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Ways to Reduce the Separation Anxiety in Your Pet Dog
You need to be sure that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety before you start managing the condition. The signs and symptoms that the canine depicts could be caused by some other condition or disease. The following are tell-tale signs and symptoms of dog separation anxiety.
- Bad potty habits
Your dog should be trained enough to manage its urinating and defecating. Be wary if the pet only displays bad potty habits whenever you separate from it.
- Moody behavior when you are preparing to leave
Your pet is most likely very calm and cuddly when you are settled at home. If it starts barking and howling whenever you are getting ready to leave or have already left, it probably has separation anxiety. The barking, howling, and other signs of distress are always consistent as long as you stay gone.
Other distress behaviors include chewing and biting on household items.
- Escaping attempts
Your dog may try to escape through windows and doors when you leave it. The plan is to always trail your scent and find you wherever you go.
Pacing uneasily and obsessively
- Drooling, panting, and salivating way more than usual : (Flannigan & Dodman, 2001)
6 Easy Ways to Reduce the Separation Anxiety in Your Dog
- Take the dog out for a walk before leaving.
This appeases your dog and wears it out as well. The pet will be struggling to keep awake as you leave. It will also be too excited to throw tantrums.
- Downplay your departures and arrivals.
Separation anxiety could be a monster that you created with too much touching and eye contact. Don’t keep bidding your pet farewell anytime that you are leaving. In fact, don’t overemphasize your returns after long absences. Dogs are easy to train, and you should teach it some independence.
- Give your pet treats every time that you leave.
Let your dog associate your absence with nice things. That way, you won’t always fight when you are about to leave it alone. Make sure to take the treat away immediately you leave. Taking the treat away upon your return serves to reinforce the association of your absence with treats.
- Say farewell to the dog long before leaving
Let’s face it; some pet owners experience separation anxiety as well. If you are one of those, then say bye to your dog long before leaving. Just make sure you don’t call for attention at the moment of departure.
- Medicate your dog in case of strongly undesirable symptoms.
Training your dog out of separation anxiety will definitely take more time than you may desire. What do you do if the anxiety symptoms are too destructive to your home or the pet’s safety? Well, you must use calming drugs from the onset as you continue training the pet. Roll it out of the meds as the training starts working effectively (Thielke & Udell, 2015).
- Be calm, firm, and assertive
Your dog is an emotion detector, and it can smell weakness. Be the grown-up between the two of you. Therefore, be confident and assertive even as your pet tries barricading you in the house.
You just need to know the temperament of your dog. Always tae care of it for the well-being of your pet and emotional support. If symptoms persist, seek medical help.
Flannigan, G., & Dodman, N. (2001). Risk factors and behaviors associated with separation anxiety in dogs. Journal Of The American Veterinary Medical Association, 219(4), 460-466. doi: 10.2460/javma.2001.219.460
Thielke, L., & Udell, M. (2015). The role of oxytocin in relationships between dogs and humans and potential applications for the treatment of separation anxiety in dogs. Biological Reviews, 92(1), 378-388. doi: 10.1111/brv.12235