What is the Best Crate for a Dog with Separation Anxiety?

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Social animals, by nature, dogs make strong bonds with their humans. Some of them become so strongly bonded that they don’t like to be separated at all. 

These anxious feelings can lead them to become destructive or even dangerous. However, the right crate can provide your pooch with space where they feel safe and secure. 

A Beagle lying inside a wire crate
A sad Beagle lying in a wire crate

Let’s take a closer look at the best crates for dogs with separation anxiety.

Top 5 Picks for Best Dog Crates for Separation Anxiety in 2021

  Dog Crates for Separation Anxiety Our Rating
Best Overall Dog Crate for Separation Anxiety

ProSelect Empire Dog Cage

  • One of the strongest crates available
  • Features a super strong 20 gauge steel construction with reinforced steel tubes
  • Two sturdy slide latches are positioned out of reach of your dog to prevent any unwanted escaping
5
Best Budget Dog Crate for Separation Anxiety

Precision Pet Products Double Door Dog Crate

  • A heavy-duty wire crate made to withstand persistent chewing 
  • The double door design makes entry into and out of the crate easy
  • A leak-proof plastic tray is included for an easy cleanup 
4.5
Best Metal / Steel Dog Dog Crate for Separation Anxiety

Frisco Ultimate Heavy Duty Dog Crate

  • Durable construction that features welding at all stress points
  • Easy maneuverability with a built-in foot brake on each wheel
  • With dual locks placed away from the dog’s reach
4.5
Best Plastic Dog Crate for Separation Anxiety

Petmate Sky Kennel

  • Lightweight, easy to transport, and suitable for air travel
  • 4-way vault door ensures your dog remains secure 
  • Dark and solid, the crate provides a safe space for dogs with separation anxiety 
4.5
Best Wooden Dog Crate for Separation Anxiety

Merry Pet 2-In-1 Dog Crate 

  • A multifunctional wooden design can be used as a dog kennel or folded out into an adjustable gate 
  • The wood veneer cover can also be used as a tabletop 
  • No hardware is needed to change the shape of this crate conveniently 
4

The 10 Best Dog Crates for Separation Anxiety 

The right crate can keep your dog feeling comforted and secure whenever they need a reprieve when they’re feeling stressed. That’s why it’s essential to have a secure and robust crate for your pup to relax and enjoy some time alone.

Keep reading to discover a few of our top picks: 

Best Metal / Steel Dog Crate for Separation Anxiety

A Great Dane sitting inside a wire crate
Archie, a Great Dane, finds comfort in his crate and toys – Image source

Anxiety-prone pets can benefit from strong metal and steel dog crates that are hard to escape. These indestructible dog crates are sure to contain even the most unruly of pets.

1. ProSelect Empire Dog Cage (Single Door)

A dog inside a ProSelect Empire Steel Dog Crate

Our rating: 5
Material: Steel
Size: 37 x 25.3 x 33.75 inches
Weight: 75.2 pounds

One of the strongest crates available, this product is built specifically for anxious and aggressive canines.

The crate features a removable tray for easy cleaning, lockable and removable casters for moving the crate around, and a high-grade hammertone finish that not only protects the crate from rust and corrosion but also looks great in your home.

Pros:

  • Features a super strong 20 gauge steel construction with reinforced steel bars
  • Features two sturdy slide latches that are positioned out of reach of your dog to prevent any unwanted escaping

Cons:

  • One of the most expensive crates on the market

CHECK PRICE HERE

2. MidWest iCrate Dog Crate

A dog inside a MidWest iCrate Fold and Carry Wire Crate

Our rating: 4.5
Material: Coated Metal, Plastic
Size: 48 x 30 x 33 inches
Weight: 44.6 pounds

Available in different sizes, this crate is made for dogs weighing between 26 and 40 pounds (12 and 18 kg)

This collapsible folding metal dog crate has several nifty features, including double entry doors for ease of access, a removable pan for cleaning, a carry handle for portability, and a divider panel so that you can increase the size of the crate as your dog grows.

