dog crate for separation anxiety reviewed

Does your pup friend seem uneasy and nervous whenever you’re about to leave the house? If he does, he is probably suffering from separation anxiety. This is one of the most common conditions in canines, and, as the name says, it occurs when the owner leaves the pet on its own.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to deal with this situation – by using a special crate. These solid structures act as shelters and can provide your pooch with a sense of safety and security. Using one of them is a great way to decrease the dog’s stress that appears whenever the owner goes out of the door. Be sure you check our ultimate guide for all types of kennels for dogs.

German Shepperd sits in proselect empire crate

To help you out, we’ll analyze the markets most popular high anxiety dog crates and explore some of the fundamentals of this condition. Read on and find out how to make your pup’s life easier by getting him a special kennel for his condition:

Top Rated Kennels for Pets Suffering From Separation Anxiety Reviewed


Product ImageNameMain FeaturePrice RangePrice
Small-Image of Product image of Jespet 3 doorsBest Overall
Jespet 3-Door
Three Entrances Door
Foldable and Lightweigh
$$
Small Image of Amazon Basics 23m inch two door cratePlastic
AmazonBasics 2-Door
Strong but
lightweight
Secure locks on
the door
$
Small Image of Canine crate petnatation product imageSoft
Petnatation
Sets up and folds down in seconds
Lightweight and portable
$$
Small image of ProSelect empire cages for dogsHeavy-Duty
ProSelect Empire
Easy cleanup
Durable Dog Cage
Removable Casters
$$$
Small Image of Richell Wooden Dark Brown Crate for DogsEnd Table
Richell Wooden
Personal items can be stored on top
Includes removable sliding tray
$$$

Jespet 3-Door

The soft-sided models manufactured by Jespet are highly popular for a reason – they always sport the right combination of affordable price and convenient features. As far as we’re concerned, their 3-Door model could be a solution to your pup’s problems – let’s check out its design:

The Jespet 3-Door can be purchased in three different sizes – small, medium, and large. We’ve had the medium version on the test – its dimensions are 36″ x 24″ x 27″ and its weight close to 11 pounds.

The carrier is available in blue and beige colors, with both variants looking very sleek and stylish (especially the blue one). The overall design of this model is an eye-pleasing one, and we’ve got no complaints about it.

As the name suggests, one of the best features of this carrier is that it has three separate doors. One is at the top, one on the side, and one on the frontal section, with all three of them, allowing quick access and providing the pooch with necessary ventilation. This is due to the fact that the doors are covered with a mesh-like material, which is a standard when it comes to soft-sided enclosures and something that guarantees sufficient airflow.

The frame of this carrier has been manufactured from a strong steel tube, making the model quite resistant to daily wear and tear. The fabric, on the other hand, is the durable 600D nylon. It is washable and easy to keep clean, which, when combined with the model’s fleece bed, turns this model into a comfortable haven that the pet is bound to fall in love with.

We should also mention that the Jespet 3-Door is collapsible and therefore very easy to store away, as well as that it comes with an adjustable carrying strap and some extra pockets. The only thing we didn’t like is the size of the hex holes on the mesh – they’re quite large and an aggressive dog could tear the material with his nails.

PROS:

  • Sleek design
  • Three doors – easy access and great ventilation
  • Easy to keep clean

CONS:

  • Large hex holes on the mesh

It’s easy to see why is this carrier so popular – it provides a spacious, well-ventilated interior that’s guaranteed to make your anxious pooch feel safe and comfortable.

AmazonBasics 2-Door

The next high-anxiety cage comes from AmazonBasics, (read more about AmazonBasics models here), which is, as the name suggests, a sub-brand of Amazon that offers all sorts of electronics, home necessities, as well as pet equipment.

Their 2-Door plastic model seems to be a good solution for the canines with separation anxiety – it allows easy access, it is highly durable, and it comes at a truly reasonable price.

As you can see from the picture, this is a plastic carrier – models made out of this material are far more robust than their soft-sided cousins and provide a lot more protection in case you often use crates in your car.

Plastic is also much better when it comes to preventing the pup from making an escape since it doesn’t break so easily like the soft fabrics and mesh. The plastic is very rugged and is combined with a tough steel-wire front door.

