I have found a way that Zekie is not so severely stressed when I must leave him in his crate. He is just a little stressed. This is quite an improvement for him.
I break a dog biscuit in half, spread peanut butter on each half, and toss them inside a Kong toy. (Make sure the peanut butter does not have xylitol in it. This is hazardous to dogs. I use natural to be safe. ) Sometimes I throw a carrot in too. I spread the remainder of the peanut butter from the knife around the inside of the Kong. The peanut butter keeps the treats stuck inside the toy so he has to work to get them out. This gives him something to do to occupy his mind. Zekie will go in his crate on command if he sees I have the Kong loaded. I used to have to find him and put him in his crate. Now he is willing to go for this special treat.
I also have a bone shaped Kong that I put a baby carrot in each end of, before I put Claire in her crate. Claire doesn’t mind her crate, I just like to give her a treat too. The other dogs don’t require a crate when we go away.
Often times, the treats are still stuck inside Zekie’s Kong when I return home and let him out of his crate. When this happens, he takes the Kong with him wherever he goes. He even carries it with him outside and back in, lest any of the other dogs find and confiscate it. I will eventually dig the treats out and hand them to Zekie.
The distracting toy makes for a much happier Zekie upon my return. And he is not covered in nearly as much “stress drool” this way. Give it a try and see if it makes your pup happier too.