Does your dog have separation anxiety? Separation anxiety is unfortunately a common problem with dogs, and we expect to see more of it as workers return to their offices after having been home with their dogs for a year during the pandemic. Help your nervous pup with these tips from the dog trainers at Unleash Fido.
Signs of Separation Anxiety
How do you know if your dog has separation anxiety? Sadly, many people find out when their neighbors complain that their dog barked for eight hours straight while they were at work. Other signs are whining, soiling, destroying property and refusal to go into their crate.
While you want your dog to be happy and comfortable, you must go to work, and they need to learn how to feel calm when they’re left alone. What can you do?
Leave for Short Periods
Separation anxiety in dogs comes from being unsure your person will return. The longer you are gone, the more time your dog has to panic and to convince himself that you are never coming back. You must begin teaching your dog that you will come back while at the same time reducing their anxiety while you’re gone.
Start by leaving for short periods. Leave their sight by going into another room and shutting the door. Do this for a few minutes, gradually increasing the time you are out of sight. Eventually progress to leaving the house for up to 30 minutes at a time.
Leave Treats When You Go Out
With this step, it’s important to give them a treat in a toy such as a Kong that will take them time and effort to extract. You can put some of their favorite foods in the Kong, such as peanut butter, cream cheese or whatever your dog loves. You can even put the Kong in the freezer to extend the amount of time your dog must devote to extracting the treat.
It’s also critically important to give your dog this particular treat only when you go out. You want your dog to associate this special pleasure with your going out.
Try a Thunder Jacket
Thunder jackets are like weighted blankets for dogs. Intended for dogs with anxiety, thunder jackets are snug-fitting garments that squeeze your dog gently, like a hug, which helps calm them. While thunder jackets don’t work on 100% of dogs, they bring noticeable improvement to many. Plus, these jackets can help with other fears such as fear of fireworks and — you guessed it — thunder.
Help from the Dog Trainers at Unleash Fido
If these methods of helping your dog with separation anxiety don’t work as well as you had hoped, call the dog trainers at Unleash Fido. We can get to the root of your dog’s separation anxiety and find a way to help them remain calm while you are at work. Contact us today.