Helping Your Dog With Separation Anxiety
If you have a dog who causes havoc in the home when you are not there, and can’t stand to be apart from you, then you have dog with separation anxiety. I first noticed this in my Maltese when we went on vacation and he was cared for by my Mother in Law, after just 2 days apart, chaos ensued and when I got home, I knew that I had to take some action.
Separation anxiety is not just about your dog causing havoc, it can also leave them very stressed and they could very well injure themselves as a result of their manic emotions. I had a chat with a good friend of mine Stephen Buzzi who knows a little bit about just about everything, and he gave me some great advice which I want to share with you.
In order to start getting your dog used to being apart from you, it is important that you start off in small steps and gradually build it up. The best way to do this is to put your dog in a room in the home, whilst you stay elsewhere in the home, leave them for 10 minutes at first and repeat a few times, the following day do it for 20 minutes and so on until your dog calms down when they are apart from you.
No Greetings, No Goodbyes
If you give your dog a big farewell before you leave this can build anxiety in them and if you arrive with a grand entrance, this will leave your dog desperate for you to come back. When you leave the home, don’t even look at your dog, simply get your things and go. When you return to the home, leave your dog for at least 10 minutes before you give them some love and affection. After just a few weeks of doing this, you will find that your dog is much calmer when you leave and return.
A great way to reduce the anxiety of you dog is to buy them a chew toy which will keep them occupied both as you leave and whilst you are gone. The best chew toys to buy are the ones which you can put some treats inside, and the dog needs to fathom how to get the treats out. These toys are absolutely perfect when it comes to keeping your dog busy, and ultimately less anxious.
If you are able to, it is strongly recommended that you alter how long you are away from the dog, start off with perhaps an hour, and then gradually increase it until you dog feels comfortable when you are not there. Dogs are very receptive to routine so it is also important that you alter it as and when you can, to keep your pooch on its toes.
Separation anxiety can be tough on both you and the dog, but with a little practice you can completely overcome it.