Table of Contents
- Why dogs experience separation anxiety
- Is the ‘anxiety’ real?
- Signs that your dog has separation anxiety
- Some breeds that are prone to separation anxiety
- How to deal with your dog’s separation anxiety
- Choose the right crate!
- Best dog crate for separation anxiety – Top 2 Options
- AmazonBasics Folding Metal Dog Crate
- Wrapping Up
Does your dog freak out whenever you’re going to work? Does the pooch whine, chew your shoe, and eliminate all over? Your furry friend may be experiencing separation anxiety. This is common among dogs, but some breeds are more likely to experience this negative behavior than others. For this post, we will look into the condition, how you can deal with it, and how you can choose the best dog crate for separation anxiety.
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Folding Metal Dog
Folding Metal Dog
Why dogs experience separation anxiety
Our dogs love us so much that whenever we are going to leave the house, they will become anxious. Although it’s only for a few hours, it will feel longer for canines. Remember, one human year is equivalent to seven years to your beloved Fido.
So if we are to calculate it, an 8-hour work shift is equivalent to 7 dog days. That’s why your dog is so ecstatic to see you after a day’s work. The next day, when you’re about to leave again, they will become anxious knowing that you’ll be gone for long.
Still, there are a lot of factors that affect a dog’s susceptibility to separation anxiety. The following are some of the possible culprits as to why your dog is showing signs of separation anxiety:
*Change of owner or guardian
Shelter dogs that have been rescued and re-homed dogs will experience intense separation anxiety. Since they have experienced abandonment before, seeing you leave will induce panic.
A change of guardian or owner is also one of the leading triggers of separation anxiety. Nevertheless, it can be fixed with proper training and care.
*Abrupt change in schedule
Dogs that are used to being around their owners will have anxiety when suddenly left alone for long. Also, if your dog is used that you’re at home most of the day, they will be confused once you start a new job.
In this case, you should ensure that your dog is accompanied. It could be a person or another dog.
*Moving to a new home
Did you move to a new home? If your dog suddenly becomes freaky whenever you leave, you have to consider that they are still adjusting to the new environment. It’s probably best to have them accompanied by another person or start crate training them.
Is the ‘anxiety’ real?
As much as separation anxiety in dogs is real, some canines tend to simulate the symptoms to catch the attention of their owners.
Simulated separation anxiety is a learned behavior among dogs that have little self-control. Also, canines that have this habit are usually in the care of an owner that lacks leadership.
This happens when you reward negative behavior. Are you a little lost? Let’s give you a good example.
When you’re about to leave, your dog will freak out. If you respond by petting or showering them with praises, your dog will realize that they have the upper hand.
Take note that even a reprimand can satisfy a dog’s simulated anxiety. As long as it gets your attention, you’re fueling the negative behavior.
Signs that your dog has separation anxiety
Not sure if your dog has separation anxiety? It will help to check for the following signs:
A dog that experiences stress and anxiety will bark and howl to release the energy. This is also their way of catching your attention.
*Accidents in the house
Even if your Fido is fully housebroken, they will start having accidents in the house due to separation anxiety.
Did you come home to a shredded sofa? Because your dog is under intense stress due to being alone, they will vent their energy into chewing. An anxious dog will also chew door screens, shoes, and any object that comes its way. Worse, they will also hurt their selves in the process.
Some breeds that are prone to separation anxiety
Like what we mentioned earlier, some breeds are more prone to separation anxiety than others. Usually, companion breeds are susceptible to this condition since they love being around with people. So if you own any of these breeds, expect that you’ll need to crate train them to fight off their anxious tendencies while you’re away:
*Jack Russell Terrier
*Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Take note that more breeds are likely to experience separation anxiety. Lapdogs are usually the leading breeds in this department. However, larger ones are the most destructive in terms of chewing.
How to deal with your dog’s separation anxiety
Separation anxiety among dogs is many pet owners’ dilemma. If your canine is exhibiting symptoms of this behavioral problem, you should do the following steps:
-Don’t make a big deal with goodbyes
Endless kisses and petting only fuel the separation anxiety of your dogs. So next time, don’t make such a fuss about leaving for work. Just exit, go to work, and go home like normal.
Remember that petting your dog and baby-talking them when they get anxious about you leaving is like encouraging them to be more anxious. This isn’t what you want to happen.
-Stop tolerating the behavior
If your dog jumps into you or chews your shoes to stop you from going, make sure that you send the right message. Instead of wooing them, just go and try not to give in to their whining. If possible, place them in a crate, so they won’t see you leaving.
-Mix up your routines
Next time, try to mix up your simple routines, so your dog won’t predict that you’re about to leave. Instead of getting your keys on your way to the door, place it in your bag earlier than usual. These little details will surprise your dog.
-Ask the vet for a possible treatment
For dogs with intense separation anxiety, veterinarian intervention might be needed. The dog doctor can recommend medication to relax the dog and to reduce the anxious behavior.
