So you’ve tried many methods and now decide to have a go at using the best dog crate for separation anxiety. You’ve heard it’s a very effective means of calming and easing dogs that suffer separation anxiety. That’s good, and it’s worth a shot, so you decide to get the best dog crate for this separation anxiety. Since the aim is to make sure your dog is completely cured of his affliction, why settle for anything less than the best?
A dog is a man’s best friend, and this statement couldn’t be truer. Dogs are by nature very social animals. More people keep them as pets than for security or any other purpose. They easily bond with people; becoming worried and anxious if they are pulled apart by someone they love. Once a dog likes you, nothing short of causing him pain can ever make him hate or leave you. Such a strong bond might be a good thing for you, but it can be a bad thing for your dog.
Separation Anxiety is a psychological disorder where excessive fear stems from separation from an attachment figure or home. This applies to both people and dogs. When a dog becomes truly fond of an individual, he can exhibit disruptive behaviors the moment the individual leaves his presence. In other words, if a dog is left alone in a house, he can do things he normally wouldn’t do in the presence of his owner.
One might argue dogs that are not properly trained can indulge in such destructive acts, but that is not always the case. Sometimes, even the best-trained dogs can resort to causing havoc when they are left alone. The fault lies not in their training but their feelings.
Table of Contents
- Signs of Separation Anxiety in Dogs
- What Leads to Separation Anxiety in Dogs?
- Dog Breeds That Suffer Separation Anxiety the Most
- Curing Separation Anxiety in Dogs: Tried and True Solutions
- Products from Amazon.com
- Products from Amazon.com
- Features to Be Considered When Buying Dog Crates for Separation Anxiety
- Knowing How to Choose the Right Dog Crate Size
- Major Advantages of Owning a Dog Crate
- The 9 Most Suitable and Best Crates for Dogs With Separation Anxiety
- AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier
- AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel
- Petmate Compass Plastic Pets Kennel with Chrome Door
- Petnation Port-A-Crate E2 Indoor/Outdoor Pet Home
- ProSelect Empire Dog Cage
- 2PET Foldable Dog Crate
- Silverlake Dog Cage Crate Kennel
- MidWest iCrate Single Door & Double Door Folding Metal Dog Crates
- Products from Amazon.com
Signs of Separation Anxiety in Dogs
If a dog exhibits only a few of these symptoms, there shouldn’t be any need for worry because that might just be typical canine behavior. If on the other hand he has multiple episodes of them, it is probable he is suffering from separation anxiety. More than that, the dog can even pick up on his owner’s emotions and reflect on them.
Darlene Arden, the author of many pet-themed books including The Angell Memorial Animal Hospital Book of Wellness and Preventive Care for Dogs says this: “You will see signs often in conjunction with each other. It is important you remain calm. If you’re anxious, your dog will notice and pick it up.”
Urinating and Defecating
Dogs under stress and anxiety often soil the carpets at home when left alone. This has little to do inept home training; that will only be a factor if the dog still urinates in the presence of his owner.
It’s one thing for a dog to defecate but when a dog starts eating his own feces, then you know things have escalated to a whole new level. Dogs can consume all their excrement if they miss their owners.
Dogs can even exhibit similar behavioral patterns to their owners. Humans pace back and forth when they are anxious; for example, a father outside a delivery room in a hospital. Dogs also pace back and forth when their anxiety gets the best of them.
Dogs can be quite perceptive. Some of these smarter-than-average dogs notice even slight cues that could mean their owners’ departure from the house. Dogs can show their displeasure in emphatic ways like biting and pulling on their owners’ clothes in an effort to keep them from leaving.
Barks and Howls
When a dog constantly yaps when his owner is away, chances are he is a victim of separation anxiety. These howls can be so loud they disturb the peace of the neighborhood, which of course means disgruntled neighbours.
Imagine coming home and seeing your favorite shirt shredded to infinite pieces; or maybe seeing bite marks riddled all over your chairs and window sills; or even gouges on the dinner table. Dogs don’t cause havoc because they want to be stubborn; quite the opposite, in fact. They chew and bite through household items because when they are lonely and upset, chewing calms them and makes their predicament more bearable. The way a man interacts with the world using his limbs is the way a dog interacts with the world using his mouth.
