Do you often come home to a giant mess caused by your dogs? Or maybe complaints from your neighbors that your dog was continuously barking while you were away? Does your dog constantly have problems urinating in the house while you’re away? Your dog might be suffering from separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety is one of the most common issues with dogs and dog owners. Naturally – they don’t like be separated from their pack; which is you, their owner. However, there are 5 easy tips that can help your dog deal with this stress.
Easy Ways To Reduce Separation Anxiety
- If you know you’ll be gone for a while – take your dog for a walk before leaving. Taking your dog for a brisk and invigorating walk before leaving them alone puts your dog in resting-mode. After the walk, reward them for their calm energy when you return back to the house. Make sure to leave them with water as well.
- Start with baby steps. If your dog is new to being alone – start with 5 minute increments. Leave your dog alone in a room for 5 minutes. If there are no signs of anxiety? Reward them with a treat and affection. The next day – increase the time alone to 20 minutes. Once again, rewarding positive behavior. Continue increasing the time until you’ve reached the goal.
- Don’t make a big deal out of goodbyes. Before leaving our dogs alone, it’s tempting to give them long drawn out goodbyes with lots of kisses and attention. However, this could be causing more anxiety. Try to avoid petting or talking to your dog before leaving – this way, they don’t think goodbyes are a big deal at all.
- If you must say goodbye, do it long before you walk out the door. If the thought of not looking at your dog or giving them a big smooch before you go just breaks your heart. Go ahead and do it – but maybe 30 minutes prior to leaving. Remember – this act is really just for you. Your dog won’t have its feelings hurt if you don’t say an official goodbye.
- Remain calm and stay assertive. Showing guilt or anxious feelings on your part can rub off on your dog. They can sense your feelings. Let your dog know that it’s okay that you’re leaving with confident energy before you walk out the door. Remain calm and assertive will reassure your dog.
Of course, separation anxiety can take time to fully dissipate. As with all training – it will take time and patience. Practice using these 5 tips and you’ll have a well-behaved dog in no time.