One of the main selling points of this cage is that it features a top door. It can be opened to either right or left and allows simple entry, and therefore makes the whole experience a lot less stressful for the pooch. There’s a convenient handle on the top door, so it’s quite easy to transport your pet while he’s inside, especially if he’s of a smaller breed.

Another important feature of this kennel is that its top and bottom parts are two separate pieces. This means that AmazonBasics 2-Door can also be used as a dog bed, which is quite convenient and something that makes this model very versatile. The top and the bottom part can be secured together with either the four latches or by screws (included in the package), depending on how secure you want the connection to be.

Our only complaint is that this dog kennel anxiety comes in just two small sizes – 19″ and 23″.

PROS:

  • Made from robust plastic
  • Top door for easier access
  • Two separate pieces – can be used as a dog bed

CONS:

  • Only two small sizes

In case you own a small pup with separation anxiety problems, this crate will be of great help. It is sturdy, affordable, and could become your pup’s safe haven while you’re out of the house.

Petnation

When it comes to a dog crate for anxious dogs, the Petnation’s new model seems to be a pretty good choice. This model can be used both indoors and outdoors, and it’s a soft-sided carrier that sports a very stylish look and which can be bought in a variety of sizes. Let’s take a look at it!

As we said, this carrier can be purchased in several different sizes – 16″, 20″, 24″, 28″, 32″, and 36″. When it comes to the build material, the cage consists of two primary parts – a tough steel frame and a woven mesh fabric.

As far as we’re concerned, the frame present in Petnation’s model is among the best ones on the market – it is exceptionally robust and should easily withstand both the bumpy roads (when used in the car) and rowdier dogs (when used inside the house).

The model’s soft fabric is quite durable and is also waterproof – owners of anxious canines that are prone to “accidents” will certainly appreciate this. The zippers of Petnation’s calming dog crate are also very sturdy, while its rounded corners prevent the pooch from getting cut or scratched – an excellent extra safety feature. The presence of two doors, on the other hand, provides the pup with a quick and easy access to his anxiety-free home.

Another great thing about this enclosure is that it offers sufficient ventilation. The reason behind this is the presence of quality mesh windows, which provide good airflow and keep the interior breathable during the summer months. This will be of paramount importance to all dog owners living in hotter climates.

If your anxious pooch tends to behave aggressively when he’s enclosed, this product might not be such a good idea. Unlike the plastic models, this one won’t be able to efficiently stop him from destroying the walls and making an escape.

PROS:

  • Extremely robust frame
  • Mesh windows provide good airflow
  • High-quality zippers

CONS:

  • Determined dogs can tear up the mesh windows

In conclusion, Petnation’s attempt to create a soft-sided model for anxious canines is a successful one. This is a robust model with a great build quality, easy access, and sufficient ventilation – what more could one want?

ProSelect Empire

As one of the best heavy-duty crates, the ProSelect Empire is reinforced with 20-gauge steel and steel tubes. It’s easy to see that this cage disregards beauty and focuses on safety, and some pet owners might not like this.

However, this model is more than capable of keeping your anxious pooch safe – giving it a chance would be a wise decision.

The heavy-duty design is obvious right from the start – with the dimensions of 37″ x 25.3″ x 33.8″ and the weight of 15.2 pounds, it is one of the largest cages for dogs with separation anxiety on our list.

Unlike the soft-sided and plastic enclosures, the ProSelect Empire is guaranteed to keep your canine friend safely contained within its interior. It is quite spacious and therefore an ideal choice for the owners of large breeds.

The construction quality of this anti-anxiety kennel is truly one of its main selling points. Each of the stress points on the surface of ProSelect Empire went through heavy-duty welding – bumpy roads and rowdy dogs won’t be able to damage it in any way. Moreover, the corners of this kennel have been rounded off, so there’s no space for worrying about accidental cuts. Another thing worth mentioning is that the model is rust-resistant, allowing you to keep it in your backyard.

Safety-wise, this enclosure sports a couple of robust latches on its front door. These are very tough and are guaranteed to prevent the pooch from unlocking them. The model’s ease of cleaning also deserves words of praise, since it comes with a removable steel tray. Another thing we really liked is the presence of caster wheels – as you can already guess, these turn the transportation into an easy and hassle-free process.

