Posted on: 24 June 2016Share
When your dog exhibits signs of separation anxiety, like barking or destroying household items whenever you are away, it can be quite stressful for both you and your dog. No one wants their beloved dog to feel anxious and afraid whenever their owner is away. Luckily, there are specific things you can do to stop separation anxiety in its tracks before it gets worse. Here are three ideas to try:
Start with a Vet Visit
Before you work on training your dog to be less anxious about separations, you need to rule out a medical reason for his newfound bad behavior. Some medical conditions can affect your dog's temperament and habits in a way that can easily be mistaken for separation anxiety. For example, if your dog is suddenly using the bathroom in the house it may be because they have developed kidney problems or diabetes. It's best to get a clean bill of health from your vet first, just in case.
Be Low-key When Leaving and Returning Home
When your dog whines and acts sad anytime you leave, it is tempting to make a big deal of saying goodbye, hugging them, and telling them you'll be back soon. You may also feel like your dog needs lots of affection and reassurance as soon as you walk in the door.
This is actually counterproductive, however, because this behavior simply reinforces your dog's newfound belief that anytime you leave the house it's a big, traumatic event. A better approach is to be as nonchalant as possible when leaving and returning. Soon your dog will begin to think of your exits as no big deal.
Amp Up Your Dog's Daily Exercise
If your dog doesn't get enough exercise on a daily basis, they will find alternative methods for getting all of their pent-up energy out. Sometimes a dog barks, eats shoes, and scratches doors simply out of boredom and having no better outlet for their energy. Instead of asking your vet for sedatives for their anxiety right off the bat, try amping up their exercise for a few weeks and see if this helps.
If you are too busy to walk your dog every day, consider hiring a dog walker or boarding them at doggy daycare where they will get to spend their days running around and playing with other dogs.
By following these tips, your dog will soon be more relaxed when you are away and you will be able to leave the house without feeling guilty. For more information, visit sites like http://www.1stPetVet.com.