Heavy Duty Dog Crate For Separation Anxiety

Does your dog suffer from separation anxiety? Do they paw at the door and whine as soon as you leave for the day? Before you give up and accept your fate you may want to think about using a heavy duty dog crate.

Now, unless you have a huge dog or one with lots of energy this may not be for you.

Dog owners choose heavy duty dog crates for their look, durability, and easy of use.

Below we cover the top brands and choices to meet everyone’s needs and everyone’s budgets.

Note: If you click some of the links in this article we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

What Is The Best Heavy Duty Dog Crate For Separation Anxiety?

In a hurry? The table below covers our top choices.

Scan below to read more details for each option, for our guide to choosing the right crate for you, and all about dog separation anxiety and how to train your dog to get through it.

Training takes awhile but it’s doable. When Ella, my chihuahua first came into our life she had a fun(!) habit of grabbing a bunch of our shoes and making a nest out of them after we left. She’d even pull out a chew a few insoles from time to time.

With time and training we were able to get her to stop that. We’ll be covering training as well down below.

To skip to any section just check out the Table of Contents above and click where you want to go.

Top Pick – Proselect Empire Dog Cage for Medium and Large Dogs

ProSelect Empire Cages - Medium
  • Dimensions: 33.75" H x 37" W x 25.13" L | Bar Spacing: 2.25''
  • 20-Gauge Steel Cage – This ProSelect Empire dog cage is extremely strong with reinforced 0.5-inch diameter steel tubes and 20-gauge steel
  • Medium-Sized Cage – (26 - 40 lbs)
  • Floor Grate With Tray – Cleanup is easy with this ProSelect dog cage because of its grated floor with tray
  • Removable Casters – You can attach casters to the bottom of the cage to allow for easily rolling the cage to other locations or leave the casters off for added stability.Durable Dog Cage – The Empire cage will stand up to the toughest abuse from the largest dogs with strong latches and thick steel construction

The Proselect Empire dog cage is our top pick for a sturdy cage that will stand up to the most high energy dogs.

Problem with a dog pawing at the cage or constantly chewing? Is your dog’s separation anxiety so bad that they have destroyed several cages already? Has your dog hurt itself pawing and gnawing at cheaper cages?

This cage will prevent that. There’s no way your dog can find it’s way out of this.

Looks strong. Plus the heavy gauge steel gives the cage a pleasing appearance. It looks strong and solid. It doesn’t have that flimsy look of typical dog cages. The ones that feel like they might collapse on your dog if you didn’t put them together right.

Just the opposite, this cage looks like it could take a boulder falling on it and come out intact.

It’s also easy to clean. With a removable tray that slides out easily you can clean up any messes. There’s a firm grate for your dog to stand on so you won’t be pulling on their feet like you would with other cages.

Lastly it’s easy to move. With the attachable wheels you can move it anywhere. You need that feature since the cage itself is made of 20 gauge steel and weights in over 70 lbs.

Sizes Available

  • Medium – 35.75 inches long x 23.5 inches wide with 24.5 inches of height – For small to medium sized dogs
  • Large – 40¾” long x 28⅛” wide x 31¾” high for larger dogs

What We Like

  • Dog won’t try to escape – the bars are too sturdy
  • Sturdy – Cage can’t be destroyed by larger dogs
  • Middle price – more expensive than cheap cages but much cheaper than the top cages

What We Don’t Like

  • The pan dents easily
  • Super smart dogs can undo the latches on the floor and escape
  • Very hard to use the warranty if something goes wrong

