There are few things as heartbreaking as a pet owner than seeing your furry little family member suffer from anxiety.
No one wants to see their dog struggle with fear, stress, and pressure. No one wants to feel like their dog is always nervous. And no one wants to see their dog struggle to interact with the world around them just because they are unsure, unhappy, and stressed out.
Unfortunately, though, stress is a very real thing in a lot of dogs these days.
We are starting to better understand things like separation anxiety and how it impacts the lives of these little animals, but we are also getting a lot better at reading the signs and symptoms of a dog living with high anxiety and are able to get out in front of these issues more effectively than ever before, too.
Thankfully, there are a couple of things you can do as a responsible pet owner to manage and mitigate stressful situations for your animal.
We highlight a couple of these details below – but truth be told, one of the best things you can do is get your hands on a high-quality dog crate-specifically designed with high anxiety dogs in mind.
The right crate can become a bit of a safe space for your animal. It can be their sanctuary when they are feeling stressed out, and it can actually help them overcome these feelings of stress and anxiety better than a lot of other training aids.
Below we dig a little bit deeper into everything you need to know about dogs with high anxiety, common anxiety triggers, and real solutions that actually work to help your animal going forward.
Then we get right into our top options for the very best dog crates available for animals living with high anxiety.
Shall we get started?
Let’s do it!
Best Dog Crates for High Anxiety Dogs. Our Recommendations
Signs and Symptoms of Dogs with High Anxiety
It’s not at all uncommon for dogs to get a little bit rambunctious and a little bit mischievous when they are left alone to their own devices in the home.
Sometimes you’ll have a tough time keeping your dog out of the garbage. Sometimes you’ll find them rifling through your laundry. And other times you might even have your animal pulling things off of the counter and sneaking snacks they shouldn’t be eating at all!
But by and large, the overwhelming majority of dogs aren’t going to be getting into too terribly much trouble on their own.
Dogs living with high anxiety, though. That’s an entirely different story altogether.
These are the dogs that have a very difficult time when they are left on their own. And they don’t even have to be left alone all that long, either! Some dogs with very severe separation anxiety can start to get stressed out and overwhelmed when they are left alone for just 10 or 15 minutes, even.
Some of the common signs and symptoms you’ll want to be on the lookout for to diagnose high anxiety dogs can include, but are not limited to:
Destructive Chewing Behavior
Dogs pretty much interact with the world around them through their mouths. When they feel nervous, threatened, attacked, or stressed out chewing on something can put their mind at ease. More often than not, though, your dog might choose to chew on something that smells like you to calm them down – and all of a sudden you just lost one of your favorite sweatshirts.
Another obvious sign that your dog struggles with high anxiety is nervously pacing back and forth.
You can usually pick up this sign when they are still quite young as puppies, but a lot of times those puppies will grow out this type of behavior. If your dog is older than one year of age and continues to pace back and forth whenever they can’t see you the odds are pretty good you’re dealing with a high anxiety dog for sure.
Obvious Signs of Panic When You Leave
Particularly intelligent dogs that suffer from high anxiety will be able to pick up on the “clues” that you are about to leave them alone pretty early on in life.
You’ll probably start to notice your dog starts to move frantically around the house as you prepare to leave, start to get really anxious when you grab your keys and throw themselves into fits the second that you go through the door. It’s not uncommon to hear them howling through the walls and through your windows as you leave, either.
A Lot of Indoor Accidents
If your dog is constantly making accidents in the house you may not be dealing with a housebreaking issue at all, but instead, something that has to do with anxiety. If your dog is constantly peeing or pooping on your floors (or on your bed/clothes) the odds are very good that it’s an issue linked directly to anxiety.
Real Solutions for Dogs with High Anxiety
Luckily, though, there are things you can do to really manage and mitigate these issues pretty quickly.
For starters, it’s always a good idea to exercise anxious dogs as much as possible every single day.
Not only will constant exercise keep them happy and healthy, but it’s going to flood their body with endorphins – “happiness biochemicals” – that will make them feel great all day long. You’ll also tucker them out a little bit so that they sleep a lot easier, and that means they’ll be a lot less likely to stress out when you have to leave.
