Separation anxiety in dogs can be the source of a great deal of problems both for you and for your pooch. The root of this anxiety which dogs suffer is the fact that they are so close to you, they struggle to stay calm when you are not there. The degrees of separation anxiety vary greatly and some dogs may show small signs of frustration, others can show much higher levels of anxiety which can lead to crying, barking, scratching and going to the bathroom in the home as a result of their frustrations. Separation anxiety is not just hard on the dog, it can be difficult on the owner too because of the damage which dogs can cause. If you want to stop the anxiety, here are some tips on doing so.
When you are in the home with the dog, try to spend time on putting them in another room with the door closed. The idea here is to reward them for their calmness and you should start off by going in every 10 minutes, reassuring the dog and perhaps giving them a little rub. As time goes on, lengthen the time between how long you leave them for until you get to the point whereby you can leave them for some hours, without them becoming anxious.
Many dogs show a significant reduction in anxiety after they have exercised and you should aim to take the dog out for a good walk before you leave the home. This exercise will not only tire the dog out which will help it to relax once you leave the house, it will also release feel-good chemicals in the dog which can help it to stay calm when you are out of the house.
There are some fantastic toys on the market which can help the dog to stay busy when you are not home. Separation anxiety is worse for the dog when you first leave and so it makes sense that you give it something which will keep it occupied in those first 30 minutes. One of the best toys which I have seen for this kind of thing is those which let you put treats inside and the dog needs to find a way of getting them out, this will keep your dog mentally sharp and most importantly, help them to forget about the fact that you have gone.
If you make a big deal of leaving the house and arriving back in the house, then the dog will become increasingly more anxious and you will run into far more problems. When you leave home, you should do so as if it is nothing, don’t say a word to the dog and don’t pet it as you say goodbye. Equally, when you arrive home, do not recognize the dog until it has calmed down. If the dog knows that there will be excitement when you arrive home, they will be anxious all day waiting for you.
Does your dog have problems like this? Follow the tips and let us know how you get on in the comment section below.