Although separation anxiety in dogs is a common issue, it can be tricky to resolve. If your furry friend becomes stressed, destructive or upset in your absence, it can be heart-wrenching to leave them alone.
However, being a constant companion won’t help your pooch to overcome their separation anxiety and may even make the problem worse. By taking steps to treat the issue, you can successfully minimize your dog’s anxiety and help them to feel more comfortable and confident when they’re alone. To get started, take a look at these top tips for helping your dog to overcome separation anxiety…
Identify the issue
Separation anxiety can present in many different ways. Your dog may become destructive and start chewing furniture, for example, or they may bark until you return. Some animals begin urinating indoors, despite being toilet trained, while others will pace up and down and appear restless.
Placing a small camera in your home can be an effective way of monitoring your dog’s behavior when you’re not there. This will enable you to see whether they’re experiencing any form of separation anxiety and, if so, what symptoms they’re displaying. This information can be helpful when it comes to resolving your dog’s distress, so be sure to make a note of how your dog’s behavior changes.
Rule out medical issues
In some cases, medical problems may be misdiagnosed as separation anxiety. If your dog urinates indoors when you’re not there, for example, it could be due to a urinary tract infection, rather than anxiety. By taking your dog to the veterinarian and ruling out possible medical causes, you can ensure your dog gets the care he or she needs and be confident that you’re dealing with anxiety.
Don’t leave for long periods of time
Leaving a dog alone for long periods of time is never recommend, regardless of whether they experience separation anxiety or not. In fact, leaving your dog alone for too long is a sure-fire way to cause separation anxiety.
For dog’s already experiencing this type of anxiety, it’s important to start off by leaving them alone for small chunks of time. When you leave for one or two minutes, for example, they become accustomed to the ritual and more confident that you will return. As they display fewer symptoms of anxiety, you can gradually increase the amount of time they’re left alone.
Seek professional help
Tackling separation anxiety can be a long process but seeking professional advice can help you and your dog to move forward more quickly. By finding the best dog trainer in your area, you can begin to understand why your dog is experiencing anxiety and what you can do to alleviate their distress. From boredom-busting toys to keep them occupied, residual anxiety from prior mistreatment or increased exercise; there are plenty of issues to address when it comes to managing separation anxiety.
Overcoming Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety is distressing for dogs and their owners. By researching the topic, learning more about it and seeking expert help, you can ensure you and your dog have the right support in place to overcome separation anxiety permanently.