Pros:

  • The fold and carry design makes this crate easy to travel with
  • Slide bolt latches keep your dog safe and secure inside this crate

Cons:

  • This crate requires some assembly on arrival

CHECK PRICE HERE

3. MidWest Homes for Pets Dog Crate

A dog inside a MidWest Life Stages Collapsible Wire Crate

Our rating: 4.5
Material: Coated Metal, Plastic
Size: 36 x 24 x 27 inches
Weight: 5 pounds

This product by MidWest Homes for pets is very versatile as it is fully collapsible and easily portable.

Available in different sizes, the crate also features a carry handle, durable tray, and roller feet. It is ideally suited for puppies as well, as it comes with a divider so you can grow the size of the crate as your furry friend gets bigger.

Pros:

  • The crate features double slide-bolt latches to ensure the door remains locked and your pet is safe and secure inside
  • The crate features double doors for easy access to your pet and easier positioning in your home

Cons:

  • Some crafty pets managed to escape between the panels and hurt themselves

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4. Precision Pet Products Double Door Dog Crate

A Chihuahua inside a Precision Pet Collapsible Wire Dog Crate

Our rating: 4.5
Material: Coated Metal
Size: 42 x 28 x 31 inches
Weight: 41.4 pounds

This sturdy and durable dog crate doubles up as a furniture item while providing everything you could want to make traveling with your dog a dream.

The heavy-duty wire is made to withstand persistent chewing from anxious dogs, while the double door design makes entry into and out of the crate easy. This crate is suitable for large breeds weighing up to 90 pounds (41 kg).

Pros:

  • Function and affordability combined with this crate
  • A leak-proof plastic pan is included for easy cleaning, while a divider is also included to increase the size of the crate

Cons:

  • Some pet owners complained that their dogs were able to escape this crate

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5. Frisco Ultimate Heavy Duty Dog Crate

A Golden Retriever inside a Frisco Ultimate Heavy Duty Crate

Our rating: 4.5
Material: Coated Metal
Size: 42.13 x 30.71 x 40.94 inches
Weight: 102.63 pounds

A heavy-duty dog crate that allows for easy access through a top door and a side door. This highly durable dog kennel made from 22 gauge steel features a rust-resistant slide-out steel tray, an escape-proof dual locking system, and a pretty hammertone finish that looks great in your home.

Pros:

  • The durable construction features welding at all stress points, while the powder coating is built to withstand scuffs and scratches
  • The crate sits on wheels with built-in foot brakes so that it can be maneuvered easily

Cons:

  • As this product weighs over one hundred pounds, it needs two people to move it around and assemble

CHECK PRICE HERE

Best Plastic Dog Crate for Separation Anxiety

A Corgi puppy inside a plastic crate
Hanzo, a Corgi puppy, finds a home in his plastic crate – Image source

Built with solid sides, plastic dog crates provide a haven for your pet while providing a safe space for them when traveling. Some plastic pet crates can even be used for travel on airplanes.

6. Petmate Sky Kennel

Petmate Sky Kennel Crate

Our rating: 4.5
Material: Plastic
Size: 36 x 25 x 27 inches
Weight: 2.2 pounds

Available in a range of sizes, this plastic and steel frame dog kennel is lightweight, easy to transport, and suitable for air travel. The 4-way vault door ensures your dog remains secure during travel or at home.

Dark and solid, the crate provides a safe space for dogs with separation anxiety, while grated windows offer 360-degree ventilation for your precious pup. 

Pros:

  • This no-frills travel dog crate provides a high-quality option for pet owners who don’t want to spend a fortune
  • Made in the USA, this plastic dog crate meets most airline requirements
  • It comes with complimentary food and water bowls

Cons:

  • This crate isn’t as secure as a robust steel metal crate 

CHECK PRICE HERE

7. AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel

AmazonBasics Top-Load Plastic Crate

Our rating: 4.5
Material: Plastic, Steel
Size: 22.83 x 5.89 x 12.99 inches
Weight: 4.89 pounds

This versatile plastic pet kennel is specifically made for small breed dogs weighing up to 20 pounds (9 kg) and can be used at home or for transporting your pet.