The only major downside is its high price. Those looking to save some money will undoubtedly have to look elsewhere.

PROS:

  • Fantastic construction quality
  • Great for large breeds
  • Floor tray & caster wheels

CONS:

  • Very expensive

If you own a large canine that suffers from separation anxiety, the ProSelect Empire is strong enough to keep him calm and safe. If you have the money, definitely consider it for purchase – you won’t regret buying it.

Richell Wooden

We can safely say that Richell Wooden is among those rare crates that successfully balance functionality with eye-catching aesthetics.

Not only can this enclosed dog crate keep your anxious pet safe and calm, but can also beautify your home with its attractive design. Is this exquisite kennel worth the money? Let’s check it out!

This model was manufactured from natural wood and is, therefore, a lot easier on the eye than the plastic and metal models.

The build quality of Richell Wooden turns this model into one of the best kennels for dogs with separation anxiety issues – its wooden construction provides a very nice, snuggly feel that your pet is bound to love. The model’s design also allows decent air circulation, which, in turn, makes the pooch less susceptible to overheating during hot summers than other designs.

An added bonus of Richell Wooden is the fact that it provides the pooch with a good range of view. With this cage, the pup will easily supervise everything that’s going on around him. However, the model’s half-depth solid sides will also allow him to hide out of the view, too.

Another great thing is the presence of a removable inner tray. When we combine this with the fact that Richell’s wood has a stain-resistant finish, we come to the conclusion that keeping this enclosure clean is exceptionally easy.

A unique feature of all wood-made crates is that they double as furniture and the same goes for Richell Wooden. Not only will this help the crate fit in with the decor of your house, but it can also be of great help to anxious canines. An insecure pooch that doesn’t really like being in the center of attention can easily slink inside of it and be overlooked by your guests.

On the downside, this enclosure might not be the best choice if your four-legged friend is an excessive chewer.

PROS:

  • Outstanding design – doubles as furniture
  • Comfortable, snuggly interior
  • Easy to keep clean

CONS:

  • Not for excessive chewers

All in all, we think that Richell Wooden is a lovely kennel that is guaranteed to keep your insecure pup content and calm. As we already said, it successfully combines functionality with beauty, and, therefore, deserves our sincere recommendation.

Dog Anxiety Symptoms

dog looks sad

If your pooch exhibits just a couple of symptoms we’re about to list below, you shouldn’t worry too much – it could just be the common canine behavior. However, if your four-legged friend has an episode after episode, he is probably suffering from this condition which will require you to help him in any way you can.

Canines suffering from separation anxiety are a lot different than dogs who act mischievous when they’re home alone. They struggle mightily, even if their owners are away only for a couple of minutes. Let’s take a look at the most common ways our furry companions express anxiety.

Destruction

As you already know, canines interact with the world around them by using their mouths. This means that whenever they’re upset, anxious, or scared, they will start chewing on whatever object is closest to them (so be sure you have one of these chew proof dog beds). Often, they will chew on things that have a similar smell to that of their owners, which means that they can damage valued belongings much faster than you think.

Defecating & Urinating

Canines experiencing anxiety and stress often have “accidents” – they tend to soil the carpet when left home alone. If a housebroken pup doesn’t stop pooping and peeing on the carpet every time you away from home, he is disturbed by your absence and is likely suffering from separation anxiety.

Coprophagia

Having a canine that defecates whenever you leave the house is one thing. Having a canine that does the same thing but also eats his own feces is something that takes things to a whole new level. Pups are known to consume their own feces when they’re suffering from extreme cases of anxiety.

Panicking

Just like humans, dogs can also be highly perceptive. These intelligent canines are capable of noticing slight cues that signify the owner’s departure from the home. And once they notice these things, pups will exhibit their displeasure by trying to keep their owners from leaving. They do this by pulling on the owner’s clothes, biting them, and similar actions.

