedtime and wake up will help you avoid accidentsWhen to see a vetIf you notice signs of ill health, such as diarrhoea and puppies should also visit a vet to discuss a comprehensive worming programme and complete health and weight checks. Still worried?Book a video appointment to have a chat with one of our FirstVet vets for advice, treatment, and if necessary, referral to your local vet.