Dogs with separation anxiety can be a major struggle to deal with. In this guide, we’ll explain the causes of separation anxiety and go over the ways in which you could unwittingly contribute to this behavior in your pet. We’ll also introduce you to our recommendations of the best crates for dogs with separation anxiety. We’ve chosen a range of options to suit all breeds and needs, so read on to learn more about the models we’ve chosen in this category!
|AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel||23 x 15 x 13 inches||$|
|Guardian Gear ProSelect Empire Dog Cage||42.2 x 30.8 x 41.2 inches||$$|
|Collapsible, Durable Aluminum Dog Crate From Grain Valley Dog Supply||Medium (30"L x 19"W x 22"H), Large (35"L x 25"W x 29"H), XLarge (41"L x 25"W x 29"H),||$$$|
- 1 Best Crates For Dogs With Separation Anxiety (2018)
- 2 Buying Guide
Best Crates For Dogs With Separation Anxiety (2018)
This AmazonBasics kennel is far from the most rugged on the market, but it’s a good place to start with small breeds who are exhibiting signs of separation anxiety. We like it because it cuts down on visibility, which makes it easier to get pets into their own little world where they’re less likely to become aggravated and anxious. This is not something we’d recommend for any bigger breeds, though, or to smaller dogs who will try furiously to escape. We recommend it for training puppies to be more comfortable with being alone, and for smaller dogs who aren’t exhibiting the strongest symptoms. Think of it as a training aid for milder cases rather than something to lock down the most anxious, frantix dogs.
The ProSelect Empire from Guardian Gear is our recommendation to the average pet owner who has an animal with separation anxiety. It’s solid, secure, and easy to make into a cozy retreat for your dog. The steel frame can stand up to the most frantic animals, and all the key points have appropriate reinforcements. While we’ve heard some reports of quality control issues that led to weak points and escaped pooches, the vast majority of units are safe and secure. Just check yours thoroughly when you get it, so you can get a replacement if you need to. We think it’s as much as most folks need to spend unless they’re planning to travel or are handling an animal with the most extreme separation anxiety behavior.
This Grain Valley crate is our recommendation for transporting dogs with separation anxiety on a plane. It’s the only one available to the average consumer that we think is up to the challenge. This is every bit as solid as the Empire, but it’s also airline-approved and can be collapsed when you’re not using it. This is as close to foolproof as you can get, as far as escape-proofing goes. It’s extremely expensive but worth every penny if you have a dog that gets extremely distressed when separated from you.
You may want to spend more for this even if you’re not planning on flying with your pet. The decreased visibility makes it easier to get your pet feeling like they’re in their own little world than with the Empire above, which is relatively open.
Choose Sturdy Designs
It should go without saying that finding a sturdy, heavier-duty crate to use is essential for dogs with separation anxiety. When dogs feel anxious they usually try to escape, which means that thin, lightly-built crates are the last thing you want. Of course, as we explain below, you shouldn’t be relying on your crate alone. Separation anxiety is a behavioral problem and requires you to address behavioral issues rather than expecting a crate to compensate for a lack of proper training. Still, you should find a crate that’s sturdy and solid enough to cope if your pet gets anxious and tries to escape.
Minimize Visibility If Possible
A lot of owners find that keeping pets in the dark is an easy way to prevent them from feeling anxious. You don’t need to completely eliminate visibility, but avoid the wide-open wire-cage designs that give your animal a complete view of everything around them. The less they see the world around them, the less they’ll become agitated and anxious. You can also add to this by placing a blanket over the crate, though dogs can sometimes pull the blanket through gaps if they’re particularly worked up.
It’s Not All About The Crate
A lot of pet owners approach separation anxiety as an inevitable syndrome that’s inescapable. That’s not true. Some breeds are certainly more prone to developing separation anxiety, but you also need to understand that these symptoms are part of a learned behavior. The breeds that are most prone to separation anxiety are also the most love-y, cuddly, affectionate pooches. We encourage that behavior en masse, so it shouldn’t surprise us that separation anxiety becomes more common as a result. By contrast, aloof and independent dogs who aren’t ecstatic every time you come in the door are much less likely to act out when you’re gone.
You can teach any dog to become less anxious when you’re separated. Even if you don’t completely eliminate the problem, you can make a huge difference and save yourself significant headaches over the long term by investing in training and discipline up front. Know what causes separation anxiety in pets and work to improve your relationship with your animal to minimize the encouragement you’re unknowingly giving their anxious behavior. Cesar Milan’s website has some very helpful articles on this, so check them out.
There are also some things you can do with your crate to make it less of an anxious environment for your animal. Make the crate their cozy, safe space in the home. If they usually hang out on the couch with a favorite blanket, relocate the blanket to the crate. Add a bolster bed to the floor of the crate to make it more comfortable for them. The more you can make the crate into a place they like to spend time, the easier it will be to wean them off the anxious acting-out.
We hope we’ve given you a better understanding of the causes of separation anxiety, as well as the best crates to house pets who exhibit the behavior. You can learn more about any of the models we’ve recommended in this guide by clicking on the links in the reviews. That’s the best way to check current prices, see dimensions, and more. You can also visit our homepage for more resources, reviews and recommendations covering all your dog owner needs.