Pacing

Sometimes, our four-legged friends exhibit behavioral patterns that are similar to our own. One of them is nervous pacing – just like we pace back and forth when we’re anxious, the pups do the same thing if the anxiety gets the best of them. They will pace randomly around the room or might even walk back and forth in one line; backtracking their steps with no end in sight.

Barking & Howling

When a pooch constantly vocalizes when his owner is not at home, there is a pretty good chance he’s suffering from separation anxiety. Sometimes, these howls and barks will be really loud and lead the owner into the trouble with disgruntled neighbors.

What Causes Separation Anxiety in Dogs?

Owner says goodbye to his dog

When it comes to things that cause this condition, there is no conclusive and definite evidence that could outline the reason why some canines suffer from separation anxiety. However, most experts agree that the following situations could cause your pooch to become a victim of this condition:

  • Change of Environment

Even if the pooch is still cared for by the same owner who raised him, he can still suffer various behavioral issues. In this case, the problem can arise if the owner decides to move to a place that’s totally unfamiliar to the pup. Moving to a completely new neighborhood in a new city brings a sudden change of scenery that can really scare the dog.

The owner’s new house will be filled with strange smells and sounds, and there will also be loads of unfamiliar faces in the neighborhood, with their own unfamiliar scents. As you can already tell, this is a perfect scenario for the development of separation anxiety.

  • Change of Owners

When canines get abandoned at pet shelters, they are very likely to develop this condition. In most cases, pups abandoned at such places have been very attached to their owners who decided to suddenly dump them in an unknown place.

As you can already guess, this can be an extremely traumatic experience for the canines, and it can take a lot of time for them to get past this experience once they’re adopted by new owners.

  • Change in Household Membership

In case a family member dies, a dog will be saddened just as other members of the household. The absence of a family member the pooch was attached to can evoke the feeling of loss, and therefore trigger separation anxiety.

  • Change in Schedule

When a dog is used to doing things at a particular time of the day, a sudden change of schedule can lead to confusion and stress. For example, if the pooch is used to seeing his owner throughout the entire day, he will be very upset if the owner spends hours away from the house because something has forced him to do so.

Dog Breeds That Suffer From Anxiety

Are the chances of developing this condition same for all breeds? The answer is yes, they are – every single breed is prone to developing separation anxiety. However, some are more susceptible than others, and those are the following ones:

  • Bichon Frises
  • Border Collies
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Poodles
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Dobermans
  • Rottweilers

Why are they more susceptible? These breeds are known as “people pleasers” since they bond with humans much more than the other breeds. For them, being away from their owners is close to intolerable and can lead to serious mental issues.

What to Look For

white and black dog sitting next to each other

While most crates for this condition vary in materials, size, and design, those that are well-suited for anxious canines always share the following features:

  • 100% secure

In case you have to leave your pet alone for a couple of hours (or longer), you’ll have to use a crate that’s as secure as possible and which will contain your furry friend without any problems. Soft-sided models might be good for mildly anxious canines, but certainly not for your nervous 80-pound heavy Great Dane!

  • Bigger isn’t always better

While owners don’t want to have their furry friends cramped inside inappropriately small cages, very large crates aren’t that good when it comes to security. The reason behind this is that they can make an anxious pooch feel very exposed.

When buying an enclosure for your pup, don’t forget to measure his height and length.  Make sure to choose a model that will allow your pooch to lie down, stand up, and turn around – only such kennels will provide your pup with a sufficient amount of comfort.

  • Cave-like kennels are more comforting than the cage-like ones

Even though a dog should always have plenty of ventilation, a crate that’s darker and more secluded will be a much better choice for his stress and anxiety.

  • Shouldn’t have chewable sections

As we already mentioned, canines are susceptible to chewing any objects within their reach. This means that you’ll have to select a crate that’s as resistant to chewing as possible.

Dog Separation Anxiety Solutions

dog is playing with his yellow-toy

Even though curtailing the effects of this condition can be quite difficult, doing so is not an impossible task. In fact, there are many ways in which an owner could help his pet with separation anxiety. Even though a particular solution might work for one pooch and not for the other, there are still quite a lot of options to choose from – here are some of them:

Counter-conditioning

dog profile with his tongue outCounter-conditioning is undoubtedly one of the most potent ways to cure a canine who is suffering from this condition. In simple words, this is a treatment that’s capable of changing fear of joy in most animals. If a dog is aggressive towards something or afraid of it, this method takes that fear and tries to change it into something that will bring positive thoughts to the pup.

