What is Separation Anxiety? 

Having a pet is fantastic as having an animal companion with whom to spend your time is amazing. A connection between you and your pet can be pretty intense, which has its pros and cons. 

One of the cons of having a close connection with your pet is that you can become attached. When the dog is more attached to you than vice versa, you will notice your pet acting out whenever you are not around, known as separation anxiety.

The first step to treating separation anxiety in your pet is to understand what it is. 

Signs of Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety will happen when a dog is extremely attached to its owner. The dog is very stressed when you leave the house or even leave it alone for some time.

When a pet experiences separation anxiety, it goes way beyond most dogs’ subtle whining and barking. It is troublesome mischief that often leads to many pet owners giving up their pets. 

There are several reasons why a dog may experience separation anxiety other than extreme attachment to the owner. It may be that the dog is undergoing a change of ownership which is difficult for any dog. It may also be because the dog has had a change of home. If you modify your regular routine, your dog may also show signs of separation anxiety. 

Signs of separation anxiety are often the result of too much stress in the dog. They will include extreme whining or barking whenever you leave the dog alone. They will urinate or defecate in the house even though you may have already trained the pet.

They may chew and damage things in the house. You may notice your dog pacing obsessively, drooling or panting more than usual, and other new or unusual behaviors that may not have existed before. They may try and escape your home, which is often an extreme sign of separation anxiety.

The pet will often be okay while you are around and exhibit the above behaviors when you leave. You may witness them by peeping in a window in your house or placing a camera that records your pet. If you see the above symptoms in your pet, it probably has separation anxiety, and you should take it to the vet so that you can both come up with a treatment plan.

Treating Separation Anxiety

If a veterinarian diagnoses your pet with separation anxiety or notices any of the above signs in your pet, there are measures you can take to address the situation, including: 

Leave Treats

Dogs love treats, and they often associate treats with positive emotions, which can be a fantastic way to address separation anxiety. You should try leaving a treat for your pet before you leave the house. CBD treat, in particular, is excellent for a dog as it helps with mobility and anxiety. Therefore, your pet will move well, be fit, and be relaxed.

A sufficient number of treats to keep your dog fed until you return home should be the goal. Leaving a treat will be for a dog with mild separation anxiety. 

Leave a Special Toy

Another thing dogs love almost as much as food is their toys. A toy with which a dog has an emotional connection could help address its separation anxiety. The main issue with a dog that has separation anxiety is it feels abandoned whenever the owner leaves. If the dog has something familiar around when you are not around, it will not feel as separated. 

Keeping your dog occupied when you are not around is an excellent way to address its separation anxiety. Leaving a toy behind will ensure your pet is busy for a while after you leave. A mentally stimulating toy will keep it occupied for even longer. Put the toy away whenever you come home to ensure the dog does not become bored with it. 

Minimize Disturbances

New stimuli will exacerbate the separation anxiety your dog feels when you leave. If people pass by the windows, loud noises, and strong smells in your home when you are not there, your dog could get very agitated. Without anyone to calm them down, they will exhibit some signs of separation anxiety, such as chewing things in the house. 

Therefore, you should reduce any disturbances your dog may experience when you are away. You should leave a space open to allow the room to be aerated but no more. You want as little stimuli as possible to aggravate your pet whenever you are not home. 

Get a Dog Sitter

You will find someone to do any job these days if you can afford it. If your pet has separation issues and misbehaves whenever you are not there, you can pay someone to watch your dog when you are not there.

There are excellent dog sitting services out there, and you can hire someone to walk your dog and spend time with it whenever you are out. Having a sitter will definitely reduce the stress they feel when they are alone. 

Encourage Your Pet to Relax

You should promote relaxing behavior in your pet if you want it less stressed when you leave the house. If your pet is already agitated, when you leave the house, it will become even worse. Therefore, you should do things to help your dog relax before leaving the house. 

Taking your dog for a walk for relaxation and to the bathroom before you leave the house is one thing you can do. You can also groom your pet or massage it before you go. 

Relaxing in the sun is also a fantastic way for you to help your dog be calm when you leave.

There are relaxation tapes for your pet which you can play with to help your dog relax. As long as the pet is relaxed, its anxiety will reduce.

In conclusion, a pet with separation anxiety could be more of a burden than a blessing. However, abandoning the pet is not the best idea. You should try the approaches above to address the condition of your pet. Use whatever works for your pet, as they are all different. 

Article Written by Author: Nadine Westwood

ways to help dogs with separation anxiety

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