Separation Anxiety, What to Do
So many folks experience Separation Anxiety with their pets. We, at Pets Are Inn, found some simple solutions to practice. If non of these work, it may require a visit with your Veterinarian for some medication help.
COVID-19 I can’t count the many times I’ve heard from clients that since they have been working from home the past several months, their furry buddies have become even more attached to them then even before the stay at home orders were made. ” When I leave the house to run even a short errand, my dog shows anxiety where he never displayed this emotion before. “I am concerned that when I return to work and my kids return to school Buster will have a hard time being alone”.
While we all love to shower our pets with love and affection, doing so just before leaving the home for work or to run an errand is not the time to do so. This attention may cause stress and anxiousness in your pet that you are leaving him behind. He doesn’t know if you will be back or not. Doing the same upon your return has the same effect and is a reward for your pets’ nervousness when you leave. It is best to downplay both leaving and coming home again. Dogs are very astute and sense our nervousness anxiety which will add to their uneasiness. Dogs need a strong leader to follow.
- Always take your dog outside to potty before leaving the house.
Dogs can pick up on our stress very easily. If you are nervous about leaving, your dog will sense that anxiety in you. He needs to know this is just a part of life. Do not make a big fuss over him when you leave. Just do it nonchalantly.
- If your dog shows signs of anxiety it may be a good idea to leave a shirt with your sent on it so they can cuddle with it while they are home alone.
- We may ask for a piece of your clothing as part of the “stuff” we need for your pet’s vacation.
- A short walk or a game of catch will give your pet some exercise. A rule of thumb is a tired dog does not have the energy to be destructive when left alone.
- Puzzle treats and toys that you use only when you leave him home may distract your pet and keep him engaged. A scavenger hunt for treats around the house will keep him occupied as well. The idea is to keep his mind occupied with other things.
- Some dogs who exhibit separation anxiety will start to stress when they see you put on your shoes and jacket or the clinking of your keys. It can help to change up the routine a bit. Put your purse or backpack in the car well before the need to leave. Put your jacket on once you are in the car. By changing up the routine, you are no longer predictable in your behavior.
- There may be medical reasons for Separation Anxiety. If you practice some of the suggestions above and your pet still suffers then it is time for a Vet visit. There a a number of medications on the market that might just be the ticket.
Some quotes from Ceaser Millan, the Dog Whisperer, at a conference in the Philippines a few years back
. “Separation anxiety in dogs happens when we keep dogs in intimate (small) space. It doesn’t happen when dogs are in open space.”
“Saying goodbye to dogs should not be emotional. First, give him a comfortable space, then go.”
“Dogs need 3 basic things: exercise for the body, discipline for the mind, affection for the heart.” (in that order)