It’s also important that you stop making a big deal of leaving the house or coming back home again.
This kind of behavior creates the process of leaving and returning into a ceremony of sorts, and it’s something that your dog is going to almost hardwire into their mind. If you make a big deal out of leaving and returning they are going to make a big deal out of your leaving and returning – and that’s exactly what we are trying to avoid.
Finally, it’s not a bad idea to turn their crate into a “happy place”.
If you can get them to start to think about their crate as a good thing as opposed to punishment, filling it with toys, giving them treats every time they go into the crate, and making it as comfortable as possible, you’re going to have a much easier time leaving your dog alone throughout the day.
To help you turn that crate into a sanctuary, though, we’ve highlighted our favorite dog crates for high anxiety dogs below.
All of these options are top-tier choices you’ll want to consider if you’re serious about making sure your furry little family member stresses out as little as possible going forward.
The Best Dog Crates for High Anxiety Dogs
ProSelect Empire Dog Cage
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While this crate is a little bit on the more expensive side of things, it’s also one of the best made dog crates money can buy – and certainly one of the most versatile.
Specifically designed to accommodate larger dogs or more rambunctious dogs, there might not be a stronger dog crate on the planet than this one. Super reinforced yet still relatively lightweight, the entire thing is rust-resistant and made out of 20gauge reinforced steel bars across the board.
The oversized platform gives your dog plenty of room to move around and a removable steel tray underneath the floor guarantees you’ll catch any “accidents” that your dog might have had when you are gone.
This is, once again, one of the more expensive options on the market today though. But you get more than your money’s worth.
MidWest Homes Dog Crate
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One of the most flexible and versatile of all the different dog crate options on the market today, this particular choice works well with dogs that have a lot of anxiety but also works as a travel crate, too.
Relatively compact, relatively portable, and featuring a built-in divider panel that can make space accommodate to dogs without any real risk to either one, this is a top-tier option for sure.
The only thing that might hold you back from buying this particular dog crate is that it can only comfortably accommodate dogs up to 90 pounds. Any larger than that and you’ll have to look elsewhere. For smaller breeds and medium-sized breeds, though, it should be right up your alley.
The included roller feet makes this easy to move around, with locks on each wheel so that you can secure it in place when it needs a more permanent home. High visibility options through the crate help keep your dog comfortable and calm, and everything takes down easily enough for quick cleaning.
Precision Pet Products Double Door Dog Crate
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The functionality of this dog crate is off the charts.
Made out of heavy-duty wire that helps prevent “breakouts” when you have a dog that likes to chew on their crate, the practical and lightweight design of this unit is very impressive. The open links through the heavy-duty wire allowing a lot of light and a lot of air, helping dogs that get anxious when they are put in confined areas feel like they aren’t as limited as they might feel in other options.
Best of all, these crates come in a variety of different sizes and have some of the friendliest price tags on the market today. You won’t have to worry about spending a mountain of money on these crates while still getting the same kind of performance you get from much more expensive options.
The leak-proof “accident pan” in the bottom of the crate works wonders as well!
Lemberi Heavy Duty Dog Cage Crate
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Some people are going to be a little suspect about this crate because it is so big and bulky (it weighs north of 100 pounds), and that’s easy to understand.
But if you want a strong, stable, reliable crate that is specifically designed with anxious and strong-willed dogs in mind this is the way to go.
The durability of this crate is absolutely second to none. Heavy-duty steel is used throughout the construction of this crate, giving it a bit of extra stability that plastic or aluminum alloy options just don’t bring to the table. 22gauge steel can stand up to a lot of stress and a lot of pressure before it starts to show any signs of wear and tear.
The bottom of this dog crate is designed with a “slide-out” steel tray to capture any accidents that your dog might have. This makes cleanup really simple and straightforward, especially since the floor of this crate is slotted to allow those accidents to slide right through.
Available in a couple of different sizes, the price tag is pretty high for this quality option and there’s no getting around that. Even still, most people are comfortable ponying up the premium price tag to get a dog crate that will last a lifetime and then some.