Dogs have known to destroy things when their owners are away. They bark, dig, chew, howl, defecate, urinate, bite, slash, or try to make a clean get-away. While destructive doggie issues may be due to a lack of house training, they may also indicate separation anxiety or distress.
Some specific indicators of separation anxiety include excessive drooling and showing signs of stress prior to the owner’s departure. Instead of growing agitated and destructive, other dogs may simply get depressed and sulky. Some even try to stand in the way of their owners and the exit.
Barking and howling within minutes of their owner’s departure is another sign of stress. They may also react to their owner’s return in a big way as if they never expected them back again.
Dogs with separation anxiety – or any type of anxiety – can benefit from a “safe space.” This could be a comfortable bed, room or crate that the dog feels comfortable in and is trained to return to when he or she is feeling anxious.
Enter the soft crate
By setting up a soft crate for your beloved pup, you’ll find it can help reduce your dog’s anxiety in the following six ways.
1) They Make Crate Training Easier
Crate training, in general, enables owners to teach their dog invaluable lessons, including house rules, potty training, and how to follow routines. When a dog has a routine and knows what is expected of him, his anxiety is reduced sevenfold.
The right crate can also significantly reduce anxiety, especially when you’re just starting out crate training. A soft crate will serve as the best first safety den because it’s not as intimidating looking as its fellow hard-crates and wire crates. It’s welcoming.
2) They Allow Visibility
Soft crates offer a level of visibility that many other crates – including hard crates and travel crates – don’t. When the anxious dog can see you from inside the crate, he’ll feel less anxious, especially when you’re training him or traveling with them.
3) They Offer Ease of Travel
Speaking of which, soft dog crates offer ease of travel due to their lightweight and portable nature. If your pup is one who gets anxious when traveling, a soft crate is a traveling safe space; it will calm him on the road, as you’ve trained it to.
Soft crates are also collapsible and breathable, so your dog won’t feel claustrophobic in the car. Moreover, they’re super convenient, as you can easily toss it into the cab of the vehicle for a vacation, car trip or vet-run.
4) They’re a Transportable “Safe Space” for Outings
Some dogs love to jump and play with other dogs, but your dog may feel anxious being around other pets or people. Soft crates are the perfect “safe space” for outdoor outings or family reunions.
Again, the portability of soft crates enables you to take them anywhere. But not only are they great for the journey, when you arrive at your destination, you can easily set up your anxious pup’s “safe space” literally anywhere.
This will allow your dog to interact whenever he or she feels up to it and retreat for some alone time whenever his hair is standing on end from the stress.
5) They Don’t Scary Noises
If your dog is already super jumpy, why would you scare him a metal crate? When you attempt to crate-train him, he won’t be too thrilled if he has to bang and clang his way into his “safe space.”
A soft crate, on the other hand, makes little-to-no noise, leaving your dog calm, cool and collected.
6) They are Well Ventilated
Anxious dogs will become even more anxious if they feel they can’t breathe in their crate. So you don’t want to introduce your pup to a hard plastic crate with little ventilation.
Soft crates are often fitted with breathable screens. Not only does this allow more visibility, but it prevents the anxious dog from feeling stifled and hot inside his safe space, due to the circulation.
And the Winner Is…the Soft Crate!
Dogs with Separation anxiety grow upset when those they are familiar with leave them. Some work themselves up so much about when they may see as “abandonment” that they destroy the entire house in their attempt to escape. They may even hurt themselves when they do.
So consider these six ways soft crates can decrease your dog’s anxiety when you’re choosing a dog crate. A soft crate is one of the best choices for your anxious pup.