What are some tips to deal with confinement anxiety in dogs?

This blog answers: What are some tips to deal with confinement anxiety in dogs? What are the symptoms of confinement anxiety in dogs?

What are some tips to deal with confinement anxiety in dogs?

Some tips to deal with confinement anxiety in dogs are:


Many vets suggest a combination of therapeutic as well as pharmaceutical strategies to help dogs with confinement anxiety. Anti-anxiety medications help once dogs deal with their fears and make them capable to handle their stressors.


Antidepressants are a group of medications very commonly prescribed to dogs that struggle with confinement anxiety. The most used antidepressants are fluoxetine and clomipramine, which help to enhance the dog’s overall mood by working on their serotonin.

Antidepressants usually start working within four to six weeks showing significant improvement. Hence pet owners need to be patient and follow the procedure as suggested by the vet to see their pets get better.

Rapid-acting anxiolytics

Rapid-acting anxiolytics like trazodone and clonidine are suggested to the pet owners by their vet in situations where leaving their dogs behind is the only option they’ve got.

These medications are usually recommended for full usage an hour or two before the pet owners are ready to leave.

At-home treatments

Many vets also suggest a home-based treatment approach to deal with their dog’s confinement anxiety. Some steps that pet owners can take at home to manage their dog’s anxiety are:

Build an escape-proof home

Building an escape-proof home can be ideal for managing dogs’ confinement anxiety to a certain point.

Don’t leave them alone for long hours

The best way to help one dog from experiencing confinement anxiety is by avoiding leaving them alone for long periods. Different breeds of dogs hold different characteristics however it’s not ideal to leave any dog alone for more than 8 hours as it can cause anxiety and stress.

Have a window in their room

Owners can also make sure that their pets are kept in rooms that have a window such that they can see outside. However, this might not be the same for all the dogs. Some dogs might start barking looking at other animals outside and people while some might enjoy the view and stay occupied.

Hence pet owners must observe their behavior when they are kept near a window-side in a room and decide accordingly.

Leave a light on

Dark houses might give a sense of loneliness more than lighted houses. Hence dog owners can keep their lights on in the room where their pets are placed to make them feel more safe and secure while they are away.

Avoid punishment

When pet owners are trying to reduce the separation anxiety amongst their dogs the first thing, they must keep in mind is that punishment for their actions is only going to worsen their symptoms and resulting anxiety rather than getting it in control.

Pet owners must understand that their pet’s negative behaviors are because of the stress and panic that was caused due to their absence.

Give them a habit of being alone

One of the most crucial ways to help dogs deal with their anxiety is to help them be alone and realize that being alone does not mean being in danger or it does not mean anything bad.

Pet owners must help dogs to get comfortable staying alone. They can do this by following small steps such as leaving them outside the supermarket when they walk in, leaving them in the backyard for some time when they’re cleaning up the house.

These small steps become very crucial to help dogs get comfortable staying alone when their owners are away for a long time.

Use distraction

The best way to help dogs from experiencing a sense of anxiety when their owners are away is to keep them distracted.

Pet owners can take the help of companion toys, food dispensing toys, or any object that reminds them of the owner’s presence when they are away to keep them distracted for a while without feeling uncomfortable.

Using a pee pad

Waiting for the owners to come back to get done with their washroom needs might be very stressful for many dogs and impossible in some cases.

To reduce the stress related to their washroom needs owners can place pee pads which makes it easier to get rid of their washroom needs when needed

Select the right toys

Toys can be of two types one that provides entertainment when dogs feel alone, upset, and require toys to interact with, the Smart Pet Love Snuggle Puppy helps perfectly for the role of a companion toy.

The second one could be using a treat dispenser which helps to distract dogs when the pet owners are away.

A proper treat-dispensing toy can help keep the dogs occupied while the owners are away and fulfill their hunger needs too.

Play canine-specific calming music

Leaving the TV or radio on leaves no control over the type of commercials that are displayed, while playing calming music tailored for dogs can aid in a happy mood and a nice environment for the dog when left alone.

Through A Dog’s Ear: Music To Calm Your Canine Companion which is available as unlimited streaming, a CD, or an MP3 can be used for the purpose.

What are the symptoms of confinement anxiety in dogs?

Some signs and symptoms of confinement anxiety in dogs are:

Active symptoms

  • Pacing or running
  • Digging or destructive behavior
  • Climbing and jumping to escape
  • Barking
  • Signs of aggression

Passive symptoms

  • Hiding
  • Ears tucked back
  • Tail between legs
  • Unusual alertness
  • Vigilance
  • Whining
  • Lip licking

Physiological symptoms

  • Panting
  • Salivating
  • Trembling
  • Tense muscles
  • Urinating or defecating
  • Dilated pupils


Confinement anxiety is not as common as other forms of anxiety in dogs. Confinement fear can range from anything between a crate to an entire room.

Pet owners must closely pay attention to the behaviors and signs of their dogs to diagnose their concerns as quickly as possible to avoid any irreversible changes in their pets.

Frequently asked questions: What are some tips to deal with confinement anxiety in dogs?

How can I help my dog with confinement anxiety?

Pet owners can manage confinement anxiety in their dogs by using some home-based approaches such as providing them with companion toys, keeping them in rooms with good lighting, and helping them get adjusted to being alone.

What is dog confinement anxiety?

Confinement anxiety refers to an irrational fear of being in enclosed places or in confinement. Dogs may experience a sense of anxiousness when they are kept in small spaces with doors closed with or without their owner’s presence.

Why do dogs hate being confined?

Many dogs might be very uncomfortable with the idea of being confined due to the past traumatic and unpleasant experience of being confined.

How do I get my dog to be alone?

Pet owners can consider various training strategies to help their dogs be home alone comfortably without panicking and experiencing stress.

This might include gradually helping them get used to their absence and normalizing their departure.


Confinement Anxiety In Dogs

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