It features double door access, either through a door in the front or a top entry, making it easy to load your pet and interact with him on your journey.

Pros:

  • This crate features a top carry handle, so it’s easy to move around
  • The solid walls provide a little place for your dog to chew or try and escape

Cons:

  • Not suitable for large breed dogs

CHECK PRICE HERE

Best Wooden Dog Crate for Separation Anxiety

A Shih Tzu inside a wooden crate
Prince, a Shih Tzu, spends treato time in his wooden crate – Image source

Wooden dog crates can look beautiful in your home and double up as end tables or coffee tables. However, these furniture-style crates might not be the best solution if your dog’s separation anxiety manifests in chewing tendencies.

8. Merry Pet 2-In-1 Dog Crate 

A dog inside a Merry Products Furniture Style Crate

Our rating: 4
Material: Wood
Size: 39.8 x 27.91 x 31.5 inches
Weight: 56.22 pounds

A crate designed to blend in with your home, this multifunctional wooden design can be used as a dog cage or folded out into an adjustable gate to corner off certain rooms or areas in your home.

The wood veneer cover can also be used as a tabletop when used in crate mode.

Pros:

  • No hardware is needed to conveniently change the shape of this crate from kennel to gate
  • Its range of uses makes this crate a very versatile item to have around the home

Cons:

  • Some dog owners complained of lousy construction

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Best Soft Dog Crate for Separation Anxiety

A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel inside a soft-sided crate
Athena, a Cav, inside her soft-sided crate – Image source

Soft dog crates provide a warm, cozy and comfortable space for your dog to rest, relax and destress. If your dog isn’t hell-bent on escaping his crate, then a soft dog crate can be an excellent option at home and on the move. 

9. Petnation Port-A-Crate E2 Indoor/Outdoor Pet Home

A dog inside a Petnation Collapsible Soft-Sided Crate

Our rating: 4
Material: Mesh, Steel
Size: 28 x 16.77 x 7.216 inches
Weight: 10.93 pounds

This soft crate is suitable for use indoors and outdoors and is ideal for traveling with your pooch. It folds flat in seconds for convenience and has rounded corners to protect the interior of your home and vehicle.

Padded carrying handles make it easy for owners on the go to transport this crate.

Pros:

  • The material is very lightweight and washable, while the frame is made from extra strong steel for durability
  • Door lock ventilated mesh panels keep your dog safe and secure, while the top and front entry doors allow for easy access

Cons:

  • Chewers may be able to open the zippers and get through the fabric of this crate

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10. JESPET Soft Dog Crates Kennel

Jespet Collapsible Soft-Sided Crate

Our rating: 4
Material: Polyester
Size: 26 x 20 x 20 inches
Weight: 8.5 pounds

This foldable, lightweight pet carrier is ideal for pups with separation anxiety. It comes in three different sizes and allows easy access for your pet with three doors. It also comes in two different colors, namely beige and blue.

Built to withstand wear and tear, the frame of this crate is strong steel tubing.

Pros:

  • The doors are all made of mesh to allow for maximum visibility and ventilation
  • The crate comes with a soft fleece dog bed for your pet’s comfort
  • The crate features handy pockets for storing your dog’s goods and a carry handle to make it easy to move around

Cons:

  • A destructive or aggressive dog may be able to tear through the mesh material of the doors

CHECK PRICE HERE

What Does Separation Anxiety in Dogs Look Like?

Separation anxiety is usually triggered by the cues you give when leaving the house, such as putting on your shoes or picking up your keys.

This can cause your dog to whine, whimper, pace anxiously, or start barking. Some very nervous dogs may even urinate or defecate in the house.

If your dog feels like he has been abandoned, he may resort to destructive behaviors, some of which are so bad that your dog could end up hurting himself.

Symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs 

A Cocker Spaniel among torn papers
Rupert, a Cocker, finds interest in tearing paper when anxious – Image source

You might be wondering if your dog is simply bored at home alone or if he is suffering from separation anxiety. Dogs with separation anxiety struggle when left alone, even it is just for 10 or 15 minutes at a time. 

