Canine Separation Anxiety: Tips to Keep Your Dog Calm When You Leave

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Canine Separation Anxiety: Tips to Keep Your Dog Calm When You Leave
7 April 2021, 04:50

Does your pup howl, bark and begin stressing when you start to leave the house? Or did he chew your shoes to shreds while you were out? This could be the first signs of canine separation anxiety. While this is more common in puppies and young dogs, it can happen at any age when a dog is super attached to their owner.

It might mean that your dog needs a little training to settle him down. Or it can mean he is suffering from severe distress which needs addressing. If your dog is showing signs of separation anxiety, the goal is to teach him how to stay calm when you’re gone. There are a few ways you can do this which will be discussed in this article.

Common Signs of Separation Anxiety

Your dog might show one or all of the common signs of separation anxiety. These include;

  • Barking, whining or howling excessively
  • Urinating or defecating after being left alone
  • Chewing, digging and scratching the floor, walls and furniture
  • Pacing obsessively
  • Trying to escape

Understand Why Your Dog is Acting This Way

Separation anxiety causes range from dog to dog. Experts see it happen most often with dogs that have been adopted from shelters. This points to one reason being the loss of their main human at some point in time, which triggers the stress that it might happen again. Here are some situations associated with canine separation anxiety.

  • Change of guardian
  • Being at home alone for the first few times
  • Living in a new residence
  • An abrupt change in schedule
  • A family member leaving the home

Best Ways to Treat Separation Anxiety

Firstly, get your pup checked out with a vet. Sometimes hormone problems or an underlying health condition can cause your dog to have accidents. Medications can also be a contributing factor. If your vet rules out any health conditions, here’s some simple ways to treat separation anxiety.

  • Leave some of your worn clothes out so he can smell you
  • Leave a special treat out when you leave and take it away when you return. A toy stuffed with something tasty works well
  • Consider natural calming pet supplements
  • Make leaving the house and returning home calm. Ignore your pup when first home for a few minutes to not make a big deal of it
  • If he gets triggered by you putting on shoes, try to mix things up. Put on your shoes and make a cup of tea or watch TV
  • Make sure he gets enough exercise to tire him out before you leave. A tired dog will be happier and less inclined to jump about with lots of nervous energy