While having a stay at home pet mom or dad would be ideal for your favorite pooch, the reality is that with today’s lifestyles, most of us have to leave our pets home for long periods of time while we work, study, run our kids around and so on. Leaving a dog unattended, whether in your house or out in the yard, is generally a bad idea. As many pet owners have learned the hard way, you eventually come home to a “dogs gone wild” scenario at the expense of your home furnishings, their dog pillows and beds, your favorite pair of shoes or your new flower bed. The tough part is that you know your dog isn’t intentionally trying to be naughty. He’s just bored and needs the oversight you are unable to give him while you are out and about. Well, guess what?! In lieu of “oversight,” the use of a dog crate meets a variety of goals. First, you get peace of mind that your dog hasn't turned in a pooch hooligan tearing through your house. And second, your dog feels more secure and will tend to rest and relax while in his crate, especially if you’ve got adequate dog pillows and beds for him to rest on.  Throw in his favorite chew toy or raw hide and your dog’s got everything he need to be happy and self entertained. Although some dog owners initially feel like they’re being cruel by keeping their dog behind bars, once they see how happy their dogs is, they realize that they are actually meeting their dog’s natural need for a den of their own. One point to remember is to make sure you have some sort of padding if your dog is going to spend a good deal of time in his dog crate by throwing in some cozy dog pillows and beds or a crate mat. If they don’t have padding, you may start to notice them developing dog calluses over time.