Your dog may also display some of the following symptoms:

  • Destructive Behaviors: Dogs that feel afraid or upset may chew on things, particularly items that smell like you. This can cause them to destroy your belongings. 
  • Pacing or Shaking: Just as nervous people tend to walk up and down, dogs can do the same, often wearing out a line in the grass or the carpet.
  • Panicking Before You Leave: A pup with separation anxiety can start to get frantic, following you around or leaning up against you when you begin to leave the house.
  • Constantly Vocalizing: While some dogs are simply vocal, those with separation anxiety may bark and howl nonstop, resulting in some very grumpy neighbors. 
  • Going to the Bathroom Indoors: A housetrained dog may urinate or defecate inside the house when it comes time for you to leave. 
  • Panting and Drooling: Excessive panting and drooling are some of the symptoms of separation anxiety. 
  • Disinterest in Food or Treats: Most dogs will gobble up treats left out for them while you are away, but a dog that shows little interest in their food while you are gone is only thinking about when you will return.
  • Excessive Licking: A stressed-out dog may obsessively lick their crate or their paws. This over-grooming can result in bald patches on your dog’s fur.
  • Escaping: One clear sign that your dog is stressed out due to separation anxiety is when they try to escape their crate, your home, and your yard.
  • Coprophagia: This is when your dog consumes their feces or feces of your other pets.

What causes separation anxiety in dogs?

There are a variety of causes that lead to separation anxiety in dogs. Here are some of the primary culprits:

  • People-pleasing breeds: Dogs that naturally make tight bonds with their owners are most likely to suffer from separation anxiety. In addition, dogs that become accustomed to having you around may also suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for the first time.
  • Traumatic experiences: Shelter or rescue dogs often develop separation anxiety as a fear response to abandonment. In addition, dogs that have suffered trauma previously in their lives may also become afraid when left alone. 
  • Significant life changes: Have you recently moved house, lost a member of your family, or had a child? These important life changes can all lead to your dog developing anxiety.

Breeds Prone to Separation Anxiety

A Golden Retriever in front of a pair of reading glasses
A Goldie takes a pair of reading glasses when anxious – Image source

People-pleasing dogs like Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, and Poodles are all prone to separation anxiety. 

In addition, toy or small breeds like Yorkshire Terriers, Chihuahuas, Bichon Frises, and Malteses are prone to stress because these breeds have been cultivated over centuries as companion animals.

Some loyal, hard-working guard dogs like German Shepherds also suffer from separation anxiety. As these dogs have been bred to make their owners happy, they can resort to destructive tendencies when their guardian is not around. 

Also, working hound dogs like Vizlas and German Shorthaired Pointers may try to escape to look for their owners if they are not around.

Other working breeds that may suffer from separation anxiety include Rottweilers, Dobermans, Border Collies, and Jack Russell Terriers.

On the other hand, certain dog breeds are more independent and actually like a bit of alone time. These breeds include Chow Chows, Greyhounds, Whippets, Shiba Inus, Shar Peis, and English Bulldogs

Do Dog Crates Work for Reducing Separation Anxiety?

A Boykin Spaniel inside a plastic crate
Gus, a Boykin, sleeps inside his comfy plastic crate – Image source

Crate training your pup is an excellent way of controlling his separation anxiety. Like their wolf ancestors, dogs like to sleep in caves or dens so a crate can provide a safe, restful haven for stressed-out canines. 

What are the benefits of getting a dog crate?

There are many benefits to using a dog crate to control separation anxiety. Here are a few:

  • Provides a safe place for your dog – While you could just decide to leave your dog in a small room, there have been instances where dogs have broken doors or smashed windows to escape. The crate provides a safe space for both you and your dog.
  • Doubles as a cozy bed – A crate with a fleece bottom or soft sides can also act as a safe space for your dog to rest up when you are away or on the move.
  • Keeps your dog under control – Using a crate allows you to control which areas of your house your pup has access to when you’re not home.
  • Helps your dog get acclimated – Consistent use of a dog crate means your pet has a place that smells familiar and where he feels comfortable no matter where you go.
  • Eases potty training – Crates are often used to help in housebreaking your dog, although this doesn’t always work!