For Super Tall, Large XXL Dogs – Luckup Dog Crate

LUCKUP 38 Inch Heavy Duty Dog Cage Metal Kennel and Crate for Large Dogs,Easy to Assemble Pet Playpen with Four Wheels,Black … …
  • Heavy duty frame: made from industrial corrosion-resistant steel, indestructible and durable, hard to be damaged, nontoxic finished surface keep your dog health, suitable for most medium and large dogs, two locks with the safety buckles to prevent the high anxiety dogs from opening the door and escaping.
  • Double door & locking caster design: The front door is suitable for pet in and out,the top door also can be opened for you interacting with your dog. 360 degree rotated locking casters can help you to move crate anywhere easily and lock the wheels to keep the crate in place.
  • Easy to assemble:All hardware pack included,just need to fit it with four wheels and eight screw bolts, locks were pre-assembled,Just takes 3-5 minutes to complete.
  • Easy to clean:Removable (slide-out) plastic tray helps you to catch the fallen dog food and excrement,and allows you to wipe and clean easily.
  • Overall Dimensions: 37.5"L X 25.5"W X 32"H; Internal height of the dog cage : 27"H; Metal pipe spacing:2"; Metal"slat-like" floor spacing:1" Color: Black.

We love this crate. It has a ton of size options plus it’s tallest size is the biggest one we could find. A whopping 51″ of height. That’s almost as tall as I am!

This brand also offers a heavy duty increased gauge option in the 42″ range. Are the others not as heavy duty? Not according to our research.

We offer the Luckup to suit your large dog needs as it covers a wide range of large dog sizes. Plus it has a different flooring system than other models.

Pay attention to the floor! This is a weak point in a lot of these heavy duty cages and dogs frequently find a way to escape by breaking the floor latches. Sadly, this one still has some work there but we have a workaround for that.

So keep reading and we’ll pass on our tips for dealing with floor latches.

What We Like

  • The Tallest Cage – Includes a 51″ high option for super tall dogs
  • Comfy metal slat floor – It’s hard to find a good floor but this one is decent. The problem with separation anxiety is that if you add a dog bed your dog will chew it up. With all of the heavy duty options they make a grated floor so you can easily get the pan out. This one is a bit better than others.

What We Don’t Like

  • Weak floor links – Again, like a lot of these heavy duty cages, the floor links that let you fold the cage when breaking it down are weak and smart dogs can go at these to escape. Like we recommend for the other cages, use carabiners to add strength. Don’t bother with zip ties. Zip ties = chew toys.

For Big, Energetic Dogs – Haige Pet Your Pet Nanny Heavy Duty Dog Crate

Haige Pet Your Pet Nanny 42'' Heavy Duty Dog Crate Cage Strong Metal Kennel for Large Dogs Easy to Assemble with Two Prevent Escape Lock and Four Lockable Wheels
  • Heavy duty frame: made from corrosion-resistant steel,strong and durable, hard to be damaged,nontoxic finished surface keep your dog health,nd render excellent anti-rust ability, suitable for most medium and large dogs,two locks with the safety buckles to prevent the dogs from opening the door and escaping.
  • One door & locking caster design: The front door is suitable for pet in and out. 360 degree rotated locking casters can help you to move crate anywhere easily and lock the wheels to keep the crate in place.
  • Easy to clean:Removable (slide-out) plastic tray helps you to catch the fallen dog food and excrement,and allows you to wipe and clean easily.
  • Easy to assemble:All hardware pack included,just need to fit it with four wheels and eight screw bolts, locks were pre-assembled,Just takes 3-5 minutes to complete.
  • Overall Dimensions: 40.5"L X 29.5"W X 37.3"H; Internal height of the dog cage (excluding wheels): 33.1"H; Metal pipe spacing:2"; Metal"slat-like" floor spacing:1" Color: Black. Attention:if you have any product quality problems, please feel free to contact us.We offer a 3 years warranty.

After a long search we finally found another cage with some extra height as well as sturdiness and strength. It seems most cages are just about the same size and dimensions when you order “medium” or the “large” size.

That’s great but sometimes you have a big dog that likes to rough up or destroy it’s cage.

And who wants to crunch their dog into a “large” sized cage that’s really only suitable for 80 lb labs?

No one.

Instead, you need something that goes the extra mile. You need a Haige cage.

