One of the greatest joys of dog ownership is the bond we build and encourage with our dogs. However, if your dog becomes too dependent on you, dog separation anxiety can occur when you are away from your dog. Dogs can either react to a lack of exercise and/or the stress of being separated from their leader of the pack by becoming upset, destructive or bark excessively.
Signs of Dog Anxiety
- Showing signs of stress and anxiety when you are leaving the house
- Ignores his/her food
- Goes potty in the house when you are gone
- Goes through garbage or tears things up in your house
- Excessive drooling, crying, whimpering
- Tries to escape
Tips On How To Help Your Dog Overcome Separation Anxiety
Treating your dog’s separation anxiety problem depends on how sever it is. You must educate your dog to accept the fact that sometimes you will need to be apart. The earlier in your dogs life you start getting him/her used to this, the easier it will be, for both you and your dog. Start by leaving for only a few minutes and then gradually increase the time you’re gone.
- Make your dog feel safe when you leave the house. Provide plenty of water and warm bedding for your dog to sleep in.
- Give your dog lots of exercise before you leave. This will help tie your dog out before you leave them alone.
- Leave a blanket or piece of your clothing that has your scent on it. If your dog is destructive make sure you don’t leave them anything valuable.
- Leave the radio or TV on for your dog. This can be soothing and comforting in mild cases of separation anxiety in dogs.
- Adding another dog to your family (if you have the time and can afford another one). Some people believe having two dogs in their home can reduce separation anxiety because they are not home alone.
- Leave your dog in a doggie playpen or crate. This can provide a protection area which can keep your dog from getting into trouble. Again the earlier you start this with your dog the better. Do not leave your dog for long periods of time at first. Make sure they have time to get used to being in a cage or doggie playpen.
- Make sure you are the leader of the pack. When you establish yourself as the trusted leader, your dog will respect your right to come and go as you please.
- Have a family member or neighbor check on your dog when you are gone for long periods of time.
- Try taking your dog to a doggy daycare in Saratoga Springs, Clifton Park, Schenectady or Glens Falls NY.
Hopefully with these dog separation anxiety tips you dog will slowly start getting more used to being home alone. Don’t forget to be patient and know you will not solve this problem overnight. Gradual change is always best for your dogs. If still no improvement is observed an animal behaviorist or Saratoga Springs veterinarian may need to be contacted or medications may need to be prescribed. The key is catching this early enough so it is more manageable.