When all else fails and a dog is fed up, he is only left with one option: Escape. A dog might attempt to escape his ‘prison’ by pawing at the doors or windows. He might even try to chew his way to freedom. The trouble with this is the risk of injury it poses. These attempts might lead to bloodied paws, cuts, scrapes, and broken teeth and nails.
What Leads to Separation Anxiety in Dogs?
There is no definite and conclusive evidence that outline the reason dogs develop separation anxiety. Research has recorded a higher percentage of separation anxiety in dogs rescued from shelters than those raised by families. This means it’s probable dogs that have lost their homes or important people in their lives suffer this condition more. Conversely, it’s unclear if those dogs ended up in the shelters in the first place because their owners abandoned them there. Perhaps those owners couldn’t cope with the separation anxiety the dogs suffer. Having said that, this affliction may be caused by a number of things.
Change of Owners
When dogs are surrendered or abandoned at pet shelters, they tend to develop separation anxiety. The dogs have already grown very attached to the owners abandoning them so suddenly being dumped in an unknown place with unknown faces ends up being a traumatic experience for them. Even when they are adopted by new owners, it takes a considerate amount of time before they get over their past experiences.
Change of Environment
A dog can suffer behavioral problems even when he is still cared for by the family who raised him from puppyhood. This time, the problem arises from the move to unfamiliar territory. If a family moves to a new city or neighborhood far from where they previously lived, the change in scenery might prove more adverse than exciting for the dog. The new house or residence will have strange sounds and smells; there will be unfamiliar faces having unfamiliar scents walking everywhere. These can instigate separation anxiety.
Change in Schedule
Sometimes, when a dog has been conditioned to particular activities at a particular time, a sudden change in these two things might confuse and upset him. If a dog is used to seeing his owner at home from morning till night and then something happens that forces that owner to spend more hours away from home, this change might trigger separation anxiety.
Change in Family or Household Membership
As surprising as this may sound, dogs can mourn a loved one as much as-if not more than-humans do. If a family member dies, a dog is saddened just as the other members are. Likewise, the absence of a family member can evoke feelings or loss in the dogs, which in turn results in separation anxiety.
Dog Breeds That Suffer Separation Anxiety the Most
One question that should be asked is this: Does this apply to all breeds of dogs? Yes, every breed is susceptible to this condition, but there are some breeds who are more prone to it than others. Such dogs are known to be ‘people pleasers’ because they bond with humans more than all other breeds. They find it almost intolerable to be away from their owners or human companions.
- Labrador Retrievers
- Golden Retrievers
- Cocker Spaniels
- Border Collies
- Bichon Frises
Another question that should be asked is this: Can dogs of all ages fall prey to this disorder? Again, the answer is yes. Puppies in particular suffer it a lot. Reasons have been outlined for this but the most accepted one stems from how puppies are accustomed to constant relationship between them and their owners. Puppies can be cured of separation anxiety but they do not grow out of it, exactly. Even as adult dogs, if they are still subjected to treatment that that leaves them feeling neglected and unappreciated, separation anxiety can persist in them.
Curing Separation Anxiety in Dogs: Tried and True Solutions
As difficult as it might be to curtail the effects of separation anxiety, it is not an impossible task. There are numerous ways to help a dog with separation anxiety. The disorder itself can be broken into mild and moderate to severe cases. Either way, there are options to choose from. What might work for one dog might not be as effective for another, but there are many tried and tested solutions to experiment with.
This is a very potent way to cure a dog of his affliction, though there are no definite means to cure separation anxiety. Counter-conditioning is simply a treatment that changes fear of joy in animals. In more detailed terms, if an animal is afraid or aggressive towards something, counter-conditioning takes that fear and changes it into something pleasant that brings joy to the animal.
This is normally achieved by associating the sight of something fearful with a sight of something pleasant. As time goes on, the animal would understand anything he fears actually entails good things.
An activity as simple as exercise can go a long way in helping your dog deal with issues of loneliness. How? The vigorous activity wears them out so they end up being too tired to worry about loneliness. Simple. More than that though, endorphins are secreted into their brains when they’re chasing after a ball or racing with you. This brings as much fun as it fills them with energy.
