Best Dog Crate for Separation Anxiety – A Puppy Owner’s Guide

Is your puppy experiencing separation anxiety? Your furry little buddy can be so attached to you that he starts to feel awfully sad whenever you leave for work. The small doggo would be heartsick, others would just wallow in loneliness while some pups vent their frustration to anything that’s worth chewing. When destructive behavior starts to take over, it’s time for you to get the best dog crate for separation anxiety.

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Dogs are pack animals; therefore, they have an insatiable need for company. Once they formed a bond with their owners, they’d never like to be separated. As the alpha, your little pooch looks up to you for security. When you leave, they feel helpless which results in a host of other problems – chewing, excessive barking, restlessness, and so on.

So what do you have to do? Here’s a quick guide:

What’s separation anxiety in puppies?

Both adult dogs and puppies can experience separation anxiety. It results in extreme stress and other behavioral problems that many owners often misread. Just imagine a child begging you not to go to work. It’s a heart-wrenching situation, right? The same goes for dogs but the difference is they can’t talk.

The sad truth about this condition is that pup owners think of it as an unfixable behavioral problem. They get rid of their puppies due to the property damages or complaints from the neighbors. This actually makes the situation worse for the puppies. When they got a new home, they will have a heightened level of stress when their hooman leaves. Until someone decides to break the spell through training, the doggo will suffer.

Separation anxiety isn’t just about your dog acting out. This is a real and serious condition that causes legitimate stress. It’s not the same with boredom or intentional destruction.

However, some puppies can fake separation anxiety. Are you the type who exaggerates your goodbyes every morning? There’s a chance that your pup is just exploiting this to get more hugs, kisses, and treats. Since you’re paying a lot of attention before you leave, they will act like they’re under stress.

On the other hand, genuine separation anxiety continuous to linger even after you arrive. This will put your pup in constant worry and stress. It’s important to know how to stop puppy separation anxiety.

What causes separation anxiety among puppies?

For shelter dogs, the leading cause of separation anxiety is the trauma they’d experienced from their previous owners. If they’d been sent to a shelter due to separation anxiety, the problem would be much worse.

But in the case of other pups, losing someone or breed issues can be at play. Smaller dogs tend to be used to having physical company. If the person leaves, they’d be under intense stress. You will need the best dog crate for separation anxiety in this case.

People-oriented dog breeds are prone to separation anxiety.

If your pup doesn’t fall into any of these conditions, you probably need to assess the recent changes in your household. Did you just move to a new house? Did you change your schedule? Has someone left for college? These major changes can impact your puppy’s emotional state.

Some dog owners think that puppies are too young to develop such deep attachment. Take note, though, that bigger breeds age slowly, therefore, they stay as puppies for a long time. This is enough for them to get used to your household’s setup and which people are always present. It helps to get the best dog crate for separation anxiety.

Symptoms of separation anxiety

But how will you know if it’s real separation anxiety? Some pups can fake it, but the symptoms will never lie:

➕ Destructive chewing

Dogs express their feelings through chewing. When they are happy or playful, they mouth things. When they are sad, they chew anything. One of the typical signs of separation anxiety is destructive chewing. If your dog keeps on whimpering before you leave, he’s probably experiencing anxiety. A shredded sofa or carpet will confirm this once you arrive home.

➕ Constant vocalization

Does your pup give the weirdest and loudest vocalization when you’re leaving? If your neighbors also complain about the hollering, it’s possible that your pooch is experiencing separation anxiety. However, it’s best to check their behavior before jumping to a premature diagnosis. Some puppy breeds are just fond of showing off their vocal chops – take it from a Beagle owner, my friend.

➕ Too much pacing

Humans tend to pace back and forth when they are nervous. This is also the same thing for puppies. If they seem to retrace their tracks over and over again, it’s a sign that he’s trying to release the negative energy. And how can you check this? Install a camera at home and figure out how to stop puppy separation anxiety. After that, start using the best dog crate for separation anxiety.

➕ Eliminating indoors

If your puppy is trained to housebreak or hold until a specific schedule, it should come as a surprise when he eliminates indoors. Even a relaxed pup can have problematic bladder control when they become nervous. When you see accidents once you get home, you should find ways to deal with it.

➕ Panicking

If your puppy throws a fit when you approach the door, he’s probably trying to stop you. Some pups would even bite their owner’s shoe or block the door. If the pup constantly tries to shadow your movements, your little buddy is experiencing intense stress. You should start using the best dog crate for separation anxiety.

Is your puppy’s breed prone to separation anxiety?

All puppies can develop separation anxiety depending on the environment he’s exposed to. But some breeds are more prone to this condition due to their intense need for companionship. Some of these breeds are Poodles, Labrador Retrievers, Rottweilers, and Golden Retrievers.

Meanwhile, there are also breeds that tend to be more independent. The likes of Basset Hounds, English Bulldogs, Chow Chows, and Shibas can make use of some alone time. Still, it doesn’t mean that these doggos can’t experience emotional stress from time to time. It all depends on the upbringing and attachment to the owner.

How to stop puppy separation anxiety?

