How to Cope with Separation Anxiety in Dogs
Separation anxiety in dogs is a somewhat common problem, especially for those dogs that have never been left alone for long periods of time before. It is encompassed by several unpleasant behaviors that may include: depression, going to the bathroom inside, persistent barking, howling, chewing on household items, digging at doorways and trying to escape when separated from their owners. Don’t be discouraged if your dog possesses any of these symptoms, because there are several actions you can take to improve the behavior.
1. Promote independence.
When your dog gets upset when you leave, it won’t help to ignore them but it won’t help to spoil them with attention either. The best way to promote independence is by gradually getting them used to you being gone. Practice leaving for short periods of time or tricking them into thinking you’re only leaving for few minutes. You can do this by grabbing the trash before going to work, or doing something your dog knows only takes a short period of time. After gradual practice, your dog should become comfortable with being alone.
2. Make exercise a priority.
Just like exercise is good for the human mind, it’s also good for the pet mind. Make sure your dog is getting an adequate amount of physical activity every day. To increase its effects on separation anxiety, try to exercise him before you leave by taking him on a walk or playing with him. He will be less likely to stress if he’s tired. You should provide him with toys when you leave. It’s also beneficial to leave a TV or radio station on so there is background noise, this can make your dog feel more comfortable.
3. If possible—bring another pet into the family.
This isn’t possible for everyone, but bringing another pet into the household can decrease loneliness and separation anxiety in dogs. If you cannot get another pet, it may be beneficial to consider doggie daycare or somewhere where he can interact with other animals while you are away.
4. If all else fails—get help.
Separation anxiety in dogs can be difficult to treat. But it’s a serious problem that puts too many canines in shelters because their owners cannot deal with it. Do whatever you can to help your dog. It may help to talk to a veterinarian or a certified trainer that does not punish the dog or treat separation anxiety as a behavioral issue. Because it’s not a behavioral issue, it’s simply a reaction to fear.
5. Give a relaxation supplement.
You can give your dog something natural such as PSCPets Calming Formula for Dogs. A supplement such as this contains a combination of nutrients that support balanced behavior, promotes relaxation, and reduced hyperactivity.
Hopefully these tips will prove to be helpful for you and your dog. Approach the situation of your dogs separation anxiety with an optimistic mind and an attitude to try your hardest to fix the issue, and the problem will likely be resolved in no time. If you feel your dog is depressed due to the separation anxiety, make sure to learn what you can do to assist with this problem as well.
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