How to calm a dog with separation anxiety

Are you sad for your dog because it has separation anxiety? You are not alone. Twenty to forty percent of the dogs have separation anxiety. Separation anxiety isn’t harmful alone, but it could lead to several destructive behaviors. Dogs with separation anxiety usually end up being aggressive. This is their way of attracting your attention. The attention is a mere attempt to inform you that your dog misses you. It is usually caused because you might have started ignoring it. It could also be triggered due to a lost item. 

Symptoms of separation anxiety

Detecting separation anxiety helps us in treating it. Here are the common symptoms of separation anxiety:

  • Howling, yowling, and excessive barking
  • Defecating within the house
  • Excessive drooling
  • Chewing random stuff
  • Not letting you leave
  • Finding a way to go out
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Techniques to calm your pup

Separation anxiety is usually due to attachment to the owner. It is most apparent when the owner is absent or is about to leave the house. Therefore, ease the process of leaving to treat anxiety. Here are a few tips and tricks which revolve around your departure from the house:

Exercise

Exercise causes physical exhaustion. This exhaustion deprives the dog of the ability to overthink and overanalyze. It is beneficial if you schedule exercising your dog around your departure time. Exercise your dog heavily so that it is tired by the time you leave. If you leave early in the morning, then take your pup out for a little run. This will tire your dog enough to prevent destructive behavior.

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How to leave

Don’t make your departure as if you were saying goodbye to a dead person. Rather, do not meet your dog before leaving. It is better if you avoid hugging, cuddling, and any physical contact. Don’t show emotions to your dog. Don’t respond to anything your dog does. Wait for a few minutes till your dog calms down and pet him for a while before leaving.

Fake it

Fake departures to helping your dog get used to it. This is done to break a pattern. For example, if the anxiety triggers only when you dress up formally, then normalize it. This means that normally act out the things you do without leaving the house. You can also act out your departure and come back in five minutes and then continue cooking. This prevents your dog from pairing this pattern with departure. After a while, your dog will start thinking that you will return in a short while. You can slowly increase the duration.

Breaking the pattern

If you have a morning routine, then mix it up. Don’t follow the same routine every day. Keep changing it. Keep changing your breakfast and getting up time. Reverse everything you usually do. Set up a completely new routine every day. This will confuse your dog, and your dog wouldn’t be able to keep a track. This will ease the entire departure process as your dog will stop suspecting that you are about to leave. 

Codeword

Set up a code for your pup. Pat your pup’s head and gently whisper, “I will be back”. Do this during your departure drill. Do this when you are sure that you will be back after a few minutes. In this way, your pup will start understanding that you will be back whenever you say these words. It will take a while, but your pup will learn it. Dogs are intelligent beings, and they can combine and understand information. Therefore, this helps a lot.

Your departure

Your attitude around the departure is a game-changer. Dogs can pick up on mood and emotions. Therefore, if your dog senses tension, then it will eventually be tensed. Hence, you should stay calm and composed whenever you are about to leave. Don’t let your anxiety and tension get to your dog. Keep yourself calm as much as you can.

Saying goodbye

This one is for those who can’t leave without saying goodbye to their pups. Say goodbye to your pup 20 to 30 minutes before you depart. Leave some chore for those 30 minutes or read a book. Just be around your pup for 30 minutes, and your dog will stop associating anxiety with goodbyes.

Chat camera

Get a chat camera for your pup. Chat cameras are available all across the world. They enable you to talk to your pup while you are at work. You can also feed your dog with it. Several chat cameras come with several features. Therefore, install the one suitable for your home. Talk to your dog every hour to calm it down. Slowly start increasing the duration. Just go with the pace your pup wouldn’t mind.

A companion

Everyone loves companions. Therefore, get one for your dog. Find a well-trained and grownup dog. Your new dog should be friendly, welcoming, and without any behavioral issues. This helps in reducing loneliness and giving a soothing effect. You can help the two bond and then start leaving them alone. You can start a playtime right before you leave. This will keep your dog distracted, and your dog wouldn’t notice anything. This is a great trick if you can afford a new dog. It resolves a lot of issues.

Conclusion

These are easy ways out of this problem. Separation anxiety is a real issue. All dogs, at some point in their lives, go through anxiety. All anxieties do not result in a disorder. Some could lead to severe behavioral and destructive patterns. Therefore, treat your dog only when you are sure it isn’t serious. Otherwise, immediately book an appointment with the vet. Only your vet could judge if your dog needs medication or not. This should be your first step to help your puppy. Other than that, develop a trust bond with your little fellow. Try to understand its mood and behavior. Cuddle with him every time you come back. Ask a friend to swing by whenever you are at work. Don’t be depressed if your dog has anxiety. You will find a way to help your little buddy, and it will be happy.

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