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:

Peeing and pooping inside$19
Destruction of property$$$
More prone to allergies$100-250
Vulnerable to inflammatory bowel disease$100-2500
Susceptible to other health issues$$$

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. 

Related articles:

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? 

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. 

9 thoughts on “Creating Dog Safe Spaces: Easy and Cheap”

  1. A dog-safe space? Yep! I believe it. And a cat-safe space works too! This really does work to help them relieve anxiety and have a separate space they can call their own. My angel cat Dusty had her own mini kitty condo in one corner of the room she’d often retreat to when life got too wild or hectic. It was her own little safe haven. Humans need a break from life’s stressors, and our pets do too. I love that your dog Henry is so smart and has multiple options to retreat to at home.

    • Yes, pet-safe spaces are great! I love to hear about Dusty’s safe zone. Isn’t it wonderful how they find their comfort zone and seek it out as they need? I think you’re right, our critters are smart. We can definitely learn a lot from them. Thanks for sharing about Dusty and for being so supportive!

  2. Layla used to go into her box which I had made from a wooden fruit box and she loved but since going blind she does not use it anymore so I have made a safe place by putting her blankets and an anxiety mat under my bed which she loves to go to and it is easy access for her, she relaxes there all the time.

    Great post and so important for new dog owners to know about

    • That’s so wonderful that you recognized Layla needed a different safe zone as she became blind. I bet she can feel you in bed and that comforts her. She’s such a smart pup. And you’re so wise to adjust to her needs so easily. I love it and I love that you share your journey with her. Thank you for that and for your continued support!

  3. An excellent idea. Some dogs can get very anxious and having somewhere that is their own to retreat too and feel safe can make the world of difference to how much they enjoy your home. I had not thought of the money I could save either!! Wow that’s a lot.

    • You know, it really is amazing how some of the most basic things can impact a pet parent’s pocketbook. Even cats like a safe zone. It’s basically free and the benefits are great. Thank you for your continued support. I really appreciate it!

  4. Yes to everything you have written in this fantastic article! Having a dog space is so important. With my FiveSibes, when they were younger, they had their own room in our house. They each had a large crate with a bed (Gibson had the cooler water bed as he had epilepsy and needed to always be cool). I’d leave the doors left open during day. The room had a fan, a/c, and a TV for days when extra white noise was needed. They loved their room! Then, one day, my youngest boy developed anxiety issues and ate his way through the crates when we were not home. So, we installed baby gates and left them have free roam of the kitchen and nook areas, with beds, of course! Whenever my Gibson felt stressed (sharing life with three puppies sometimes sent him looking for quiet!)…he’d still make his way downstairs to the dog room off the family and go into his crate (with a big sigh!) I do think having their own room really helped them to relax and bond with each other in a different way – sleeping! They always slept together as one big furry happy bunch of dogs!

    I LOVE this article and how you break down how inexpensive it really is giving them their own “space” whether it is a crate, their own room, or a spot behind the sofa. It’s really no different from us, right? Some times we like to just go off and find a bit of solitude and peace (usually with the dogs!). Sharing this fabulous article!

    • Isn’t it amazing how such a simple thing as a dog den or dog zone can provide our pups with such peace? Yet it doesn’t add to our bottom line at all. I’m so glad your FiveSibes and especially Gibs had such a wonderful room to retreat to when they needed it. I’m certain Gibs needed some alone time away from the pack. It really is an easy gift to give our pups. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. And thank you for your continued support. I really appreciate it!

  5. My recently adopted dog Jessie has a crate. She feels very safe there & loves it! I’m a huge proponent of having a safe place your dog can call her own


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