Any form of anxiety in your pet is very distressing for both your pet and yourself. Separation anxiety is particularly challenging to deal with, as not only does it mean your pet is suffering, but your property and belongings may suffer for it, too.
Signs Your Pet May Be Suffering from Separation Anxiety
- They are urinating or excreting in the house while you are away, even if they are fully housetrained
- They are showing destructive behavior, such as ripping or shredding furniture or items in the house
- You have heard them howling or barking when you leave
- They are showing restless behavior
Not Sure Whether Your Pet Has Anxiety?
An excellent way to determine what’s going on when you’re away from home is to record your pet while you are out. You could set up a camera or webcam for a day just to see how your dog is acting when you leave, and what is prompting their behavior. If they are howling at the window when you leave, looking dolefully at the door and then turning to destruction until you return, these are all clear signs.
7 Ways to Ease Separation Anxiety
- Take Your Dog for a Long Walk
Try to time a long and exhausting walk for your dog before you leave the house. This will serve to tire them and hopefully mean that they will have less energy for destructive or anxiety-fueled behavior.
- Look for Calming Solutions
There may be natural foods and treats that can help. Treats such as CBD beef wraps are designed to help alleviate anxiety and worry in dogs, so you can always see if this works for your pet.
- Build Up to Big Absences
You want your dog to be less anxious about your being out of the house, and you know you’re going to need to be for long periods, such as for work. It’s a good idea to start out small and work your way up to more extended absences. You can try leaving home for ten minutes and then returning. Next, try half an hour before eventually trying an hour or two. Your dog will be able to see that you always return when you leave, and it will help them to get used to it.
- Be Firm
It can be difficult but pandering to your dog’s whim will not help the situation. If they begin to howl or mope and you decide to return or to pet them to soothe them, they will start to think that this behavior results in a reward. You need to be consistent and strict in your routine, and if you need to leave the house, you must.
- Don’t Make it Into a Big Event
You may be tempted to give your dog the biggest cuddles, treats and surround them with their favorite things, every time you leave. This makes it into a big deal, which can make the situation worse. By acting normally and simply leaving the house with a quick pat and goodbye, it can help to seem like a more normal routine.
- Provide Entertainment
Leave the television or radio on for company, or even provide a recording of your own voice for your dog to listen to while you’re away!
- Seek Expert Help
If nothing else is working and the anxiety is extremely severe, resulting in serious destruction of your home, you can seek professional guidance from your vet or from dog trainers.