5 Ways To Reduce Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety is a disorder in dogs characterized by frantic and destructive behaviors when their owner is away. This behaviour can include scratching surfaces, constant pacing and barking. Separation anxiety can result from a change of environment, lack of training, or a change of ownership. However, as difficult as dealing with your dog’s separation anxiety can be, there are several ways to help your pet cope.
Walk Your Dog Before Leaving
Anytime you plan to be away from your home and your dog, ensure you take your dog for a walk in the park or around the neighborhood. By the time you return home, your dog would likely be tired, and therefore, focus its remaining energy on food and sleep.
Do Not Be Away For Too Long
If you plan to be away from your dog for a very long time, it would be best to bring them with you. Leaving your dog alone for too long is a huge factor that contributes to separation anxiety. However, if you cannot take your dog with you, you can bring them to a dog daycare or ask a friend to dog-sit while you are away.
If you tend to become emotional when leaving your dog behind, try to be more assertive. Many professional dog trainers recommend giving your dog a verbal cue when you are about to leave. This trains your dog to understand that everytime you say a verbal cue such as “watch the house,” that you will be leaving them alone for a period of time. This helps them to be less anxious.
Give Your Dog Its Personal Space
Dogs become easily attached to their owners, especially if they are used to going everywhere with them. One way you can reduce separation anxiety is to give your dog its personal space when you are at home. Consider putting them in a crate or placing a dog bed in a separate area in your home. This helps to train your dog to be independent and content when alone.
Dog daycares can be very beneficial to your dog because it can help them socialize with other dogs and people. This socialization will help your dog to be more receptive to a new environment and less anxious in unfamiliar situations.
If you are a dog owner, your dog is likely to have exhibited separation anxiety at least once or twice when you were leaving the house. While separation anxiety is not unexpected in dogs, it can become a cause for concern when your dog is exhibiting behavioural issues. In addition to the tips mentioned above, you can also talk to a dog therapist or veterinary doctor about your dog’s separation anxiety.