Separation anxiety is a behavioral problem that needs to be corrected at the first sign of trouble. Since a dog can cause massive destruction in your home or seriously injure themselves, it’s best to put a quick stop to this behavior.
Some ways to help improve separation anxiety include:
- Give your dog a stimulating toy to play with such as a kong with treats, licking pads with their favorite snack smeared on the pad, puzzle toys, or any other toy that occupies a chunk of your dog’s time.
- Try not to make your departure into a big deal. We all love to give our pups a heartfelt goodbye, but this can create additional anxiety around you leaving, as they quickly learn that when you start your goodbye routine, you are about to be gone. By not making a big deal out of your coming and going, they are less likely to react each time you leave.
- Leave out your favorite blanket or sweater for them to cuddle with when you are away.
- Offer your dog a calming supplement that is known to help with anxiety. This can mean CBD chews, diffusing essential oils for anxiety, or resorting to veterinary prescribed medication if their anxiety is severe enough.
- Make sure your dog is getting plenty of daily exercise. By helping to drain them of their excess energy, your pup will be more likely to sleep during your time away from home.
- Offer them a variety of mentally stimulating toys. Luckily many pet owners have experienced separation anxiety in their dogs, so there are plenty of toys available for dogs who need a distraction. You can purchase toys that act as a puzzle that contain small kibbles, there are licking mats that allow you to freeze peanut butter or other tasty treats to the mat for up to 30 minutes of distraction, or treat dispensers that allow you to talk to or play with your dog while you are away.
Separation anxiety can seem like the end of the world when your dog is suffering, but there are several ways to help relieve their anxieties. Always try your best to make sure your pup is living a fulfilled life in your home, and you can be on your way to an anxiety-free dog.