Separation anxiety can be classified as both a behavioral and emotional problem among dogs. With proper training and approach, your pup will learn how to compartmentalize the emotion. Also, it’s a matter of tricking their minds. Here’s what you can do:

➕ Don’t make a big deal of goodbyes

Each day, you leave the house to go to work. It’s a typical practice. So why make a big deal when saying goodbye to your pooch? When you throw tons of petting before you leave, your dog will think of it as a reward for the nervous behavior. In short, making a big deal of daily goodbyes just feeds the separation anxiety.

When leaving and arriving, just be casual about it. Walk past your dog. If he starts to be overexcited, fight the urge to pet him. Wait until he calms down to prevent yourself from reinforcing the improper behavior.

➕ Make your dog tired

If your puppy is tired, he will have less energy to bark, pace, or stress out. Take him to a short walk in the morning. Aside from the feel-good endorphins, your pup will also be sleepy once you’re away.

➕ Mix up your routines

I understand that we, hoomans, are habitual beings. We tend to be on ‘autopilot’ mode every morning, relying on our hard-wired routines. However, our pups can also detect this succession of movements. So when they hear the car keys jangling, they will bolt into the door.

With this, you may want to mix things up. Pick your jacket and keys in different moments and exit in different doors. This way, your puppy won’t know when and how you left.

➕ Perform crate training

Puppies that both came from shelters and shops are den animals. They feel safer when confined to a smaller space. If done well, crate training should arrest separation anxiety. Aside from making a safe zone for the pooch, he also doesn’t see you leaving the house.

What to look for a puppy crate

When purchasing a puppy crate, it’s important to consider some important points. Here are some that I personally recommend:

➕ The darker, the better

The goal of using the best dog crate for separation anxiety is to keep the puppy calm. A cave-like crate, not cage-like, would be excellent in providing the sense of security. Make sure that there’s still enough ventilation to keep the pup comfortable.

➕ It shouldn’t be chewed

When purchasing a crate, make sure that no parts can be chewed or swallowed. Your pup can get bored inside, thus the possible chewing. Some puppies can also get separation anxiety attacks while on the cage.

➕ Don’t always go for the bigger option

Sometimes, pup owners think that going big with the kennel is the most comfortable option for the pup. However, a very massive crate can defeat its purposes. It will make the pup feel exposed and equally unsafe as how they are outside their cave. Choose the best dog crate for separation anxiety where your dog can sit, lie down, and turn. Don’t go beyond that.

Puppy crates to soothe separation anxiety

Midwest Home for Pets Dog Crate

best dog crate for separation anxietyIf you want a crate that can double as a cage, I recommend that you get the Midwest Home for Pets crate. Its metal cage construction has a Teflon fabric cover to make it feel like a safe den. This has a large accessible door so you can let your pup in easily. This is helpful on how to stop puppy separation anxiety.

The flap cover on the door part can be rolled up to allow your dog some freedom. You can also seal it if that will pacify your pooch even more. This fabric is machine-washable for easy cleaning in case there are horrible accidents inside the crate.

Take note that this crate only comes with a solid plastic pan and no rug at the surface. You can always place a folded towel inside.

This crate is excellent in providing privacy and the feeling of safety both for pups and adult dogs. Make sure that you get the right crate since this one has a wide range of sizes.

However, if you have a puller, you may need to secure the cover even more. After that, you’ll get the best dog crate for separation anxiety.

Pros

✔️ Can double as a cage and a crate

✔️ Durable metal construction that can’t be chewed

✔️ Stylish cover that’s very easy to clean

✔️ A wide range of sizes for any breed

✔️ Can help reduce anxious behavior

Cons

❌ It’s not best to seal the entire flap since it tends to be less breathable.

AmazonBasics Two-Door Dog Crate

best dog crate for separation anxietyFor those who have tinier breeds, the AmazonBasics Two-Door Dog Crate would be excellent. This is a two-door top load model for added convenience on the pup owner. Overall, this is made of heavy-duty plastic with a steel metal door. There are also small slits on the sides for breathability. Since it offers a dark respite, this is definitely going to help your puppy.

The top door can be opened to the left or right whichever is more comfy for you. It also comes with extra screws in case you want to add reinforcement to the top door or the bottom parts.

Since this is a top-loading crate, it’s important that the cover latches strongly to the entire construction. Thanks to the four-latch system that this AmazonBasics crate has, you’ll have peace of mind. This can be used at home as a way on how to stop puppy separation anxiety or when traveling with your dog.

Make sure that you assemble it correctly to have a safe crate for your little pooch. It might be a bit of a challenge to put up but worth it since it’s durable and made to last. Besides, it’s the best dog crate for separation anxiety.

Pros

✔️ Solid plastic and steel construction

✔️ Perfect as a safe zone crate

✔️ Top-loading with a front door for convenience

✔️ Additional screws for customization

Cons

❌ Requires assembly which can be more challenging than the first crate

❌ A bit expensive than the first option.

❌ Suitable for smaller pups

Just remember that the best dog crate for separation anxiety is only a part of the solution. You, as the hooman, should conduct training to dampen the negative energy your dog feels whenever you’re leaving home.

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