Raising a puppy requires the same efforts and energy as raising a kid does. In fact, it may require even more. There can be a number of behavioral issues marching in your dog’s and your life. Well, with proper understanding and recognition, you may be able to prevent the condition by addressing it as soon as it signs.
Before we dig deep, I have to ask you a question. Have you ever walked into your house with overturned furniture or blood-stained tooth marks on doors and windows? If your answer is yes, then you might be already familiar with separation anxiety in dogs.
Almost all pet owners are aware of this term but if you are not, then allow me to explain it to you. Separation anxiety is a condition in which animals show symptoms of distress and anxiety whenever they are left alone. In dogs, the most common anxiety symptom is excessive barking, growling, and destructive behavior.
Well, if you are troubling with your dog suffering from the same issue, then this article is all you need. Here, I will tell you a few tips, following which, you will be able to help your dog recover from the same.
But before I start with the tips, let us go through the signs that show that your dog is having separation anxiety issues.
So, let’s roll.
Signs of Puppy Separation Anxiety
When it comes to defining the separation anxiety in dogs, there is no one symptom. They can exhibit stress in a lot of ways. So, here are some behaviors which your dog may exhibit.
- Excessive barking and growling
- Desperate attempts to escape
- Excessive drooling and salivation
- Urinating or defecating in the house
- Chewing or digging especially around windows and doors
So if you see any of these symptoms in your dog, then you need to understand that it indicates the separation anxiety issues your four-legged is suffering from.
Sadly, these are also the most common reasons due to which owners get rid of their dogs.
Now, having discussed the signs, let us move further with the tips to help your dog.
1. Crate Training
When it comes to crate training, people generally see it as a cruel or unhealthy way of treating dogs, but if done appropriately, it is not. In fact, it serves as an important training tool and a perfect solution for many dog’s challenges.
The trick that goes into this training is that you teach your dog to associate his crate with things including chew and food releasing puzzle toys so he finds it okay to spend some time inside.
Now, some dogs feel comfortable while spending some alone time in their crate while others panic. So, watch your dog’s behavior if he easily settles down in there or starts panicking. Also, always remember it is not to keep him in their every day or for the whole day but to make him learn and enjoy alone time.
Well, exercise will not help you cure the problem of separation anxiety in your dog but it might help treat and prevent the same. Now, if you choose to consider exercise as a way of helping your dog, then make sure that your dog gets a lot of age-appropriate physical exercises. This is essentially important for high energy dogs with a lot of it to burn off.
This is important because a tired dog who’s had a good walk and playtime with you is more likely to settle down for some rest when you leave. Also, do not ignore their mental muscles since a brain workout can be way too exhausting just like the physical one and a lot of fun too.
3. Natural Supplements and Medication
Sometimes training does not play enough role to calm your dog. So, the vets recommend medication such as alprazolam (used to treat anxiety) and amitriptyline (used to treat depression). Well, these require a proper prescription and are safe for most of the dogs. But still, you will be required to consult your vet and be extra careful if your dog is young.
Another option to consider is homeopathic treatment or natural supplements. But before you choose to give your dog any over the counter product, make sure you consult your vet, especially if he is already on medication.
4. Counter-Conditioning and Desensitization
An important thing to consider while raising a mentally and physically healthy dog is to teach him to be comfortable with the outside world and associate positively with new experiences. Well, this stands equally true for your dog to spend time away from you.
Teach your dog that separation comes with its own rewards and start by leaving him alone for a smaller period of time and then extending the time. You may offer him a high-value treat (which you usually give him after an important lesson learned) after coming back and he might then start looking forward to seeing you leave.
5. Avoid Over Clingy Behaviour
One of the important things to remember while raising a dog or living with one is that you do not encourage over clingy behavior. Instead, teach your dog to be on his own in the other room even if you are at home and develop independence. Also, make sure that whenever you return back home, you do not show them over-emotional behavior. I am not asking you to not love them but all I want to say is that do not get over the top emotional.
Also, do not punish your dog if you return home to damage because this will only worsen their anxiety.
Wrapping it Up
When it comes to living with the little four-legged bundle of fur, life becomes so exciting. Well, one has to take care of their dog’s needs and understand them well. Separation anxiety in dogs is not always preventable but with the right amount of effort and proper attention you may be able to reduce your dog’s suffering.
I am sure that if you consider the above-mentioned tips to treat your dog out of separation anxiety, then you will find the entire process easy and smooth than otherwise. Also, if you are not sure about your dog suffering from the mentioned issue, then the signs of separation anxiety as mentioned above will help you understand.
If you have already been through the process and know a few tips which might help people in managing their dogs better during the curing process of separation anxiety, then feel free to share the same in the comment section below.