Tips To Help Your Dog Overcome Separation Anxiety

Does your dog bark and cry when you must leave? Some dogs may even destroy the home or engage in destructive behaviors- like getting in the trash- when they are left alone, even for a little while. Take steps to prevent these antics and help your dog overcome anxiety when you are away from them.  

Use these tips to help your dog overcome separation anxiety when you are away:  

Enroll in Doggie Daycare

One way to address separation anxiety is by enrolling pets in a doggie daycare for a couple of days per week. The added benefit of this kind of facility is that your dog will be around other dogs, which helps with socialized behavior. Be consistent with a schedule and routine for your pet for the best results. 

Make Time for a Walk

Reduce your pet's anxiety when you leave by taking them for a brisk walk before you go. Feed pets after exercise to subdue them and put them in a restful mood- perfect while you are away from the home.  

Be Calm and Cool

Is your pet picking up anxious cues from you? Try not to make a big deal of your departure to decrease your pet's anxiety. Assert calm energy so that your pet will feel a sense of security rather than fear. 

Practice Being Apart

Practice makes perfect, so why not do a trial run of leaving to help prepare and desensitize your pet? Try leaving your dog for short, five-to-ten-minute intervals; if you can, record their behavior on a phone or webcam. If all goes well, increase the time that you leave to observe your dog's behavior.  

Keep Them Occupied

Give your pet something to keep them busy while you are gone, like a special toy or a frozen treat. There are some online enrichment games that can also provide an outlet for your pet's anxious energy while you are gone.  

Create a Calm Environment 

Even if your dog is calm, other stimuli can create havoc and stress while you are gone. For instance, strange noises or someone knocking on the door could cause your pet to act out. Some ways to prevent disruption and barking include: 

  • Contain your dog in a quiet room with the door closed. Make sure to leave them water and food if you are going to be gone longer than a few minutes.  

  • Draw the shades or close blinds to eliminate your dog's view of passers-by or outside stimuli.  

  • Provide your pet with some white noise while you are gone. Television or an audiobook can provide a comforting and calming white noise for some dogs, too.  

Use these tips to foster a sense of security and prevent separation anxiety in your dog. Consider socialization, like doggie daycare, to reinforce good behavior when you leave your pet, and to reassure them that you will return.  

Visit a doggie daycare near you to learn more.