How to Deal With Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety
Dogs suffering from separation anxiety can be incredibly challenging to manage. They may display distress behaviors like vocalization, destruction and house soiling when left alone.
Some dogs may be predisposed to separation anxiety, such as those rescued or adopted from shelters. Others may experience separation anxiety after experiencing a traumatic event like robbery or break-in.
A key to managing separation-related stress is being aware of the signs. Some common indications include dilated pupils, panting, yawning, salivating, trembling and pacing.
Make the leaving process as natural as possible. Use a different door, put on your coat but wait 15 minutes before leaving, and store all of your keys, purse, and shoes in an alternate location.
Avoid making a big deal before you leave and an even bigger one when you come home. Doing so may feed into your dog’s separation-related anxiety and cause them to act out, so try to keep these things calm and in control.
If you’re seeking a temporary solution, begin by adding calming treats to your dog’s food bowl and allowing them to eat them when you’re gone. These rewards can make your pup feel better about being left alone and create positive associations with the time that you’re gone.
One way to help your pup adjust when separated from you is by gradually increasing the length of their departures. Start with short bursts of time – such as one or two seconds – and gradually build up to longer ones over several weeks.