What We Like

  • Tall but Strong – 41″ height.
  • Easy to clean – has a grate that separates pan area so you can remove pan without hurting your dog’s feet
  • Extra large size – this crate matches the large size of the Proselect cage but this one includes an added roof bringing it up an additional 10 inches!
  • Sturdy – Can stand up to 90 lb labs with ease.

What We Don’t Like

  • Grating size on bottom is weird – dog tags seem to get caught in them and not the most comfy on dog feet. Be sure to give your dog a pillow or bed to help with their feet and things getting caught.
  • Floor is weak area for escape – like the Proselect, the floor is the area most likely for your dog to escape through. We find that carabiners help prevent this.

Bargain Budget Option – Merry Products Cage/Crate

Merry Products Pet Cage with Crate Cover, Medium
  • Dimensions(WxDxH): External: 21.5" x 32.7" x 23.3", Internal: 19.2" x 30.2" x 18.6"; Door: 13" x 15"
  • Panels cover the main components of the crate giving the crate a more finished and interior-appropriate appearance like furniture.
  • Our solid crate top allows personal items to be stored on top, taking full advantage of the surface area with no effect on the crate or pet inside.
  • Includes removable plastic tray that can be pulled out for cleaning purposes
  • Made with MDF with solid wood veneer and powder coated steel; Wire gauge 7 (3.7 mm)

The best looking bargain option we can find. To save money they offer two options.

The first and cheapest option is a faux wood frame that goes around a standard crate.

The standard crate has two doors and is included with the set.

The fake wood looks pretty decent as well but sadly it only comes in one wood color.

Still, this is the only cage we found that has a solid top allowing you to use it as a small table. Light items only! It’s sturdy but I wouldn’t go storing a bunch of books on top.

What We Like

  • Low Cost! – This cage uses wood to reinforce a standard internal dog cage. Doing that makes it stronger and it looks different than any other heavy duty crate out there.
  • Decorative – The “wood” reinforcing frame gives it a nice look worthy of OK furniture. If metal doesn’t match your living room try this instead.

What We Don’t Like

  • Small (Large size wasn’t in stock when we reviewed but is out there) – These cages are for small to medium small dogs. Larger sizes are possible but not always available. Keep checking and contact the manufacturer on when they’ll be ready.
  • Fake wood – It’s not solid wood but rather a veneer. Still, it looks good from a distance!
  • Not as sturdy as other options – If you have a dog that has destroyed typical $50 cages then don’t get this. They will find a way out.

The Safest Dog Crate For Anxiety

The safest dog crate is the one you work with to make that way. Of the options given above the sturdiest are the Proselect, the Luckup and the Haige. Check each carefully and pay special attention to the floors.

Choose one that has a flooring setup that will match your dog’s feet.

Also do the following to keep your dog safe while using a heavy duty dog cage:

  • Make it feel like a safe cave – Use a blanket or sheet over the cage
  • Train your dog to use it – See full instructions below on training your dog to use a cage
  • Add carabiners to the bottom – This will prevent them from breaking out
  • Add a soft bed inside – This protects your dog’s feet from rubbing on the grate all day
  • Keep training and have patience – Dog anxiety takes time to deal with but you’ll get there!

Escape Proof Dog Crate

None of these cages are escape proof. You can find accounts of every one of them having a dog get out. Hope is not lost though.

The number one thing you can do to make any dog crate escape proof is to add thick carabiners (for rock climbing not keychains) to connect the floor to the walls.

Are there other areas your dog escapes from? Don’t give up on your crate or cage.

