Do you find yourself always looking to buy a stronger, indestructible crate all the time? Is your canine companion destroying or escaping their crate each time you are away?
Well, if the answer to both of these questions is yes, you have a dog with separation anxiety on your hands, and you need more than an indestructible crate.
We review the best dog crates for separation anxiety in 2020 that will significantly help you decrease your dog’s stress whenever you go out of the door.
We compiled this list based on the quality of material, customer ratings, and other unique features.
Best Dog Crates For Separation Anxiety
Reviews of The Best Dog Crate For Separation Anxiety for 2019
#1. ProSelect Empire Dog Cage
We found Guardian Gear ProSelect Empire Dog Crate to be the most robust cage to deal with a dog with severe separation anxiety. This is the heavy-duty dog crate with the structure is constructed with 20 gauge steel tubes.
If your dog is strong enough to tear apart fabrics by his bare teeth, you should consider this model. The construction is sturdy enough with 0.5-inch steel tubes to comfortably contain an anxious dog.
The grated floor with a removable tray makes the cleaning process is effortless and quick. You can also move the crate with ease, not to mean that it’s lightweight, it comes with removable casters that are easy to remove.
The corners of the kennel have been rounded off to curb any accidental cuts. The front door has robust latches that are tough and guaranteed to keep your dog from unlocking it.
The only downside is the cage’s high price.
#2. MidWest Homes Dog Crate
If you are a parent to a feisty puppy, you’re probably wondering if he will ever grow out of separation anxiety. Well, chances are he will. However, before that happens, the Midwest Homes for Pets Dog Crate may help make life a little bearable for you and your pooch.
Dog owners with large breeds will also find this crate useful. It is spacious in size. The crate can accommodate breeds up to 90 lbs. You will find this crate to be very versatile even for small and medium breeds thanks to the divider panel.
The divider panel allows you to expand or reduce the size of your kennel as your dog grows older. The crate is also easily portable because it comes with a carrying handle.
It has additional roller feet on all corners of the crate that allow you to move the crate from one place to another easily. The crate can also be easy to fold and put away for storage.
Safety and security are paramount when it comes to your canine companion. That is why this crate is fitted with twin slide-bolt latches. The latches keep the door firmly locked even when your dog is entirely distressed.
#3. Crown Pet Products Wood Pet Crate
This wood pet crate is particularly for pet owners looking for a stylish crate that can also double-up as a furniture fixture in your house. The design is unique, and the finish is lacquered.
The construction is made of durable hardwood that is very durable. You can opt for the espresso or the mahogany finish according to your style.
The door type is a swing through that easily swings inwards or outwards, making it more convenient when you’re putting your pooch inside. The design of the crate offers 360-degree view thanks to the multiple vents all-round the crate.
The multiple vents offer maximum ventilation for your pup when inside. It is also easy to clean and maintain because the crate is made from a waterproof melamine floor. Hence the wood can’t absorb any moisture, liquids, and odors. You can easily wipe down the floor to clean it.
#4. AmazonBasics Top-Load Pet Carrier
This 2-door plastic model is also a good solution for dogs with separation anxiety. It is highly durable, allows easy access, and it is also reasonably priced.
The plastic material is robust and offers sturdy protection for when you use the crate in your car or outdoors. Plastic doesn’t break easily compared to soft fabrics, which prevents your pup from making any escape attempts.
The plastic is combined with a robust steel-wire front door. The top door happens to be the selling point because it allows you easy access to your pup. It can easily open to the right or left.
The top door also has a convenient handle that makes it easy for you to transport your dog, especially if he is a smaller breed.
Another essential feature is that the top and the bottom are separate pieces. Hence you can use this crate as a dog bed, making it very convenient and versatile.
This anti-anxiety dog crate comes with four latches and screws for convenient securing of the top and bottom parts together. You can tighten the screws based on how secure you want this kennel to be.
The only downside is that it’s only available in two small sizes.
