Separation anxiety is a very common emotional problem in dogs. A dog diagnosed with this disorder feels panic when he’s left alone. Only with the right strategies may be able to find a possible solution to this disorder.
Symptoms of separation anxiety
When you are about to leave home, dogs with separation anxiety…
- Desperately follows you all over the house
- Gets anxious
- Start salivating
When a dog with separation anxiety is alone…
- He potties out of place
- Chews the furniture
- Barks non stop anxiously
- Tries to escape and sometimes he even harms himself trying to do so
If your dog shows some of these symptoms like chewing the furniture or potties out of place, it may also be that he is bored or that he needs more training. Consult with a dog trainer to identify and treat this condition.
Possible solutions to help calm dogs with separation anxiety
- Exercise. Many of the dogs that suffer from this condition are nervous or hyperactive and need more exercise than other dogs. Before leaving him alone, exercise him. An exercise I recommend is Walk, Sit, Walk, Sit. You can watch the video on our Youtube Channel.
- Limit his space. Crates give dogs a sense of security. Teach your dog to love his crate by feeding him inside his crate and giving him his favorite treats and toys inside his crate when you are home. After a few weeks, try leaving him for short periods inside his crate.
- Create a nice environment. When you leave the house, leave a radio or TV on, chew toys, enough water and a fan or the air conditioner on.
- Keep him busy. Your dog should have a variety of toys, at least 25, including hard bones, chew toys and hollow toys filled with treats to keep him busy.
- Desensitise him. Dogs know when we are leaving because of our routine: they see us taking the keys, wallet or turning off the lights. Start repeating this routine at different times of the day even if you don’t leave the house. The dog will stop associating this behavior with your departure and will not get so nervous at the moment of truth.
- Train him. Trained dogs usually have more confidence in themselves and their guardians. Remember that it is very important that you practice with him everyday for the training to be effective.
- Get him a partner. If your pet gets along with other dogs, and you have the time and budget, this is a possible solution. Before adopting another pet, try to leave him with another dog (from a neighbor or relative) to see if he stays calm when you are not home.
- Daycare. Leave him in daycare if he’s going to stay alone for long periods.
- Set a steady routine. Having a new dog is very exciting and we tend to want to take him everywhere. This false routine may lead to separation anxiety when he stays alone. It’s good that you socialize him but it’s important to establish his routine those first few weeks he’s at your place.
- CBD or homeopathic supplement. Giving your dog a natural supplement to help him calm down is an option when you have tried all the options above or if he needs to stay alone for a longer period that he may tolerate. Pet Releaf CBD Oil is the brand I would recommend because of the transparency of their testings.
Those of us who have had dogs with separation anxiety know how hard it is to deal with this disorder. Be patient. Usually these dogs are extremely affectionate, give them all the love they need.
You can send questions about behavior problems for dogs to: firstname.lastname@example.org.