Looking For The Best Dog Crates for Separation Anxiety?
Here’s a look at our favorites, including our top pick – ProSelect Empire Dog Cage.
It’s funny (and slightly saddening) to consider how different cats and dogs can be when you’re away. I can leave town for a week, and when I get back my cat is just as indifferent toward me as when I left. Dogs, on the other hand, can get separation anxiety when you walk to the next room for a glass of water.
When you leave the house for extended periods of time, that anxiety tends to manifest through excessive howling and chewing. While there’s not much you can do to stop their barks and cries, a sturdy kennel can keep them from roaming the house on a chewing-rampage while you’re away.
What to look for in a Dog Crate for Separation Anxiety:
As you look into the many different dog crates for separation anxiety, keep a few things in mind:
- Size – this one should be obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a friend’s large dog stuck in a tiny crate. It’s downright inhumane. Consider your pet’s size when you choose a crate, and make sure they have ample room inside.
- Durability – an anxious puppy can easily chew on a soft kennel or scratch up a plastic one, so stay away from those options. A strong metal crate is preferable.
- Removable Tray – nervous pets tend to have accidents when you’re away (actually, sometimes I wonder if the puddle on the kitchen floor is intentional or accidental…). Some crates offer a removable tray underneath the base to catch any leaking liquids. You can spread some kitty litter in the tray to absorb the liquid, or you can just take the tray out back and hose it down every time.
- Feeding Latch – if you have a dog that gets aggressive when dealing with strangers, it might be a good idea to get a crate with a feeding latch for friends and family who come over to feed your dog while you’re away. A feeding latch lets the dog-sitter feed the dog without fully opening the door and giving the dog a chance to escape to freedom.
- Visibility – this one can go both ways. Some anxious dogs like an open crate that lets them see everything around them, while other dogs will benefit from putting a blanket or sheet over the kennel to block their view. Try experimenting both ways and see what your pet likes better.
- Soft padding – Most metal kennels don’t come with padding for your dog’s comfort, so you’ll want to purchase a large pillow or blanket to place at the bottom. If they have an accident, you can just throw the pillow or blanket in the washing machine, and empty the removable tray at the base.
If you’re looking for a heavy duty and incredibly durable crate, this is the one for you. You can’t look at this picture and tell me it doesn’t look like it’s built to last a century. The ProSelect Empire Dog Cage is incredibly strong, built with 0.5-inch diameter steel tubes and 20-gauge steel. It comes with a large removable tray for easy cleanup, and you have the option of installing removable, lockable casters if you’d like to keep the kennel on wheels.
The thick steel and strong latches are built to stand the toughest abuse from the largest dogs. If you have a small/medium-size dog, you can downsize to the medium kennel, too. This is a great option for large breeds who tend to chew on their crate or have accidents while you’re away.
Homey Pet-49″ Extra Large Heavy Duty Metal Dog Cage w/ Plastic Floor Grid, Casters, Pull Out Tray and Feeding Door
The Homey Pet Heavy Duty dog crate is similar to the ProSelect Empire Dog Cage in terms of design and durability, as its rated to handle large dogs up to 150 pounds. It does have a few added bonuses, though, that make it a great deal. It has a feeding latch for convenient feeding, a removable tray underneath for easy cleaning, and a plastic floor grid with small holes to ensure comfort and protection for your dog’s feet.
The kennel has a non-toxic, anti-rust finish, and it comes with four lockable casters to make transporting the heavy kennel much easier. The feeding latch makes this ideal for dogs that can be snippy at mealtime, and the plastic floor grid is a nice for dogs with smaller feet that might slip through larger grated cages.
If you’re looking for a crate that has a little flair for design without compromising durability, the SMONTER Heavy Duty Metal Dog Cage is a great pick. The entire crate has a heavy-duty steel frame, and the manufacturer added some lattice-work to the sides for a touch of style. It may not be fancy enough to display in the living room, but it certainly looks a bit better in your laundry room, basement, or wherever you kennel your dog when you’re away.
Like the other options it comes with removable casters for transport, and a removable tray for easy cleaning. It also comes with a top-loading door, which can be very helpful for fidgety dogs that don’t want to be squeezed through the front door. It’s a small feature, but all the dog owners with scratches and bite-marks on their arms will certainly appreciate it!
This AmazonBasics crate is exactly what the name implies—basic. And that’s not a bad thing. It may lack the heavy-duty steel construction that the previous three crates boast, but it’s a fantastic option for dogs who are anxious but don’t go so far as to tear their crate to shreds when you leave. As you can see by the price tag, it’s also much more budget-friendly.
This kennel has a sturdy metal construction, with swinging doors on both the front and the side for easy access. Both swinging doors are fastened shut by two slide-bolt latches, adding considerable more support in case your pup tries to make a forceful jailbreak. It has mini-dividers on the floor so your dog’s paws don’t slip between the cracks, and it comes with a removable plastic composite bin for accidents and spills. It also folds flat for easy storage.
MidWest Wire Dog Crate Covers in Black or Camouflage Polyester or a Heavy-Duty Cotton / Polyester Blend Featuring Teflon Fabric Protector
Okay, given this recommendation you could say the title of this article is a little misleading. It should say “4 Best Dog Crates and the Best Add-on Accessory for Nervous Dogs.” The MidWest Wire Dog Crate Cover is designed to drape over a kennel to provide a dark and calming atmosphere for nervous pets. Not all dogs prefer this, so you’d really have to try it out to tell, but a covered crate is actually recommended by most vets, breeders, and trainers, so it’s a pretty safe bet.
It comes in six different sizes to match the style of your crate, and it’s made of a durable cotton/poly blended fabric with Teflon protection for added durability. The cover is machine-washable, and it comes in a few colors/styles to match your tastes (yes, it comes in camouflage, too!).
If you have a large dog who can get a little rambunctious when you’re away, the ProSelect Empire Dog Cage and the Homey crate are dependable, durable choices that can easily stand the test of time and use. For small or medium dogs, the Smonter crate offers excellent durability with a touch of style for more of a bargain.
If your dog is nervous or anxious while you’re away but doesn’t usually start a prison riot, the AmazonBasics crate is undoubtedly the best value on the list, and should solve your needs just fine. All of these crates come with removable trays to clean up accidents and spills, so that problem will be covered whichever route you take. And, whichever crate you choose, I’d highly recommend getting the MidWest Wire Dog Crate Cover to provide your dog with a calming environment that should ease their separation anxiety.