Keeping the Dog Occupied
As the saying goes, an idle mind is the devil’s playground; dogs are not absolved of this too. Keeping dogs occupied prevents them from getting into mischief. It is a less rigorous solution than exercise but it is just as effective too. We play games or solve puzzles to keep us entrained and drive boredom away, and the same should be done for dogs. There is a host of companies that manufacture toys and puzzles meant for dogs.
A favorite among both dogs and owners is the “KONG CLASSIC.” This is a very durable rubber toy that the dog can nibble and chew on for hours. To make it more enticing, the toy has a slot where snacks and treats can be stuffed into, all for the dog’s pleasure.
This might seem like it would counter-productive to what is desired, but not so. Showing your dog too much attention will negate any other thing you’re trying to do curtail separation anxiety. Remember, the point is to help your dog deal with loneliness, so that means you should be seen less and your presence felt less. If you leave your dog and then show him, excess love, when you return, you are essentially encouraging him to keep feeling lonely; because the dog will think anytime he exhibits such behavior, you will show him more love.
Get the Dog a Playmate
This should be obvious as another dog in the house will do away with any and all instances of loneliness. This is one of the more effective ways on how to stop separation anxiety in puppies. The only thing that should be watched out for is whether the two dogs get along or cohabit with each other. If they end up fighting instead of playing, then you’re worse off than when you started.
A dog’s nose is his most powerful asset, and giving him objects or items that retain your scent can clam him more than you can imagine. This might seem like an unconventional way to deal with separation anxiety, but research has proven it works.
Dogs can take cognizance of all your movements and interpret them accurately. If you grab your car keys, it means you’re going out. If you pick up your backpack, it means you’re going to school. These spark separation anxiety, so how can they be dealt with?
For one, you can desensitize the dog by mixing up your usual routines and confusing him. Pick up your car keys but don’t go out; change the spots where you normally keep the keys; leave the house through different doors. If the dog can associate a recurrent action with you leaving, there is less risk he will know when you are about to leave him.
That’s right, music. This is another unconventional way to deal with separation anxiety, but studies have shown that soothing music calms dogs as it does humans. Dogs have been known to prefer sounds and music that have slower rhythms and simpler melodies.
Crating a dog with separation anxiety is another effective solution. The crate can double as a mini-house for your dog. It can be where he recedes into when you’re not around or when he wants to be alone, but you have to teach him to accept the crate first. Your dog has to be made to understand the crate is a safe and fun place. This training is something that must be started quite early in the dog’s life.
Ways to make the crate enticing to the dog is by feeding him while he is inside and placing his toys and treats in it.
Features to Be Considered When Buying Dog Crates for Separation Anxiety
- The crate must look and feel comforting, so any crates that bear a striking resemblance to cages are out of the question. In other words, no metal crates. Plastic ones with ventilation holes should suffice just fine.
- It is inadvisable to get wooden crates because the dog can probably shew through those too. Hard, plastic crates are the better choice.
- Size does matter, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the crates have to be big. Too small a size and you risk cramping the dog; too large a size and the feeling of security is no more.
- It would be best if the crate is built in a way that allows for proper disposal of any mess the dog might make. Again, plastic crates should be highlighted here as cleaning them is easy.
Knowing How to Choose the Right Dog Crate Size
It is necessary to measure the dog from nose to tail and from the top of his head to the floor. Doing this will determine what size of the crate should be gotten. Ideally, there should be enough room for the dog to stand on his hind legs, turn around and also lie down. More than that, if the crate is intended for longtime to use, then the size of the dog as he grows up should be a factor to consider before purchase. Some research into the adult size of the dog will be thus necessary.
Major Advantages of Owning a Dog Crate
A crate keeps the dog in check and under control. Whenever you don’t want his attention, or you don’t want him interfering in what you’re doing, a crate is the best way to keep him away. You get to focus on your business, and he focuses on his.
