Most dogs have some form of separation anxiety when they’re still young but for some of them, the issues seem to go on forever. It doesn’t get much better when your neighbours start complaining about the yelps and cries from your house while you’re gone – and you end up feeling bad for leaving the house at all.
Luckily, there are a few ways to help your dog out when he or she is showing signs of separation anxiety. Just have a look at the tips below and get started right away so that you and your dog can find some peace of mind again.
#1 Before leaving: Give your dog a treat
Just like with any other dog training, you’re going to have to focus on behavioural psychology. It’s kind of like Pavlov and his dog, by the way, where a stimulus triggers an association to something which again triggers a response.
As their owner, it’s up to you to make sure that what they associate with you leaving is just a bit more positive than negative.
You can start to do this by giving your dog or puppy a treat before you leave the house in the morning. It could be a toy as well, by the way, as long as it’s something that actually makes your dog happy.
It won’t change their behaviour overnight but as long as you keep it up and combine it with other forms of training, you should be able to get there in the end.
#2 Don’t make a fuss
While you are probably a bit anxious about coming and going now yourself, seeing that your dog considers it to be a big deal, it’s still better to keep it low-key. Enter without making a parade out of it and without showering your dog with a lot of greetings; a quick hug should do.
You can look into getting a pet cam through a CCTV installation, by the way, so that you’re able to keep an eye on your pet while you’re gone. That way, you can pretend to be completely chill when entering the house while you’ve secretly been spying on your pet throughout the day.
#3 Give them something of yours
Finally, you should try out the trick that every pet owner tries sooner or later: giving him or her something that smells like you. They use their noses a lot, you know, and one of your sweaters or maybe a t-shirt you’ve been lounging around in should be perfectly soothing when they miss their favourite human the most.
It’s a great tip for when you need to leave them for a few hours at the vet as well, though, so keep this in mind for anytime when your pet needs a bit more comfort.
These tricks should help to cure your pet of his or her separation anxiety but if it doesn’t work, you might want to consider giving them an over-the-counter natural calming supplement or at least chat with your veterinarian about the issue.