My dog has separation anxiety. What should you do to help your dog with anxiety?
Like us, dogs are very social animals. They would, of course, live in family groups and have “developed” for thousands of years with people to “work” with us and live as our companions. Most dogs would choose to spend most of their time in our company. Some may actually prefer the company of their own species, but what is certain is that for most, being alone is simply not a matter of course.
Although dogs should never be left alone too long if they get used to being left alone for a short time at a young age, they are likely to feel relaxed and comfortable being left alone for part of the day. Here is some advice to help you feel safer leaving your dog at home …..
My Dog Has Separation Anxiety: Common symptoms of separation anxiety
Below is a list of symptoms that may indicate separation anxiety:
1. Barking and howling
2. Urination and bowel movement
Some dogs urinate or puke when left alone or separated from their guardians. If a dog urinates or pukes in the presence of its guardian, the pollution of its house is probably not due to separation anxiety.
Some dogs with separation anxiety chew on objects, door frames or window sills, dig at doors and door frames or destroy household objects when left alone or separated from their guardians. This behavior can lead to self-inflicted injuries such as broken teeth, cut and scraped paws, and damaged nails. When chewing, digging and destroying a dog is caused by separation anxiety, it is usually not done in the presence of his guardian.
Some dogs walk or trot a certain path in a fixed pattern when left alone or separated from their guardians. Some fast dogs move in circular patterns, while others walk back and forth in straight lines. If a dog’s pacing behavior is caused by separation anxiety, it usually does not happen when his guardian is present.
My dog has separation anxiety and tried to escape from an area where he is confined if left alone or separated from his guardian. The dog may attempt to dig through doors or windows and chew, which could result in self-inflicted injuries such as broken teeth, cut and scraped front paws and damaged nails. If the dog’s escape behavior is caused by separation anxiety, this does not happen when his guardian is present.
When left alone or separated from their guardians, some dogs puke and then consume all or part of their excrements. If a dog eats excrement out of separation anxiety, it is unlikely to do so in the presence of its guardian.
My Dog Has Separation Anxiety: Why do some dogs develop separation anxiety?
There is no evidence why dogs develop separation anxiety. However, since far more dogs adopted from shelters have this behavioral problem than those kept by a single family since puppyhood, it is believed that the loss of an important person or a group of humans beings in a dog’s life can lead to separation anxiety. Other less drastic alterations can also lead to the disorder. The following list contains a list of situations associated with the development of separation anxiety.
1. Change of guardian or family
Leaving, surrendering to a shelter or surrendering to a new guardian or family may trigger the development of separation anxiety.
2. Changing the Schedule
An abrupt change in the schedule of when or how long a dog is left alone can trigger the development of separation anxiety. For example, if a dog’s guardian works from home and spends all day with his dog, but then gets a new job that forces him to leave his dog alone for six hours or longer, this change may cause the dog to develop separation anxiety.
3. Change in household Membership
The sudden absence of a resident family member, whether by death or departure, may trigger the development of separation anxiety.
4. Change in residence
My Dog Has Separation Anxiety: 10 Tips to Stop Separation Anxiety in Dogs!
Here are 10 tips to help stopping the fear of separation:
1. Before leaving the house, take your dog for a walk
Start your day by taking your dog for a walk. To make the walk even more strenuous, use a dog backpack with extra weight. Then reward your dog’s quiet, subtle energy with food and water. Some dogs may need to relax before eating, but all dogs can benefit from hydration. The idea is to leave your dog in a quiet, quiet mode while you are away.
2. No touch, no conversation, no eye contact
Do not make a big fuss when you are leaving for the day or when you return. In this way, you communicate with your dog that time is not a big deal from each other. It’s all the same as always! Depending on the severity of the dog’s fear, you will need to practice the rule five minutes or up to an hour before your departure and on your return.
3. Say bye-bye to your dog far before you are leaving
Do you have difficulty practicing “no touch, no talk, no eye contact”? Take a moment to share the affection and tell your dog that you will miss him very much before you actually leave. Remember that this display is for you and not for your dog! Your dog will not be hurt by his feelings if you do not say goodbye.
4. Stay calm and assertive!
If you are ready to go to work, leave those guilty, nervous and anxious feelings behind. Instead, let your dog know that everything will be fine by projecting the self-confident energy of a pack leader. A calm and assertive leader can ease the fear of separation in dogs.
5. Start small by leaving your dog alone for only five minutes
Leave your dog alone for five minutes, then extend the time to twenty minutes, then one hour. Increase the time you spend until you can walk for eight hours without any dog problems!
