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Is your dog barking nonstop, destroying your belongings or even urinating on your stuff? Does he or she pick any time they are left alone? Then your dog may be suffering from separation anxiety.
Separation Anxiety is a fixable condition as long as you observe the right steps in solving this problem. Separation anxiety may be caused by some issues such as a new baby, death of a family member or even the loss of another pet in the home. How do you treat it? We will find out below.
When you go to work in the morning, it is understandable that you may feel nervous and guilty about leaving the dog behind, but the best thing to do is to be calm. Let the dog see that everything will be okay and normal even without your presence. You should show leadership since dogs tend to have anxiety when they do not know who the pack leader is.
Take Them For A Walk
Taking him for a walk before you leave for the day will most definitely ease him into the day’s activities. In case you are planning a trip away, you should also do this. If you are too busy, you could hire a dog walker to do it. It will be worth every penny since once the dog is tired, he is ready for a nap and is generally happier. This exercise will help relieve any anxieties that they may have.
Say A Brief Goodbye
It is very tempting to feel affectionate once you are leaving the house but try to keep your goodbyes short. The more the time you spend showing your dog how much you will miss him once you leave, the more affected they will be. Remember that the dogs’ feelings will not be hurt if you don’t say goodbye. They will be okay.
Use An Audiobook
Studies have shown that audiobooks have a calming effect on dogs and it is a good idea to buy one. The sound of a human voice can help them reduce their stress levels when you are not at home. They will be soothed and less anxious.
You should start by leaving your dog for five minutes and see how they respond. This can be increased to fifteen minutes and an hour. It will teach the dog how to survive without you being present. You should do this until they can stay for about eight hours without you around. Once they have accomplished this, you could be confident about leaving them for, more extended periods especially if you travel a lot.
Create A Personal Space For Your Dog
Do not sleep with them in your bed. It does not show that you love dogs any less. You are teaching them to be independent. A way to enhance this is to buy a crate or dog bed for them where they sleep. They should learn how to enjoy their personal space so that when you are not around, they can adjust very fast.
At times, there may be other medical conditions that may be causing separation anxiety for your dog. You should contact your veterinarian to check it out. Also, for any severe concerns, you may be required to use some medicines such as calming aids and other prescription medication. You should see a professional who will check the dog out and give the best option for you.
Change Your Signals
When its time to say goodbye, we tend to put a coat on or even put the shoes near the door. These activities show the dog that you are leaving and can trigger their anxiety. To solve this, you will be required to use different signals such as putting your coat on and not going until twenty minutes or so are over. You could also put your shoes in a different location. You could give them some calming treats as a short-term solution to this condition.
Vary Your Schedule
With a varying schedule, the dog will be less affected by any routine changes. A dog that is used to a particular routine will be adversely affected by a small change hence it is advised to change it often. You could try this by hiring a dog walker on some days of the week to mix it up.
Leave Familiar Items While Away
In case you have to travel.you should ensure that you have a good dog daycare provider. You should also ensure that you leave him or her with the familiar bed, their favorite rug, food, and toys they are used to. Do not buy new ones while you are going since they are not used to them.
Treating separation anxiety cannot happen in a day. You need to be patient with your dog. By following the above steps with dedication, you are sure to achieve your goal in a matter of time.
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