Complete Best Dog Crates for Separation Anxiety Buyer’s Guide

A West Highland White Terrier inside a covered wire crate
A Westie lying prettily inside its wire crate – Image source

Dog crates vary in several ways, including cost, size, design, and materials. Finding the right one for your pup can be challenging. Here are some factors to consider when picking the perfect crate:

Popular Types of Dog Crates

  • Plastic Crates: Plastic dog crates provide a dark, cave-like environment that can be exceptionally comforting for dogs with separation anxiety. 
  • Soft-Sided Dog Crate: Soft dog crates are easy to travel with as they are lightweight. They also provide a warm, comforting environment for anxious pets. 
  • Metal Dog Crates: Aluminum or steel dog crates are some of the most common to find. They also stand up to vigorous chewers and escape artists. 
  • Wooden Dog Crate: While wooden dog kennels look beautiful in your home, they might not be the most practical choice for anxiety-prone dogs that like to chew. 

What to Look For When Buying the Best Dog Crate For Separation Anxiety

A Toy Poodle lying inside a wire crate
A Toy Poodle stays in its cozy wire crate – Image source

There is some crucial functionality you need to look out for when buying a high anxiety dog crate, such as the following:

1. Size

When selecting a dog crate, bigger is not always better as too spacious crates can leave your dog feeling exposed. While you don’t want to confine your dog in too-small quarters, a cozy, dark crate will leave them feeling more secure.

The right crate size should leave your dog able to stand up, lie down and turn around comfortably. 

2. Material

You want to choose a crate built of high-quality materials, which will stand the test of time. Metal crates constructed from solid steel offer the best solution in terms of sturdiness and durability.

3. Devoid of Sharp Surfaces 

Sharp corners and exposed wire edges can not only damage the inside of your car and your floors but also pose a risk to your pet.

4. Opt for cave-like crates

Dark, secure, cave-like crates with solid walls help block out any visual stressors, leaving your pet feeling comforted.

5. It must not have places that can be chewed

Dogs with separation anxiety are very adept chewers and will often chew through anything within reach.

6. Must be 100% secure

Severely anxious dogs will do anything they can to escape their crates. Thus look for one with double latches hidden out of the way and are not easy for your pup to manipulate or breakthrough.

7. Comfort

Your dog’s crate needs to have plenty of ventilation and airflow but also a soft padded floor or comfortable base so that your pet can sleep comfortably.

8. Allow Your Dog to See Easily

While many anxious dogs do better in a dark, cave-like environment, some prefer to see where they are, especially if you use your crate on road trips.

You will then want to choose an option with large windows, while drop-down sides give you the flexibility of both options.

9. Portable 

If you travel a lot with your crate, you’ll want one that is easy to set up and tear down and that can be carried with a shoulder strap or carry handle. You may also want to consider if your crate is approved for use on airlines.

10. Maintenance

Many dog crate manufacturers offer a limited warranty on their crates. This is important to consider when you consider the longevity of various crate options.

11. Easy Assembly

Some dog crates come pre-assembled and only need a few screws to put together, while others need to be assembled from scratch with tools. How much work you are willing to put in may affect your budget in this regard. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A Poodle sitting inside a wire crate
A sad Poodle sitting inside a wire crate

Do you still have some questions when it comes to crating your anxious canine? Let’s answer those below:

How do you get an anxious dog inside the crate?

If it’s your first time introducing your dog with separation anxiety to the crate, then it may take some time to train him to go inside. Try and tempt him in with some tasty treats or leave a t-shirt that smells like you inside the crate. 

The trick to any form of dog training is to employ plenty of patience. 

How can you keep your dog from breaking out of the crate?

To stop your dog from breaking out of his crate, be sure to avoid any visual stressors.

You can do this by blocking outside windows and doors; just be sure to do so with a breathable material that still allows enough airflow through the crate. 

