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How to Ease Your Dog's Separation Anxiety

August 13, 2020

How to Ease Your Dog's Separation Anxiety

Have you noticed your dog looking nervous as you get ready to leave the house? Does he look tense or bark fiercely when you try to talk to someone else? Does he get ecstatic when you come back home? Did he decimate your shoes, chew off objects around the house, or claw at your door when you were away? These may be signs that your dog has separation anxiety.

 

What is Separation Anxiety?

Separation anxiety occurs usually when a dog that is extremely attached to his owner becomes incredibly stressed when they are left by themselves. It's a bit more serious of a condition than just a little bit of bad behavior here and there when you are gone. This condition is actually one of the main reasons many dog owners end up giving up their dogs because they are so frustrated. The first step however, is to understand why your dog is acting this way.

It could be:

  • Being left alone for the first time
  • Accustomed to always being around people
  • Adjusting to a new environment; moving from a shelter to a home
  • Sudden change in ownership
  • Loss of a family member
  • Change in daily routine

 

What Are the Signs?

If your dog has separation anxiety, he may show signs of increased stress when he is alone.
These signs may be:

  • Excessively howl, whine, bark
  • Scratching the windows/doors
  • Digging holes or chewing things up
  • Have indoor potty accidents even though he's already house trained
  • Drooling or panting more than usual
  • Constant pacing
  • Tries to escape the house

Although a dog without this condition may do some of these things once in a while, a dog with separation anxiety will show some of these signs almost all the time when he's alone.

 

What Should I Do to Help?

The first step is to speak to your vet about it to rule out any possibilities due to medical issues. Sometimes your dog may show the signs mentioned above because of other related health conditions. It could also be because he hasn't been completely house trained. Certain calming supplements can also help relax and calm your dog. If your dog is already taking some medications, it's good to check with your vet if they are the cause.

If your dog's condition isn't too serious, you can try some of the following:

  1. Try to be more low-key when you leave and come back home, without a lot of greeting, even ignoring your dog for the first few minutes after getting home.

  2. Give your dog a special treat (such as a puzzle toy stuffed with a treat inside) each time you leave. Only give this treat when you're not home and take it away once you get home.

  3. Leave out some recently worn clothes that smell like you for your dog

  4. Consider giving your pet some natural calming supplements such as Petaxin Calm + Comfort Aid soft chews.




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