The bond between dogs and humans is storied and well known. There’s a good number of dog parents who can’t last a day without spending it with their pets. However, there are instances when dog owners like you have to leave your pet behind. Dogs left alone at home can exhibit symptoms of separation anxiety, including being disruptive.
Separation anxiety in dogs is becoming a growing behavioral concern among many dog parents. However, what is separation anxiety in canines and how can you prevent it? Moreover, how can dog separation anxiety toys aid in treating this difficult canine disorder? These are some of the questions that this article will answer.
What is separation anxiety in dogs alone at home?
Canine separation anxiety is a general term used to describe the frantic, distressed, and destructive behavior that dogs exhibit whenever they are separated from their pet parents. This unwanted behavior can manifest even if dogs are separated for a few minutes.
Separation anxiety may also be a result of other factors like moving to a new home, change in family schedule, or loss of a family member.
Below are some of the more common symptoms or indications of separation anxiety in dogs:
- Urinating and defecating even when they are house-trained
- Excessing whining, barking and howling
- Chewing and digging
- Trying to escape
- Intense pacing– common with dogs who spend their time in small rooms or crates
- Excessive drooling or salivation
While all dogs can suffer from separation anxiety, certain breeds are known to be more prone to developing this disorder such as:
- Australian Shepherd
- German Shepherd
- Bichon Frise
- Border Collies
- Cocker Spaniels
- Labrador Retriever
- King Charles Spaniel
- Toy breeds
How to prevent separation anxiety in dogs?
The good news is that treating separation anxiety in canines don’t require medical help. You can do it on your own as long as you are committed to finding the best way to calm your pet. Below are some techniques you can try to address separation anxiety in your dog:
- Alter you’re going away signals
Whether it’s using a different door or leaving your car keys or shoes in another location, there are numerous ways to change your ‘going away’ signals. Your goal is to alter your pet’s association of activities with your departure and more importantly, to prevent those actions from triggering separation anxiety.
Here’s one example: give your pet a toy or treat to play with when you leave. This can distract him enough for you to leave the house unnoticed.
- Leave and come back home sans the melodrama
Start to make your departures and returns emotionless. You can do this by doing away with the usual hugs and kisses. Alternatively, by not saying ‘I love you’ at all to your pet. If she gets excited upon your return, ignore her. Only greet her when she settles down.
- Train your pet to be alone
One of the best ways to prevent separation anxiety in canines is to teach your dog to be independent. It can make her feel more comfortable even when you are not around. Encourage self-sufficiency in your dog by using commands like ‘wait’ and ‘stay.’ These words are appropriate for clingy pets.
- Provide dog separation anxiety toys
Finally, providing your dog with separation anxiety toys can put that nervous energy to productive use. Dog separation anxiety toys can keep your pet busy while you are away. It can also relieve the anxiety that your furry friend may experience while you are not around.
The interactive toy ball puzzle from Nibble Pet Products is one good example of a dog separation anxiety toy. It is designed to reduce anxiety and keep dogs active while their owners are away. This treat ball has an open hole in the middle where you can place treats or food for your pet. The color and shape are also engaging and interesting for most dogs. This treat ball can help reduce barking and stress in dogs.
To sum things up, separation anxiety in dogs is a behavioral disorder that dog parents like you can manage. Modifying your behavior before your departure and upon your arrival can help in the same way that the use of separation anxiety toys can lessen your pet’s anxiety when you are not around.