Separation anxiety. This is the most common complaints pet owners has towards their dogs when it is left alone. Separation anxiety is a problem in dog’s behavior every time they are left alone. Barking, excessive salivation, whining, destroying items in the home, scratching walls or doors, frequent urination, defecate and trying to escape are symptoms of separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety is often triggered when dog become upset with the sudden change of routine. Most of the time dogs who suffer from this behavioral issue can feel the panic, distress and depression. But there is no need to worry because there is a way to resolve this problem. The key in resolving this problem is to address the underlying issue. Take a look on some of the basic ways to treat your dog’s separation anxiety.
Ask Help From Your Animal Doctor
This is the first and foremost thing you should do. Before trying to address the problems yourself, it is important to seek advice from your animal doctor on what you really should do. Your dog might be suffering from other underlying medical problems especially if it is frequently urinating or defecating.
Let Your Dog Conquer Its Fear
For a dog who suffers from mild separation anxiety, the good way to start teaching your dog to conquer its fear is through counter-conditioning. Help your dog get used to being alone by leaving something good when you leave. Start with a tasty treat. Whenever you leave you can offer your dog a food-dispensing toy that it would definitely enjoy.
Keep your Dog Active
Keeping your Fido active is essential in treating many behavioral problems. Let him have a regular exercise. Regular exercise does not only contribute to physical health but it can enrich the life of your dog in many ways especially in your pet’s mental aspect. Your dog’s active lifestyle decreases stress and is a good outlet for normal behavior. Anxiety is usually triggered when your dog doesn’t have appropriate mental outlet.
Prepare For Your Departure
Most dogs can sense when you are leaving because they get oriented with your usual routine. In case when you are leaving for a long period of time, prepare for your departure days before you leave. Dogs tend to be anxious when they know their pet parents are leaving and they usually find a way to prevent you from leaving. In this situation, you can tackle the “predeparture anxiety” by changing your routine. Teach your dog that putting on your coat and grabbing your keys doesn’t always mean you are leaving. You could put on your clothes and grab your keys and then just sit on the couch and watch TV.
Take It Slow
For severe case of separation anxiety disorder, taking baby steps or desensitizing is probably the best things you can do. Teach your pooch not to fear being alone by leaving him over a short period of time where it can’t feel the anxiety, then gradually increases that time you spent day by day.
Let Your Dog Feel Your Presence
If your dog suffers from anxiety disorder, you can deal the separation anxiety problem by letting your pooch feel that you are there and that they would never experience that kind of panic over again. If you are not desensitizing, avoid leaving your dog alone if it is not necessary. If it is allowed you can take your dog to work or you can ask a dog sitter to watch over your dog when you leave.
Do not give too much attention to your do when you leave. A simple pat on the head and a calm goodbye is enough. The same when you arrived home, say hello to your dog but do not immediately play or cuddle your little pooch. Be patient and wait for him to calm down then you could spend playful time together.
Don’t Be Too Tight
Anxiety is not a result of disobedience and thus scolding or punishing your dog will not resolve the problem. It could even worsen the problem. If you punish your Fido, it might get more upset and anxious. Again, be patient and work with different ways to make it more comfortable being alone.
Separation anxiety can be overcome. With patience, and consistency you can teach your dog how to overcome its fear of being alone.