Crates are as portable as they are necessary. With a small crate, you can carry your dog where you go as you would a bag. If it’s a drive short drive somewhere, he’s right beside you barking happily. If you’re going on vacation, he’s right there because many airlines now approve crates.
Most important of all, a crate keeps your dog safe. The best crate for a dog with separation anxiety is the safest one. All else comes second to that. The care should be placed in a quiet place that can help the dog further relax when he needs to rest.
The 9 Most Suitable and Best Crates for Dogs With Separation Anxiety
Even though leaving your dog alone is part of his training to deal with separation anxiety, sometimes it’s best you take him along wherever you go; even if it means going on vacation because nothing can make your happy as you do. The only trouble is this: Moving around with a dog is not as simple as it sounds. If you’re in car, train, boat or plane, you have to ensure your dog is safe; and you have to consider how you’re going to carry him around. A pet carrier can easily solve these problems.
It’s very possible to forget you’re not carrying a bag because this carrier looks and feels like one, which is an bonus. It packs many more features though. For one, your dog’s safety is of utmost importance, and the straps included in the carrier can double as a seatbelt for when you’re driving around with him.
If you’re on a plane, there’s no need for your dog to be far away from you. He does not need to travel in the cargo hold like some luggage. All you have to do is look under your seat, and he’ll be right there because the carrier comes with spring wireframe that conforms to the under-seat dimensions most airlines.
Looking for an easy way to let your pup out? You have three options: The top opening, the front opening or the back opening. What’s more, even if the carrier is kept a little distance away from you, your dog will still be able to see you because of the mesh ventilation on all sides of the carrier.
Dogs need comfort as you do and this carrier comes with a fleeced pet bed to make sure your dog is relaxed as much as you do. Hygiene is not traded for comfort too because the bed is machine-washable.
More important than all these things is your presence. As comfortable and safe this carrier is, you endeavor to be as close to your dog as possible. If he can smell you and know you’re not far, he is eased, and he feels safe; the carrier just doubles these feelings for him.
It is lighter than other carriers made of hard plastic.
The fleece is soft and machine-washable.
It is affordable, and quality is traded for the price.
× The top opening is not as big as the other two on the front and back, so getting a bigger dog in the carrier through it can be a bother.
× The specifications say the carrier is suitable for pets that weigh 22 lbs but this is not entirely accurate. Dogs that weigh that much can be large enough to feel cramped in it.
× The claps that come with the carrier can be sued as a leash for a dog but it’s too short, meaning there is a risk it can choke the dog if tied to him.
If you’re looking for something simple but very functional, this crate is worth checking out. It’s made of hard plastic which just means more security for your dog. And if your loveable pet is the shy type, then he can be screened from unwanted eyes because the crate is covered on all sides with only two openings. For dogs that grow anxious when in the presence of too many people, this crate can hide and help them relax until they grow accustomed to what’s around them. And there’s no need to worry about the breathing room because the crate is spacious enough at 23 inches, and its ventilation holes make it look stylish because of the wavy patterns they make.
Carrying your dog around is as easy as opening the top or front door of the crate. It is hassle-free and poses little risk of injury to the dog, unlike most metal crates in the same line of products.
The durable plastic means neither you nor your dog needs worry about safety.
The crate comes with a heavy-duty design so even looking at it gives you a sense of relief and satisfaction that your dog is safe and secure.
A feature that your dog will like more than anyone else is how the top of the crate is removable. It has fasteners that can be pulled away and the top itself taken off to make the bottom a bed, so your dog can have a place to sleep and rest just like he does at home. Think of it as a mobile bed. Even better, only four latches keep the top of the crate fixed to the bottom, but screws are included to make them more secure. This is for the very careful owner who is still not satisfied with what’s provided.
The multiple means of entrance or exit makes it easy for the dog to enter or leave.
The screws that are included are for added security.
The hard plastic means more security, and dogs can’t chew through it like they can do wooden crates.
× The top door comes with fasteners that aren’t as safe as they could be, meaning the top door can open even when not intended.
× The plastic may be hard, but it’s very susceptible to heat, so can melt if kept near things like a heat vent.
× The care comes in only two sizes, and both sizes are small, so not suitable for larger dogs.
