Separation can be a stressful time for anyone, but especially for dogs. Man’s best friend thrives on company and being part of the family and regular periods of separation can cause anxiety.
This anxiety can show itself in many ways. Some of the signs that your dog has stress when you’re away are:
- Constant barking or howling (either he/she will start barking when you close the front door behind you or your neighbors will let you know about the barking)
- Chewing on furniture or digging up carpets
- Forgetting house training
If you are aware that this behavior only occurs when you are absent from the house, these can be signs that your pet is suffering from separation anxiety.
There can times when dogs display this type of behavior because of underlying health issues, therefore, you are always advised to seek professional veterinary advice.
Steps to Make It Easier When You’re Away
Here are some tips on how to make it easier for your dog when you’re away from home.
Make sure that your dog has plenty of exercise before you leave in the morning. This will tire him/her out and will have less energy during the day. This will also have great health benefits for you as well.
Don’t fuss with your dog before you leave the house as this will over excite your dog and cause even more separation anxiety. So about 15 minutes before you leave ignore, your dog. Do the same routine when you arrive home. Let your dog calm down before you fuss over him.
Practice being away
If you have a safe room for your dog, make sure that the only time he or she is there isn’t when you are away from the house. So have periods of keeping your dog in the safe room while you are still at home.
Leave a comfort item
You could also try leaving an old item of clothing of yours in his safe room when you are away. Your scent on the garment can be comforting in your absence.
Have a “safety cue”
Have a “cue” that lets your dog you are going to be away, but then return. The safety cue could be a phrase, a chew item, or even leaving the radio on. Make sure that this is something unique for the times when you leave the house and will return the same day.
This training will take some time, but it can help reduce separation anxiety. So start with short sessions and then gradually build up the length of time that you are away.
Separation can be a difficult time for your dog, however if you follow our tips on making it easier for your dog when you’re away, you can lessen the anxiety that you dog feels.