Home Alone Hacks: A  Guide to Beating Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Home Alone Hacks: A Guide to Beating Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Dogs, surprisingly akin to humans, are not just pets; they're emotional, empathetic, and sociable companions. However, their strong emotional connection often leads to separation anxiety when their beloved pet parents step out, even for a quick errand.

Demystifying Canine Separation Anxiety - What exactly is Separation Anxiety?

Separation anxiety in dogs mirrors its human counterpart—anxiety, fear, and distress when separated from their attachment figure, i.e., you. This is common, particularly in young pups, disrupting their routine and leaving them unsure when you're away.

 

Unraveling the Triggers

Various factors contribute to separation anxiety, sucha as : 

  • Personality: Each dog has a unique personality, affecting their response to your absence.
  • Breed: Certain breeds may be more predisposed to separation anxiety.
  • External Factors: Environmental changes, like the upheavals of the COVID-19 pandemic, can trigger anxiety.

Recognizing The Symptoms Of Separation Anxiety 

  • Destructive Behavior: Pawing, digging, or chewing, especially near the exit.
  • Urinating or defecating around the door.
  • Excessive Vocalization: Barking or whining when you're away.

Often when you return home also, your dog can show various symtoms like Behave emotinally distant or getting frightened when you try to hold your dog.

So Why Do Dogs Develop Separation Anxiety?

Your best bud might develop separation anxiety due to early experiences, particularly during puppyhood. If you acquired your dog when they were still with their litter, witnessing their siblings being taken away to their forever homes could contribute to their separation anxiety. Additionally, if your dog experienced abandonment or departure without explanation from a previous owner, it could be a factor in their anxiety.

Certain dogs are also predisposed to separation anxiety based on their individual personalities. It's essential to recognize that every dog possesses unique temperaments that may not be entirely predictable. Some puppies struggle when their beloved pet parent leaves, even for short durations.

Puppies, in their early months, may also exhibit temporary separation anxiety. Accustomed to constant companionship, your dog may not comprehend why they are placed in a comfortable crate when you run errands. To them, being crated might be misconstrued as a form of punishment.

Here's How You Can Help Your Dog Overcome Separation Anxiety 

1. Give Your Dog a Distraction

Introduce engaging distractions like long-lasting chews or treat-filled toys before departure. Positive associations help mitigate mild to moderate separation anxiety.

2. Train Your Dog for Alone Time

Use positive reinforcement by associating departure cues with treats. Gradually extend your absence, reinforcing the notion that you'll return, rewarding your pup each time.

3. Establish a Routine

Dogs thrive on routine. Set a consistent schedule so your dog knows when it is time for you to leave and when it is time for you to come back home. 

If your dog is prone to separation anxiety, try and come home everyday at the same time. You might find your dog waiting for you by the door each day at the same time to welcome you with sloppy wet kisses!

4. Play With Your Dog

Combat anxiety by tiring your dog physically and mentally. Regular walks or play sessions can help them relax and nap while you're away.

5. Give Your Dog a Relaxing Area

Crate training provides a secure space. Ensure it's equipped with comforting items, making your dog associate the crate with safety and tranquility.

6. Medical Attention

If symptoms persist, consult a vet. Health issues might underlie the anxiety. A vet can offer guidance and, if necessary, suggest calming supplements.

 

Separation anxiety may be normal, but it demands attention. It's a journey, not a quick fix. Be patient, employ strategies, and ensure your pup feels secure when you're away. After all your dog is your child, and it is your job to make sure your four legged baby is always happy!

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