Add more locking carabiners! Check out these locking carabiners made for rock climbing. That means they are thick and can’t be destroyed by chewing.

ayamaya 30kn Climbing Carabiner Aluminum Locking Carabiner D Shape Screwgate Carabiner Hook Screw Gate Lock Caribiner Clips Sport Tools Outdoor Gifts for Men Women (Grey)
  • Keylock nose prevents snagging. Munter Hitch compatible
  • D shaped facilitates belaying single ropes with a Munter hitch
  • Easily opened with one hand
  • Using: Climbing / Aerial Work / Fire Rescue / Downhill etc.
  • CE certified. Strength: Closed - 6744 lbf / 30 kN; Open - 1574 lbf / 7 kN; Minor Axis - 1574 lbf / 7 kN

Plastic Crate For Dog With Separation Anxiety – Petmate Sky Kennel Pet Carrier

Want to try something at a lower price point? Feel more comfortable with your dog in soft plastic rather than cold hard metal.

Well, the good news, is that such crates exist. The bad news is that they aren’t the strongest crates out there.

For separation anxiety they can be great. They’re dark like a safe cave. If you follow the training guidelines below on using crates to help with separation anxiety this can be a great way to go.

If you have a big high energy dog that’s an escape artist or has taken out other crates then a plastic crate might not be the best way to go.

Regardless, you can still use this for travel. Here’s the one we recommend.

Why do we recommend it? It has all the size options you’ll need for different sized dogs.

Keep in mind that if you go big it will cost similar to what you’d pay for a high gauge heavy duty cage.

For smaller dogs though this could be the perfect fit for a low cost cage with soft comforting features that can help your dog while your traveling or while your away.

Petmate Sky Kennel Pet Carrier - 28 Inch
  • Extra Security: 4 way vault door provides extra security for the travel dog crate by preventing sliding and shifting (available on 36 inch size and up)
  • Durable, Heavy Duty Construction: Durable plastic shell, non corrodible wing nuts, extra strong steel wire, and interlocking door provide heavy duty protection
  • 360 Degree Ventilation: Ventilation openings surrounding the travel kennel give pets fresh air and visibility from all sides
  • Travel Necessities Included: Portable dog kennel includes 2 Live Animal stickers, clip on bowls and ID stickers for easy modification for travel. Top Handle available on 21 inch and 28 inch sizes
  • Airline Adaptable: The Petmate Sky Kennel meets most airline cargo specifications for easy and safe travel, but pet owners should always check with individual airlines

What We Like

  • Low Cost! – No surprisingly. Plastic cages are cheaper than their heavy gauge metal alternatives.
  • Cozy – The plastic casing gives the cage a cave-like feel. With proper training (see our instructions below) you’re dog will come to think of this as their little safe place. That’s exactly what you want to help them deal with their separation anxiety.
  • Portable – You can travel with these cages. That’s what they were originally designed for – to protect your dog during travel.

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s Plastic! – This article is mainly about heavy duty cages so plastic ones don’t fully fit the bill. It’s a common question that comes up so we wanted to give you this option in case the benefits outweigh the downsides

Large XXL Dog Crate

For large XXL dogs we recommend one of two options:

Full descriptions for both can be found above.

We like the Luckup Crate for Tall dogs because it comes with a 51″ tall A-Frame style ceiling. It also has all the other typical options for medium and large dogs including a heavy gauge variety for overactive dogs.

The Luckup truly is a one-stop shop for variety but we also like…

The Haige Crate. Why? It’s tall and strong. They specialize in XXL and tall dogs and that’s why we like it.

Soft Dog Crate

Looking for a soft dog crate? Then you have 2 options:

  1. Get one of the heavy duty options above and add lots of dog bedding.
  2. Get the recommended plastic dog crate option above

With option 1 you’ll run into a chewing problem. Dogs can’t chew on heavy metal bars. They can chew on the dog bed though!

With option 2 you’ll run into a sturdiness issue. You know those simple crates and cages that you’re dog escaped from before? Well they’ll use those skills to get out of this one.

The plastic walls are soft though. They also act as a light barrier making it more like a comfy cave.

So if you’re looking for something soft and you have an energetic dog – go heavy metal and add bedding.

Have a low energy dog and need something soft? Go plastic (and add bedding for kindness!).

Dog Crates for Dogs That Chew

Is your dog a chewer? Do they find a way to chew open latches? Do they chew off cage clips that hold the walls together?

