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Helping Ease Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Your dog surely loves you and doesn’t like being separated from you. Many dog owners have gone through the same situation of coming home to a dog filled with nervous energy and a house filled with evidence that your dog likes to chew things up and destroy furniture. As a dog owner you don’t have to feel overwhelmed about this situation. Luckily there are a variety of ways to ease your dog’s separation anxiety issues.

  • Don’t Be Dramatic – Many dog owners make a big deal out of leaving or entering the home. This usually includes a lot of attention and kisses for your dog. You should replace this dramatic behavior with a calm, serene attitude that keeps your dog calm. Leave your home and enter your home like it is no big deal. Once you are indoors and have put your keys down, then acknowledge your dog. Don’t make contact with your dog immediately. This will help lessen his or her anxiety when you arrive and depart your home.
  • Create a Safe Area – Limit your dog’s exposure to the entire house by providing him or her with a room that feels safe and comfortable. Choose a room in your house that cannot be easily destroyed. Put your dog’s comfortable bed, blanket, toys and other favorite items that will help your dog feel comfortable. Put soft music on the radio or leave the television on while you are away from the house. This will give your dog a welcomed distraction and the music will most likely calm your dog into a deep sleep.
  • Keep Your Dog Busy – You may not be home to play with your dog and keep him or her busy, but you can provide toys. There are a variety of interactive dog toys on the market today. One of the most popular are the kind that you can hide treats inside and your dog has to search and do a variety of things with the toy in order to reach the treat.
  • Use Clothing – There are special dog clothing that is made to help your dog feel more secure while left alone. These remarkable clothing items fits snug around your dog as if giving him or her, a warm hug. They come in a variety of sizes and some come with an extra flap if your dog tends to relieve him or herself due to anxiety.
  • Hire a Pet Sitter – Pet sitters are increasingly becoming a popular solution for busy dog owners. They are able to visit with your dog, feed him or her, take them for a walk or just keep them company. While there is a fee involved, it is a great solution to solving severe separation anxiety in dogs.

Remember that dogs run in a pack and prefer to be with their family. This is usually the main cause of separation anxiety. Training your dog to stay alone and understand that you will always return is something that takes time and patience. Always exhibiting a calm demeanor during this process is beneficial for both you and your dog. Soon your dog will be relaxing and enjoying their comfortable bed, soft music and exciting toys, the anxiety will lessen and be replaced with positive influences.

Photo credit: Andrew Thorne/Flickr

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Please consult the services of a Professional Dog Trainer, Behaviorist or Veterinarian before implementing any of the advice contained on this site.