Separation anxiety is a real issue for many dogs. When the bond between pet parent and dog is so strong, it can sometimes be a struggle when the pet parent leaves the house, even if it’s only for an hour or two. If your dog always cries when you leave or won’t stop barking in your absence, this could mean your dog is suffering from separation anxiety. Scratching doors and other destructive behavior can also be viewed as warning signs for separation anxiety. If your dog is feeling this anxiety when you leave, here are some tips to make your furry friend feel better about your absence.
1. Change Your Routine
If you start to change up your daily routine, your dog will no longer know exactly when you are leaving. Put your coat and keys somewhere new or leave through a different door if that’s a possibility. If the main problem is solely when you leave, your dog may not realize you are leaving for work or errands and will not feel as much anxiety.
2. Crate Training
The goal of crate training is to teach your dog that he does not always need you around or need to be involved in what you are doing at all times. Crate training can be effective to test out separating you and your dog even when you are in close proximity. Try it out first when you are still in the house and see how your dog reacts when you go upstairs or in another room. This will teach your dog to feel calm without being in your presence constantly, hopefully making it easier for him to cope when you actually leave the house.
3. Tire Your Dog Out
Take your dog for a long walk or play with him for a good 30 minutes before you leave the house. This will tire your dog out and could put him to sleep so he won’t even realize when you leave. Your dog should feel more relaxed knowing he just spent some good quality bonding time with you.
4. Create a Similar Environment to When You Are Present
If you always have the TV on or play music when you are in the house, do this for your dog. It will remind him of you, creating a feeling as if you are actually there. It may make your dog feel more comfortable hearing something that he can associate with happy times.
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Hopefully these suggestions will allow you to leave your pooch alone in your home without feeling guilty. If you have any tips that you have used in the past to help your dog’s separation anxiety, let us know in the comments!