In most cases, this is achieved by associating something that the dog doesn’t like with the sight of something he does. As time goes on, the dog begins to realize that the thing he fears actually brings him only pleasant and happy thoughts.

Keeping the Pooch Occupied

Small Dog Is Pulling The Rope“An idle mind is the devil’s workshop”. Unfortunately, this saying goes for the pets, too – if they’re bored and unoccupied, they will start having bad thoughts and act mischievously. Just like humans solve puzzles and play various games to drive the boredom away, the same can be done for our furry companions. Fortunately, there are a plethora of companies that manufacture various puzzles and toys for dogs.

We advise getting one of those “chewing” toys. In most cases, these are durable objects made out of robust rubber that can be stuffed with treats. This will make the dog chew on the toy for hours – it will take him a lot of work to get to his favorite snacks, making him occupied for a good amount of time.

Exercise

little dog is playing with a sport ballAn activity as simple as this one, playing with automatic fetching machines, can actually be of great help when it comes to anxious canines. Hours of vigorous activity are guaranteed to wear out your four-legged companion and he’ll end up too exhausted to think about being lonely. It’s as simple as that!

More than the thoughts themselves, endorphins will be secreted into your pup’s brain when they’re running or playing in their favorite playpen. This fills him with energy and brings him fun.

Less Attention

Grey pitbull is laying on the groundEven though this method might seem counter-productive, it actually isn’t. Giving your furry friend too much attention will negate all other things you’re trying to do to cure your dog’s separation anxiety. The point is to help the pooch deal with loneliness, which means that he should see less and not more of you.

If you leave the pooch home alone and then show him a lot of love when you return, you will be encouraging him to stay alone. He will think that staying alone leads to more love from the owner – it’s a simple cause & effect method.

Adopting another Dog

three dogs play with each otherThis one is a no-brainer – another canine inside your home is guaranteed to prevent all instances of loneliness. It is pretty obvious why this method is considered to be one of the most effective ways to cure this condition in puppies.

However, there is still one thing to watch out for here – the new pup needs to be compatible with the original one and they need to cohabit with each other. If they hate each other and start fighting, you will actually be worsening the whole situation.

Implementing a Crate

image of petnation product for dogsOne of the best methods is to use a special anti-anxiety dog crate – it can help your pooch feel safer when you’re not home. When fearful, many wild dogs retreat to their dens, with the domestic dogs exhibiting very similar instincts. Pups simply love to hide in their tight, secure little dens.

A well-selected kennel can easily become your pet’s “hiding box” and keep him out of the trouble until you’re home. Take a look at our list and find one that suits your pet’s needs!

Desensitization

the lady is holding little dog in her armsCanines are capable of figuring out what you’re about to do by paying close attention to your current actions. For example, a dog will know that picking up the keys means that you’re leaving the house. These things can spark separation anxiety and one has to deal with them.

This is done by desensitizing the pooch by mixing up the daily routine with the goal of confusing him. You could, for example, pick up the keys but not leave the house, or leave the house through a different door than you usually do. This will confuse the pooch and he won’t know if you’re actually leaving or not, which leads to a lesser risk of him getting anxious and scared.

Conclusion

In conclusion, selecting the best kennel for your anxious pup largely depends on the pooch himself, more than on anything else.

Just like humans, canines have different personalities, and even if you do manage to find an ideal separation anxiety crate, there’s a chance that your pup won’t like it at all.

image of jespet crate for canines

However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy such a crate – all dogs should have a safe place for resting and relaxing when they’re feeling stressed or anxious. A cozy kennel is perhaps the best option when it comes to coping with your pet’s separation anxiety.

For that matter, consider the models we have reviewed above and try to include one of them into the anti-anxiety plan for your dog. All of the models we have tested are good in their ways, so you’ll just have to choose one that suits your dog’s needs the best. With a right crate, as well as with some love and patience from the owner, every dog is bound to overcome his separation anxiety. Good luck!

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