How do you get over the anxiety of leaving a howling puppy in a crate alone?

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So to give a little background to this post…my pup is 6 months old now and only one month ago he regressed in his crate training and now I can’t leave him alone in the crate without him howling. He doesn’t relax or lay down and sleep like he used to. I’ve tried leaving a treat toy in there and even a bully stick but he doesn’t touch them when I leave. I have been told that he will get used to it and to not give into his whining and howling, but it’s so hard especially when I have anxiety issues.

I have been off work for a couple of months now and am planning to return to work very soon so he will need to be left alone for a couple of hours in the crate until the puppy sitter can come by to let him out and then for another couple in the afternoon before I get home. I do take him to daycare a couple of days each week but can’t afford much more than that. I have tried going back to basics on crate training but have noticed that it’s harder to go back to basics with it because before October, he could be left in the crate for up to an hour alone and he wouldn’t howl. Now, I can’t even leave the room for five minutes before he starts to whine and whimper.

My question to more experienced owners is…how do you get over the emotions/anxiety of leaving your dog alone when you know they are not happy with it? Should I just let him “cry it out”? Has anyone tried Zylkene to calm your puppy down when leaving them? I know it’s not necessarily separation anxiety because he is okay being left with other people or being around other dogs, so while he is attached to me, he is not overly attached. I’m told it’s something called isolation distress and that is just the fear of being left alone not from being separated from a particular person.

Any help is appreciated. All I ask is to please keep the suggestions positive. I am beating myself up enough for feeling like I am failing him because I have been around him so much for the past four months and now I am changing the situation and I haven’t been consistent enough in the crate training and leaving him.

Thanks. 🙏

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