Sadly, our poor puppers sometimes have to be left alone in the house for a little while. Many learn to deal with this well and simply have a bit of a snooze until their owner comes home. But for a dog with separation anxiety, it can be a big source of stress.
No-one wants to cause their pets to worry! But unfortunately, staying at home all the time isn’t usually an option. Regardless of how much we would like it to be!
Luckily, separation anxiety is something that can be helped. It’s just a matter of teaching our pups that there’s nothing to be afraid of and that there is fun to be had even when we’re not around!
So, let’s see what we can do!
Dog Separation Anxiety Symptoms
Separation anxiety is much more than a little bit of whining; it’s a real issue that can really stress your pet out.
This stress and anxiety can cause your dog to eliminate within the home, take part in destructive coping behaviours such as chewing and digging, and even attempt to escape through doors and windows.
As you can see, the anxiety can cause a lot of issues for both you and your pup. But rather than focus on that stuff, let’s instead look at how we can make a positive effect on their anxiety.
Treatment for Dog Separation Anxiety
In mild cases of separation anxiety, the problem can be solved by helping the dog realise that being alone isn’t so bad!
Here are some tips from the experts on what you can do to help your dog overcome their anxiety.
- Give a high-value treat every time you leave.
- Take your dog for a long, nice walk before you go.
- Don’t make your entrances and exits a big deal! No long and emotional goodbyes and hellos, as this can ramp up your dog’s anxiety even more.
- Leave some of your old and worn clothes behind in their bed; such items will have your scent and can help keep your dog calm.
In mild cases, the tips above can help a lot! However, severe cases may require more targeted and professional help; contact a canine behaviourist if you feel you aren’t making progress or the anxiety is particularly severe.
Dog Separation Anxiety Toys
Along with the tips above, there are plenty of toys that can help a dog get over their separation anxiety!
Puzzle toys loaded with tasty treats are fantastic for anxious doggos. Simply fill the toy with your dog’s favourite treat, let them get distracted by it, and leave while your dog focuses on filling its stomach! Rach covered a toy by KONG that is perfect for this purpose, be sure to check it out.
Alternatively, how about trying out some of Tamsin’s DIY enrichment ideas over at Dedicated to Dogs? Doing a few of these will keep your dogs entertained for hours, and are all easy to make with common objects found within the home!
Enrichment Doesn’t Have to End When We Leave the House!
So, we’ve learned a lot we can do for anxious dogs in particular, but many of the ideas above can also be applied to dogs who don’t suffer with it.
Keeping your dog entertained while you are gone can be a way to further enrich their lives. Be sure to give some of these tips a try!
Finally, we have a new line of absolutely delish treats on offer! If you have an anxious dog, why not give them a try when you next leave the home? They aren’t going to be able to get enough of them, we promise you!
Have you ever had a dog with separation anxiety before? Do you have any tips of your own? We’d love to hear from you!
Ryan is a freelance content writer who specialises in pets and animals. He works closely with various pet sites to educate people on everything there is to know about our cute furry companions. When he isn’t writing professionally, he is usually watching cat videos and trying not to adopt every Pomeranian he sees! His portfolio can be found here.