Loud noises such as other dogs barking or thunder can also cause stress for your pet and cause him to try and escape. To try and dampen these noises, you can leave the television or radio on when you leave the house. 

Toys can also provide a distraction for your pet when you go away, while certain oils, like CBD oil, can be used to keep your dog calm.

Will your dog grow out of separation anxiety?

Some dogs may outgrow separation anxiety in their senior years, although it’s likely you’ll have some rough years before this.

To avoid your dog developing separation anxiety, you need to start practicing alone time when they are still a puppy. 

You can do this by making it every time you go away into a game, starting by just leaving for a few minutes, gradually increasing the time you go away until your dog can maintain long periods of absence.

What is the best way to deal with separation anxiety in dogs?

If you’re struggling with an anxious dog, you may need to consult with a canine behaviorist. However, there are some other tricks you can try to overcome pet separation anxiety, including: 

  1. Provide Your Dog With More Exercise: Your dog will not only feel happy and relaxed thanks to the endorphins that are released with playtime, but exercise can also help to tire your dog out so he will sleep when you’re not home.
  2. Don’t Make a Big Deal of Your Coming and Going: When you come and go, any attention shown to a nervous dog rewards their behavior, so try not to play into this crazed behavior and only greet your dog when he is calm. Also, don’t make a big fuss when you go; just leave simply and quietly. 
  3. Desensitize Your Dog to Exit Cues / Departure Cues: Your dog knows when you’re about to leave through the cues you give, like picking up your purse or exiting through the front door. Thus try and vary this routine, using another door or sometimes picking up your keys, or putting on your shoes for no reason. 
  4. Make The Crate a Fun Place: Your dog should want to spend time in his crate. You can make your pet’s dog crate a fun place by feeding treats and meals in the crate and giving your dog their favorite toys when they are in the crate. 
  5. Keep Your Dog Occupied: Puzzle toys or kongs filled with peanut butter or another tasty treat can help to keep your dog occupied when you leave the house.
  6. Give Your Dog Comfort Items: Place your dog’s favorite blanket or bed in their crate, so they see it as a familiar place. You can also try leaving something that smells like you in their crate, such as a t-shirt or pair of socks; just don’t be surprised if this item is destroyed on your return!
  7. Adopt Another Dog: It’s no surprise that dogs are companion animals, and some pets will feel better when they have a friend to play with. However, adopting another dog is a big commitment, so you may want to try first with pet sitting a friend’s animal or fostering a dog from the shelter. 
  8. Try Interactive Monitoring Tools: Some devices let you chat with your dog while you are away, or you can even play games through a laser pointer or dispense treats. Your dog may calm down if you periodically check in, although this can also rev your pet up. 
  9. Implement a Safe Space Crate: Anxious dogs like to hide in tight, secure spaces, and your crate can provide this respite. Be sure to place it in a quiet area away from loud noises and windows. 
  10. Take Your Dog Everywhere: If you simply can’t leave your dog alone, you may need to take him with you wherever you go, like a family member. In this case, an easily portable travel crate is going to be your best option. 
  11. Medication: In more severe cases of separation anxiety, your vet may be able to prescribe anti-anxiety medication for your pup.

Which Crate for Separation Anxiety is Best for Your Dog?

A Miniature Pinscher inside a wire crate
A Min Pin rests in its wire crate – Image source

After checking different crates, the clear winner for this round is ProSelect Empire Dog Cage. It really is one of the most robust crates there is, which is perfect for dogs who tend to be destructive when they’re anxious. The only catch is that it’s pretty expensive.

If you’re on a budget, Precision Pet Products Double Door Dog Crate will do the job for you. It is a heavy-duty wire crate that your dog can use for a long time since it is adjustable.

We hope that our picks have helped you decide on which crate to buy for your pup. However, you may need to experiment with various strategies and crates before finding one that works for your pet.

Don’t just look at big brands that spend lots of money on advertising fees, as some of the smaller, lesser-known brands produce crates that are of much better quality.

We would love to hear your success stories. What crate do you use for your anxious pup? Let us know in the comments below.

Further Reading: Different Types of Dog Crates

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