Also, you have to rule out a possible health condition that’s causing the symptoms of separation anxiety. Take note that dogs having frequent accidents may not always be anxious. It could be a tell-tale sign of incontinence.
Moreover, if your dog habitually chews objects in your house, you have to consider other behavioral problems like aggression. Take note that athletic dogs shouldn’t be locked up. The lack of physical activity will cause them to vent their energy to other things that will keep them busy.
-Take them to long walks
If you own an energetic breed, it will help to take the pooch to a long walk first before you go to work. Aside from draining their excess energy, they will also doze off even before you exit the door.
-Consider a doggy daycare
If your pooch can’t be left alone on its own, they will likely thrive in a doggy daycare. In this facility, they will be accompanied by dog experts and sitters. Also, they will be busy playing and performing tasks. This will fight off the separation anxiety.
Doggy daycare offers whole or half-day sitting. Also, some would offer a membership so you can drop off your dog daily as you head to work.
-Remove negative associations with exit cues
Never associate exiting the door with leaving. To do this, exit the door repeatedly, then go back after a few minutes. This way, you can erase any negative associations that your dog has when it comes to your front door. If you have a back door, try exiting there randomly, so your canine won’t know where you’re going to exit next.
-Obedience training will help
If you haven’t subjected your dog to basic obedience training, you should do so in the soonest possible time. Some behavioral problems can be fixed with training.
-Crate training is crucial
Most importantly, train your dog to stay in a crate. This way, when you’re about to go to work, you can let them into the crate. They will settle and calm down while you can peacefully go to work.
In addition, crate training will mimic the abode of dogs in the wild. Dogs seek small spaces in caves so they can avoid predators while sleeping in the wild.
Crate training also comes hand in hand with housebreaking a dog. However, you have to choose the best dog crate for separation anxiety for the job.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Dogs shouldn’t be crated longer than 5 hours, regardless of age. After 5 hours, the dog should be let out to eliminate.
Choose the right crate!
If you are to crate train your dog, make sure that you choose the right one. Here are some points to keep in mind:
-Size it properly
The crate must be properly sized to your dog’s body. The rule of thumb is that it should be roomy enough for the dog to stand, stretch, and sleep. However, don’t get a very large crate as this will defeat the purpose, unless you have a fast-growing puppy.
-Look for a cover
Anxious dogs will calm down when they have a secured spot. With this, it’s best to look for a crate with a rolling cover. Anyway, you can always use a towel to drape all over the crate. This way, your dog has limited sight of the environment, which will help them calm down.
-Check the material
Depending on your dog’s chewing habits, you should look for a sturdy material. Most crates nowadays are made of metal wires or plastic. Both work fine for small to medium-sized dogs with moderate chewing habits. However, for large canines, you have to look for tougher steel.
-Get a decent lock
Your choice of crate should come with a decent lock that will keep the dog secure. If not, your clever pooch can easily learn its way around the door’s locking mechanism.
Best dog crate for separation anxiety – Top 2 Options
OUR TOP PICK: MidWest Homes Folding Metal Dog Crates
Product Name: MidWest Homes Folding Metal Dog Crates
Product Description: Our top pick is the MidWest Homes Folding Metal Dog Crates. This has a single door construction made of thick wires. Inside, there’s a durable tray and four roller feet that make it easy to transport. When your dog isn’t being crated, you can fold this crate flat and store it in a small corner. Even if it’s a foldable crate, it has a slide bolt latch that secures your dog inside.
Offer price: $$$
Value for Money
Does your dog like banging its body on the crate? With MidWest dog crate, you’ll have peace of mind since it has rounded corners that will not injure your dog.
If you have a fast-growing puppy, this crate is also an excellent choice. The package includes a divider panel that allows you to create a small space for your pooch.
✔️Comes with a heavy-duty bold latch
✔️Divider panel is included
❌Not the ideal crate for muscular dogs
AmazonBasics Folding Metal Dog Crate
Do you need a larger crate for your dog? If so, you should consider the AmazonBasics Folding Metal Dog Crate. It has two doors and a 48-inch long build.
This is made from sturdy metal as well as a sliding dog pan that makes cleaning easy. Moreover, it’s foldable, which makes storage a breeze, even in small apartments.
Also, we like its door lock latch that stays secure with your dog inside. Like the MidWest crate, this one has rounded corners.
If you wrap it with a towel or canvas material, it will become a cozy place for your dog. Also, it’s the best dog crate for separation anxiety and in transporting medium-sized canines.
✔️Uses a slide-door bolt latch
❌Not for small dogs
Aside from the best dog crate for separation anxiety, you should also train your dog properly to arrest this negative behavior. Also, you shouldn’t fuel the anxiety advertently.
Both the MidWest and AmazonBasics crates are durable and excellent choices. Once you have the crate, you have to play your part in performing proper crate training.
Do you have more suggestions here? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section!