How to Determine if your Dog Suffer from Separation Anxiety?
Dog Separation anxiety or separation related behavior (SRB) is quite a common condition today for many canines. Dogs who suffer from this condition become anxious, nervous and irritated when you leave them. They can also damage your possessions and ruin your appliances.
Let’s take a common scenario. You just come home from work, and your dog is silently waiting at the entrance. He then follows you into the living room, where you are stupefied to see your favorite pair of shoes chewed to pieces. Additionally, your neighbor yells at you from outside your window that your dog has been driving him crazy all day long by harking and howling.
If that’s the real you and that’s your real dog, then your dog suffers from separation anxiety. If your canine friend follows you, destroys your stuff and also tries to escape while you are away, then you seriously need to do something.
Some other signs that prove that your dog is prone to this condition are that your puppy is trying to get your attention all day long, follows you around the house ceaselessly and greets you exuberantly when you come home from work.
Proven Solutions and Treatments to Dog Separation Anxiety
1. Get Another Dog
One great solution to your dog’s loneliness is to bring him a partner. Two dogs are much better than one dog and can definitely spend some amazing moments having fun together. Of course, the other side of the coin is that two dogs can mean double trouble.
2. Take your Dog for a Walk Before Leaving the House
If you could spare 15 minutes out of your precious time, simply take your dog outside for a short 15-minutes stroll in the park. To make the connection between you and your pet even stronger, reward him for listening to you by giving him some of his favorite biscuits.
However, only offer him the reward after you get back home and are ready to go to work. Some breeds of dogs need to rest for a while before eating. The whole idea behind the walk is to get your dog tired and then let him enjoy a hearty meal to ensure he will stay in quiet, resting mode for a while.
3. No Contact
Many dog owners live under the impression that making a big fuss when leaving the house and reassuring the dog that everything will be all right should help their pet deal with anxiety. Bluntly speaking, such reassurances only serve to increase your pet’s expectations of your returning.
It is wise not to make a big deal when leaving the home. This way, you are communicating a strong message to your dog – the time spent apart is not such a big deal, and will definitely pass very quickly.
In case you have troubles putting into practice the “no contact” policy, start by saying goodbye to your dog long before you leave home. However, always remember that this display is for you, because your dog won’t have his feelings hurt if you don’t say to him goodbye.
4. Choose the Right Medication
The use of medication to treat your dog’s problem can be extremely helpful, especially in more severe cases of separation anxiety. Some breeds of dogs are so affected by the separation from their owners that no treatment works, except medication.
If you’ve tried all types of dog separation anxiety solutions and nothing worked, you need to speak with a veterinary behaviorist or a vet and ask for the best medication recipe for your dog.
5. Crate Containment
Crate containment is only safe for dogs that learn that a crate is their safe haven. However, for most other dogs, a crate can cause additional stress and anxiety. Use a crate for a few days to determine the reaction of your dog to containment and only then decide if whether this is a genuine dog separation anxiety solution for your friend.
6. Offer a Wide Variety of “Jobs” to your Dog
A very effective method to treat your dog anxiety is to make sure be will be both mentally and physically stimulated. Exercising your dog’s body and mind can greatly reduce stress and anxiety, while helping him to forget that you are gone.
Some of the tasks you can prepare for your dog while you are gone include: playing interactive games, providing food puzzle toys, making him “hunt” his meals and enrolling him in a training class.