You have a new dog and are prepared to give it your very best, but even the most loving owners can be met with separation anxiety in certain situations. It’s important to understand the signs of separation anxiety and what measures you can take to ensure that your canine pal is feeling secure and happy even when you’re not around.
Dogs are often called man’s best friend for a very good reason. They are loyal, dedicated companions and provide us with love and laughter throughout their lives. That’s why it can be so heart-wrenching when we notice our beloved pooch exhibiting signs of separation anxiety. Let’s dive into how to overcome your dog’s separation anxiety.
Understanding Separation Anxiety In Dogs
The first step in learning how to deal with separation anxiety in dogs is understanding why it happens - after all, knowledge is power! Separation anxiety occurs when a dog feels nervous or scared because its owner, or any person they are close to, leaves them alone. This could be due to past experiences, genetics, or even a lack of socialization as a pup. It’s important that you do some research on why this behavior may have started so that you can better address it going forward.
Signs of Separation Anxiety In Dogs
Once you have a better understanding of why your pal may be exhibiting signs of separation anxiety, it’s time for the next step - recognizing the signs! There are several behaviors associated with this type of anxiety such as:
- excessive barking
- unusual whining
- pacing and panting
- chewing on furniture
- chewing on clothing items that smell like their owner
- attempting to escape from their crate/room/yard
- urinating/defecating inside the house (even if they are potty-trained)
If you notice any combination of these behaviors while your pup is home alone, then it’s likely they are feeling anxious about being separated from their owner.
How To Help Your Dog Overcome Their Separation Anxiety
Now that we know what leads up to separation anxiety and what behaviors might manifest because of it, let’s talk solutions! First things first, make sure you start small and don’t leave them alone for long periods at once.
Start with 15 minutes and slowly build up from there until they become comfortable being by themselves for longer periods at a time. Additionally, consider leaving them interactive toys or activities like treat puzzles. This way, they stay entertained while working towards getting rewards for solving each puzzle!
Lastly - never punish them for exhibiting signs of anxiety. Instead, use positive reinforcement whenever possible. A few simple steps like these can help tremendously when dealing with a dog's separation anxiety.
Dealing with separation anxiety in dogs can be difficult but it's important to remember that there are measures you can take to help them feel secure even when you are not around - like providing interactive toys or activities (mentioned above) while they wait for their owner's return each day! With patience, consistency, and proper care, your friend will be able to overcome his/her separation anxiety and live a happy life with plenty of love from you, their loyal owner!