#5. JESPET Soft Dog Crates Kennel
The JESPET 3-Door crate is available in three different sizes – large, medium, and small. You will also find it in two different colors – beige and blue. However, the best feature of this kennel is the three-door design.
One door on the front, at the top, and on the side, and all allow easy and quick access to your pooch. The doors are covered with mesh-like material which guarantees sufficient airflow when your mutt is inside.
The frame is made from a sturdy steel tube, which makes it resistant to daily wear and tear. The fabric is also made from 600D nylon. The fabric is easy to clean. It also features a comfortable fleece bed.
It is also easily collapsible, making it easy to store away. It comes with extra pockets as well as an adjustable carrying strap.
The only downside is that the hex holes on the mesh are large enough for an aggressive dog to tear the material.
Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Your Dog
Do your neighbors and family complain about your pup’s constant barking?
Whenever you leave your pooch, he will vocalize his reaction with barking. Sometimes the barking can be so loud it makes people around you uncomfortable. If your dog fits this description, he could be suffering from separation anxiety.
Pacing or Shaking
An unsettled dog tends to pace back and forth. Like in humans, anxiety can trigger that effect on dogs. When in distress, your dog may start to shake or tremble as a natural response from the body.
Panting and Drooling
Excessive panting and drooling is also a sign of stress. Do you find your dog’s fur wet with saliva when you come back? Alternatively, puddles of drool or water on the floor? This could be a sign that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety.
If you find yourself continually replacing household items and beddings or buying new crates, it could be a clear sign of separation anxiety. If you have a destructive dog on your hands, you should also consider getting a heavy duty dog crate.
Your dog might be chewing, biting, or clawing at himself when you are away.
Disinterest in Food or Treats
Do you find your pup’s favorite treats the same place you left them for him?
The last thing on your mind is food when you are feeling anxious about a significant event or test, and your dog goes through the same motions as well. When he is anxious about you leaving, he feels the same way and doesn’t touch the foods or treats.
Soiling the House
How many times have you had to come back to a soiled living room? Well, urination or defecation is also a symptom of anxiety.
If your dog spends time licking his paws or floor of the crate while you are away, it might be a sign of stress. You might notice that your pup’s fur is dried in little triangles or the paws are wet, which is a sign of over-grooming.
You need to pay attention to signs of stress in your dog carefully. Body languages such as lip licking, pursed lips, stiff body, lowering head and neck, averting eye contact, trying to hide, and other signs, that’s how your dog is trying to communicate with you.
Separation Anxiety Lookalikes You Shouldn’t Ignore
Sometimes, we assume that the pooch is suffering from separation anxiety without further analyzing the signs and symptoms. These are some of the lookalikes you shouldn’t ignore.
Improper dog training can look a lot like separation anxiety. If your neighbors keep complaining that your dog excessively barks while you are away, then it could be a symptom of distress caused by isolation distress or separation anxiety.
Alternatively, it could be your dog simply reacting to sounds he hears outside, which could be fixed with training or management.
Separation anxiety manifests itself in several ways. To figure out which is which, film your pup while you are gone. You could use a remote camera system for this.
If your dog sleeps the majority of the time you are away, he is not suffering from separation anxiety.
The symptoms mentioned above of separation also look a lot like signs of medical issues. For instance, if your pooch suddenly starts soiling the house while you are away, it could be a medical issue like a urinary tract infection.
UTI can cause your pup to soil and so before you rule this sign out as a symptom of separation anxiety, consider having him checked by a vet.
How to Help a Dog With Separation Anxiety
To get your pooch used to being left alone, practice leaving him for tolerable periods while pairing it with something your pooch loves.
You can start this off with just leaving the room for a while, then slowly increase the amount of time you’re away. However, make you never let your pup rise above his tolerance level.
Studies have shown that doing this one thing can help your pooch with separation anxiety. Systematically increasing the time you leave him alone could be the essential element treatment of his separation anxiety.