What is one of the best ways to know quality? When something has persisted for a very long time and is still patronized. This crate falls under this category. The makers have had over fifty years of experience in manufacturing crates for dogs; that’s over fifty years of ensuring safety and comfort for dogs. This is a very telling number.
What you see with this crate is what you get. It is riddled with ventilation holes to keep you dog cool and freshened. Your dog can hide in it when he wants to be alone, then come out when he feels more confident of his surroundings. The crate does what its meant to do.
It was made to be compatible with car and airline travel, so there’s no worry about how to transport your dog between places.
Perhaps most attractive of its features is how easily it can be assembled. Tools are unnecessary because It comes with a “Slide N Snap” assembly that simply requires you to push and slide parts into each other. The speed this can be done with is convenient for owners and the impatient dog who loves being in a crate all the time.
They are large but still small enough to fit into the trunks of most cars.
The latches on the door are strong enough to keep the dog from opening it.
It’s made of materials that make it light and comfortable to carry.
× Some dogs can chew through the plastic because it’s not as hard as the plastic used in making other heavy-duty crates.
× It is quite expensive compared to other crates.
× It cannot size larger dos despite how big it is.
This crate is one of those rare ones that manage to balance beauty with functionality. It is perfect for a fashion-conscious and protective owner. Why? Because it doubles as a dog crate and lovely table. It can beautify any home, and since it functions as a crate, it means your dog will never be far away from you. Whether the living room, dining room or kitchen, this crate can be placed anywhere; meaning your dog can be everywhere too. This is especially important if your dog is in the early stages of being trained to deal with separation anxiety because you can monitor him until he learns how to cope with it.
The wooden design is sleek and shows exquisite craftsmanship. Some might not even realize it’s a crate because it simply looks like a stylized table.
This beauty also comes with strength because the crate is sturdy.
The vents make ventilation a breeze (pun intended), and they also enable a 360-degree view, so the dog never has to be worry he is alone. He can always see you just as you can see him.
The door easily swings open and close with a side stopper to keep it in place when it’s closed.
This crate saves space because it can serve as a table and a crate. There is no need to purchase a separate table and a crate that will occupy more space in your house.
Enables personal items such as cups and plates to be placed atop it.
The wood used in making it is as durable as it is beautiful
× Because of its craftsmanship and the fact it serves a dual-purpose, it is expensive.
× Dogs can chew through the wood especially if something or someone makes them nervous.
× It is immobile and too large to be carried around so not suited for traveling with your dog.
The first thing that comes to mind when you see this crate is this: A tent for dogs. It bears a striking resemblance to a tent, and fortunately, it also serves much the same functions as one. In other words, it is a comfortable and cozy shelter for your dog.
Just like how you a tent is portable, so is this crate. Unlike other crates, this was manufactured to withstand indoor as well as outdoor conditions because of the heavy-duty fabric it’s made of. It’s a great way to take your dog on picnics and showing him what nature looks like.
If your dog is still insecure, no problem. He can recede into the crate until the anxiety and fear leave him. As long as he is inside, he will remain safe because the crate has a steel frame beneath the fabric for added strength and durability.
The door at the top and the other at front mean easy access and exit for your dog. All you need do is zip them open or close.
Ventilation is also taken care of as the mesh windows allow enough airflow.
Just like a tent, this crate can be rolled up for easy transport, and cleaning them has never been easier. Any mess the dog makes can be washed and rinsed off because the fabric is water-resistant. For thorough cleaning, the fabric can be pulled off the steel frame and washed.
Of course, safety comes before everything else, and this crate is manufactured with non-toxic and lightweight materials that are safe for both you and your dog.
Very easy to clean.
Made of non-toxic materials to ensure a safe shelter.
Comes in numerous sizes.
× Very enthusiastic dogs can shew through the fabric.
× The zipper can be chewed off by dogs.
× It won’t be affordable for some people.
This is a no-nonsense heavy-duty crate that is reinforced with steel tubes and 20-gauge steel. It was built to be more strong than aesthetic. The crate disregards beauty and focuses and security so that it might be too hard on the eyes for some dog owners.
