Every dog breed can experience separation anxiety once they are away from their owners for too long. This is bad for their mental health so you need to do something about it quickly.
Identify the Problem
Unfortunately, many dog owners cannot tell when their dogs suffer from separation anxiety. Not being able to identify the signs would amount to zero effort in trying to solve the problem.
Below, we will list out the major signs of separation anxiety.
They include –
- Scratching on the door
- Excessive barking
- Chewing items when you’re not around
- Pooping in the house
If your dog puts up one or more of these behaviors, then he may be suffering from separation anxiety.
To identify these signs, you need to monitor your dog closely and observe his behavior.
Treatment of Separation Anxiety in Dogs
For your dog to remain happy at all times, even when he’s home alone, it is important for him to overcome separation anxiety.
All it would take is some time, patience, and effort on your part. Follow these tips below to prevent and treat separation anxiety in your dog.
Crate Train Your Dog
This method works well with puppies. Dogs love cozy and comfy places to relax and a crate is just the right object.
The crate will also make him feel safe, so it’s a great way to treat and prevent separation anxiety in your dog.
You can place him in his crate while you are watching television or doing the dishes. Be sure to have a time limit for this, as your dog also needs to go out and poop or stretch.
When he is properly crate-trained, he will not miss the secure feeling you provide when you are not around. He will simply go into his crate (which is his comfy zone) and await your return.
Crate training will take some time and effort, being that your dog may not want to be in the crate. You can reward him with a doggy snack anytime he stays put.
Doing this will teach him that there’s something to gain by remaining calm in his crate. As he gets older, he will outgrow the crate, but will already be confident of being home alone by then.
Reduce Attention Before You Leave
If you’ll be leaving for work in the next 30 minutes, then do not give your dog too much attention before you go. In fact, you should almost ignore him during that time.
This would make your absence easier for him to bear when he notices you are no longer around.
Also do not celebrate when you return. Just give him a little rub on the head and mind your business. This will teach him to be more independent.
Get Another Dog
Dogs only experience separation anxiety when they are alone. They would behave differently if they had a friend to spend some playtime with.
Getting another dog is a good idea for a company. When you are not around he will have someone to play and spend time with, thereby reducing anxiety.
Get Him Toys
There are many rubber and stuffed toys meant for dogs. You can get a few of these for your dog to keep him busy while you are away.
Be sure to train him to love the toys before you start leaving him completely alone.
An extra tip here is to buy toys that make sounds and move when they are touched. Dogs will keep chasing and poking at a toy if it expects to hear a sound or a movement in response.
With his favorite toys around, he will have something to steal his attention when you are not in the house.
Have Someone in the House When You Are Away
Having a close family friend stay with your dog when you are away will help reduce his anxiety. It would be wise to have someone who the dog is already familiar with to be around.
We believe everyone has a busy life, but if you’re lucky to have a neighbor who spends a lot of time indoors, then you’re in good for you.