You are not alone. That’s what this article is all about. And that’s why so many brands have come out with a sturdy steel cage type.

Why? Heavy metal bars can’t be chewed or bent easily.

There’s a softer, plastic option given above as well.

For big chewers we recommend the main options above. See our reviews of the Proselect Super Sturdy, The Luckup Variety Pack, The Big and Tall by Haige, and the Wooden Decorative by Merry.

How To Choose The Best Heavy Duty Dog Crate

Here’s our quick guide to choosing the best heavy gauge dog crate for you and your pup fast!

Dog Size

How big is your dog? For tall dogs like Great Danes check out the Haige or Luckup models. For medium to large dogs see any of the other brands above.

Material – Plastic Or Metal

Is your dog low energy and you’re worried about surrounding them by cold metal? Try the plastic Petmate Sky Kennel.

Does your dog have a lot of energy? Do they break or escape from cages easily? Get a strong metal cage.

Then try the Proselect, Haige, or Luckup models shown above. They are all made of heavy gauge metal.

Strength And Durability

Some dogs chew everything. They have the energy and they love to explore. They also like to break out of thin metal cages.

Can this be avoided? Yep. Check out the heavy gauge metal cages above by Proselect, Haige, or Luckup.

Skip the lighter plastic and thinner metal cages by Merry and Petmate.


Nothing beats plastic for softness and warmth. Looking for a warm, cozy cage to help your pup deal with anxiety?

Look no further than the Petmate Sky Kennel reviewed above. It’s soft, light, and sturdy.


Need to move your pet around easily? The heavy duty cages above won’t help with that. At 70 lbs and up they can be quite the beast to move. Especially when they have a 70 lb dog in them.

That’s another reason why all of them have wheels. So you can get them around easily.

So if you need portability around the house go with the Proselect, Haige, or Luckup brands above.

If you need long range portability go with the Petmate Sky Kennel.

If you don’t need portability and just want something that looks like furniture (and your dog is low energy) go with the Merry brand.

The Ugly Factor

What is ugly? For some wood furniture is beautiful and metal is ugly. For others, metal gives a modern urban look that people love.

What’s your ugly factor? We’ve given options above that cover it all.

Love heavy metal? Go with the Proselect, Haige, or Luckup Models. These models look great alongside a metal girder staircase.

Like a little wood furniture look? Try the Merry brand.

Lost in 80’s nostalgia and plastic dog carriers? You’ll love the Petmate Sky Kennel.

Compliance With Travel Rules

Need to travel? Go with the Petmate Sky Kennel. But double check your favorite carriers rules first!

Southwest Pet Travel Rules

United Pet Travel Rules

Frontier Pet Travel Rules


How Do You Crate Train a Dog with Separation Anxiety?

  1. Keep the cages out and allow your dogs to access them on their own.
  2. When they go inside on their own reward them – praise or treats.
  3. Don’t put a lot of stuff in the crate at first.
  4. Practice keeping them in their cages while you’re home. Put them in. Close door. Wait 30 seconds. Come back and give treat. Repeat at longer intervals – 1 minute in cage, then 2 minutes, then 5, etc.
  5. If you have 2 dogs have 2 cages that face each other.
  6. Keep crates in a common room (living room or kitchen). You should be in the room during training initially.
  7. Keep up with the rules – If you leave for a long time put them in their cage each time. Choose a pattern and do it always. Be consistent.

And why not offer a little bonus relaxation music for your dogs?

Are Crates Good For Dogs With Separation Anxiety?

Yes! When used as part of a training program crates can be a wonderful resource. Use them to build a home for your pup, not a cage.

Is It Cruel To Leave Your Dog In A Crate?

No but you must set it up with proper training. Read the instructions above, watch the video, and follow it. The crate is a tool that you train your dog to associate with calmness and safety.

Don’t force your dog into the crate. Teach them to love it instead.

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