6. Leave your dog at home with a good audiobook
Studies have shown that audiobooks have a calming effect on dogs and can help reduce their fear of separation. The sound of a human voice can help relieve stress while you are away from home.
7. Give him a well-filled Kong
Give him a well-filled Kong five minutes before your departure to distract him from your impending departure.
8. Explore Alternatives for Dog Keeping
Explore alternative dog keeping situations to minimize the possibilities of leaving him alone – the dog daycare center may be suitable for some dogs but not for others. You may be able to find a neighbor or relative who is tied to the house and appreciates a dog friend.
9. Use plug-ins for the comfort zone
Try to use DAP (Comfort Zone) plug-ins and spray into his environment to alleviate his anxiety.
10. Work with a behavioral professional
Consider working with a behavioral professional to make sure you’re on the right track – and to help you explore the possibilities of using anti-anxiety medications to maximize the effectiveness of your adjustment measures.
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My Dog Has Separation Anxiety: Prevent separation anxiety in 10 steps!
The most important part of a successful separation anxiety prevention program is preparing your dog for success. When you bring a new dog or puppy home, you implement a program that helps him become familiar with being alone for gradually increasing periods of time. This will help him ensure that it is not necessary to panic: You haven’t left him; you keep coming back. Make sure you train him long before training; a tired dog is a much better candidate for relaxation than one who is “full of it”.
Here are the 10 steps of a two-day program to create a dog that feels comfortable when left alone. Keep this in mind if you are changing an existing distress or anxiety condition.
You will have to go through the steps of the program much more slowly.
1. Take your dog home at a time when someone can spend a few days with him to reduce the stress of transition.
2. Prepare a quiet, safe room, such as a playpen or puppy stable, or a dog protected room such as a laundry room.
3. When you bring your dog home, give him the opportunity to relax outside and spend 10 to 15 minutes with him in the house under strict supervision. Then put him in his crate and stay with him in the room.
4. Stay close to ﬁrst. Read a book. If he gets upset, ignore him. If he is calm, greet him calmly, take a step back and then return before he has a chance to get upset. Talk to him quietly, then go back to reading. You teach him that you will return when you leave. Other family members should make themselves scarce during this time: Your dog must learn to be alone.
5. Occasionally walk further away, gradually increase the distance and vary the amount of time you stay away so that you can eventually walk through the room without upsetting your dog. Every time you return, greet him calmly. Say “Yes” from time to time in a calm but cheerful voice before returning to him, then go back to the pen and feed him with treats.
6. After an hour or so, pause. Take him out to the potty and play. Stay here for a while. Then go back inside and resume his feather exercises.
7. Start again and stay near the pen until he has calmed down. Continue this time faster with steps 4 and 5 until you can walk through the room without creating an alarm. Step now into another room very brieﬂy, and return before your dog has time to get excited. Gradually increase the amount of time you spend outside the room by getting him to walk through the room, sit near him, read a book, and sit across from him.
When he begins to get upset, wait until he stops moving toward him. Teach him that calm behavior will make you return, excitement will keep you away.
8. Occasionally you step out of the house. Your goal for ﬁrst Day is to make your dog familiar with the fact that you are away from him for 15 to 20 minutes; it is usually the ﬁrst 20 minutes of separation that are the most difﬁcult Vary the times so that he doesn’t start expecting your return. Remember to give him lots of breaks: every hour for a young puppy, every hour or two for an older dog.
9. On the second day, quickly repeat the warm-up steps until you can go outside for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, interrupted by shorter intervals. Get into your car during one of your outdoor trips and drive around the block. Yield in 5 to 10 minutes and enter the house at your leisure, just as you were during the rest of the exercises. Wait a while, then go outside and drive away again, this time for half an hour.
10. Now it’s time for Sunday brunch. Make sure your dog gets a thorough potty break and playtime and then give him 15 minutes to relax after stimulating the game. Put a Kong filled with delicious treats in his pen, gather the family and leave the house quietly for an outing of a few hours. When you come home to a quiet and happy dog, drink an orange juice, toast to your graduation from school to prevent separation anxiety.
My Dog Has Separation Anxiety: What you should NOT do
Do not insult or punish your dog. Anxious behavior is not the result of disobedience or defiance. These are emergency reactions! Your dog will behave anxiously if left alone because he is angry and tries to deal with a lot of stress. If you punish him, he can get angrier and the problem could get worse.
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