Pharmaceuticals offer lots of options for treating anxiety in dogs. The most common medicines for treating separation anxiety is Clomipramine. Separation anxiety medication will help your dog remain below his tolerance level while you look for a permanent treatment plan.
However, for treatments like Clomipramine, a study by King et al. (2000) showed that it works better alongside training with the best crate for a dog with separation anxiety. Hence, always make sure that any medication you put your pooch on is in conjunction with a training program.
Important: Always consult your vet to determine the medication that is right for your canine companion.
Remote Treat Dispenser
As you begin to increase the period of your absence, a remote treat dispenser can serve as a helpful tool. Begin with a highly releasing the treats and then slowing decrease the time interval the treats are released.
When your pooch gets used to the release of low rate treats, increase the amount of time you are away and also increase the treat-release rate.
Desensitize Your Pet to Departure Cues
Your pet has probably studied and mastered some of your departure cues. These cues could be anything from putting on your coat, grabbing your keys, or just your morning shower.
Trying to change these cues up can help reduce his separation anxiety because you become less predictable. Work on desensitizing these departure cues.
For instance, when you pick up your keys, sit down, and watch some TV. When you put on your coat, fold laundry. When you put on your shoes, make dinner.
Exercise will help your dog disperse excess energy. However, even though it can help, it won’t necessarily fix your pet’s separation anxiety.
If all the above methods don’t help, it might be time for you to consider other alternatives if you can’t leave your dog alone beyond their tolerance.
For example, if your dog enjoys being social with other dogs, you might consider a daycare. Or if your dog doesn’t like being left alone, ask a friend or family member to watch him while you are away.
What to Look For When Buying The Best Dog Crate For Separation Anxiety
If you have to leave your dog alone for an extended period of time, you need to use a crate that is highly secure and can easily contain your canine companion without any issues.
If your pooch is mildly anxious, a soft-sided model may be the most desirable option. However, if you are a parent to a nervous 80-pound dog, you may have to consider an indestructible crate.
In general, the best dog crate must offer your dog ultimate security and safety.
No chewable sections
When your pooch is an anxious dog, chances are, he chews on whatever is near him. In this case, select a crate that is resistant to chewing.
Opt for cave-like crates
Cave-like crates are conventional, however, it is crucial to remember that dogs are naturally denning animals. Hence, a cave-like crate that is more secluded and darker may offer relief for your dog’s stress and anxiety. However, make sure that the crate has enough ventilation.
When it comes to security, a crate that’s larger than your dog threatens that. This is because your dog feels exposed in a crate larger than him, making him anxious.
Make sure you always measure your pooch’s length and height before buying a new calming dog crate. The model should allow your dog to stand up, lie down, and turn around with ease. It should offer sufficient comfort.
Frequently Asked Questions
Separation anxiety can look like a medical issue, isolation distress, or even improper training. However, isolation distress and separation anxiety are two different concepts.
Real separation anxiety occurs when separated your pooch from a specific person while isolation distress occurs when he is left alone.
Yes. Puzzle toys can help dogs who spend most of the day alone with separation anxiety. Mental stimulation is always a great idea for every puppy, whether you are home or not.
However, if your dog’s anxiety is severe, he may not be interested in puzzle toys in your absence. If you intend to leave your dog to puzzle toys, do it about fifteen minutes before your departure, not when you are walking out of the door.
Make a habit of also giving your dog puzzle toys even when you don’t intend to leave. The last thing you need is your mutt to associate a stuffed Kong with you leaving.
The best dog crate for separation anxiety largely depends on your dog, more than anything else. In this case, we find the Guardian Gear ProSelect Empire Dog Cage to be the best option for managing your dog’s separation anxiety.
All these models are excellent in their ways, and you should consider either one of them into your anti-anxiety plan for your pet. With the right calming crate, and your love and patience, your dog is bound to overcome separation anxiety eventually.