If you have a large dog that suffers from separation anxiety, then this crate is strong enough to keep him safe. It’s also strong enough to make certain he cannot chew through it and escape, but it lacks comfort and looks more like a cage than a home; this is something that won’t sit well with some owners and their dogs too.
Cleaning it and cleaning up any mess made by the dog is easy because of the grated floor with a tray.
Extremely strong and secure.
Very large for very large dogs.
Easy to clean.
× Very expensive so beyond the reach of most people.
× The steel build means a dog can injure himself if he panics.
× It looks very plain and is unappealing.
Here is a crate that serves multiple functions and offers just one extra more other crates do not. Forts of all, buying it means you can help in taking care of dogs and animals that are not even yours. How? A percentage of the sales is donated to pet shelters and charities, so buying one of these is just one more way you can help dogs in need. A point to remember is these shelters mostly take care of dogs suffering from separation anxiety.
Its other purposes range from being suitable for both indoor and outdoor usage and traveling too. This crate can be carried as easily as you would a bag.
Despite its soft look, the crate comes with a strong steel frame under its lightweight fabric.
Cleaning it is very convenient too since all that needs to be done is to remove the nylon fabric and wash it-either with a machine or a simple brush.
The mesh panel windows allow for great ventilation, so your dog is never left feeling stuffy or cramped.
The fabric is machine-washable.
Comes in numerous sizes and colors.
Comes with a full year warranty.
× The crate only suitable for dogs under 70 lbs.
× It can be flimsy and doesn’t stay upright for too long.
× Dogs can chew through the mesh.
This is one of those few crates that was built to cater to many dog breeds, regardless of their size. It has a heavy-duty steel frame that promises safety and security even from afar.
Because the crate is not covered, it means the anxious dog will always get a view of his owner, further calming him.
The composite plastic tray it comes with makes clean up easy and stress-free.
As large as it is, it is also mobile because it comes with four wheels, so it’s great for the dog too tired or sick to move around.
The steel build makes it very durable.
It doesn’t take much effort to clean it.
It caters to dozens of dog breeds
× It can injure the dog because it’s entirely made of steel.
× It lacks comfort.
× It’s not suitable for a dog who doesn’t want attention.
Here is a crate that is as spacious as it is comfortable. Unlike other crates made of, dog owners all over have rated and reviewed this crate as fulfilling their needs and their dogs’ needs. The multiple sizes it comes in means it can be suitable for any and all dogs undergoing training on how to cope with separation anxiety. If you adopt a dog from a shelter, this crate’s design is simple but well enough to keep the dog within your sight.
The two metal doors it comes in give more option for the dog to enter or leave, and the width and height means a dog can comfortably stand in the crate or even move around.
The crate is secure too because the two slide-bolt latches keep the door firmly shut.
This crate’s best-selling feature is how it is foldable. This makes disassembling, transporting and reassembling it very easy.
The edges are rounded too, meaning there are no sharp points that can pose a risk of injury to your dog.
Easy assembly and disassembly.
No need for tools when assembling it.
It is very portable and convenient for storage.
× Doesn’t provide much protection against cold weather.
× The metal is not as strong as steel, so large and powerful dogs can still dent it.
× Lacks a top opening.
Wrapping it Up:
In the end, choosing the best crate for a dog with separation anxiety depends on the dog more than anything else. Dogs have different personalities, and even if you find the perfect crate, the dog might not like it. This is no way lessens the effect of separation anxiety.
You have to slowly teach your dog his crate is not just a box or square cage. The dog needs to be taught safety and comfort lie in his crate. Put treats for him in there so he can walk in by his own will and eat them. NEVER force him into the crate. Doing that will negate everything else you’re trying to do. Scatter his favorite toys in there too, so he knows entering the crate means fun and games. In time, the dog will understand how a haven the crate can be for him. It’s a place he will recede into when he wants to relax or be alone. Even without the treats or toys, he will gladly walk in there and remain in it for as long as he likes.
Owners should take time to understand their pets and know what makes them most comfortable. Doing that will make choosing the best crate for their dogs an easy and economical affair. Understanding everything about a loveable dog takes patience, care, love, and understanding; but the result will prove the time and effort invested were well worth it.