Our busy modern lifestyles aren’t great for dogs. Dogs are pack animals, and they thrive off of being social. Those of us who work all day and have to leave our pets at home have probably ended up Googling “dog separation anxiety solutions” when we came back to a chewed table leg.
If you notice your dog is a little too happy to see you when you come home, or if you see that a perfectly trained pup has started urinating in the house, those are usually signs of anxiety. The good news is that there’s a variety of ways to help calm your dog and soothe their fears.
Read on for eight easy dog separation anxiety solutions.
1. Link Being Alone To Something Positive
If your dog is afraid of being alone, help him out by associating being alone with a positive event.
You could give a treat as you pick up your keys, for example, so that he knows that the fact you’re leaving is also a sign something good is coming. Other pet owners give toys as they’re leaving that can help the dog relieve some stress.
Squeaky toys or toys with treats hidden inside will give your dog something to occupy himself until you come home.
2. Show Affection At The Right Time
It can be tempting to want to hug and kiss our dogs excessively before we leave. It might even seem like the right thing to do to help your dog. Some owners think that this is a way to show their dogs that they’re loved and being alone isn’t a punishment.
This actually does more harm than good. Making a big production out of leaving teaches your dog that it’s a big deal and not just a routine event.
Instead, love on your dog before you’re actually supposed to walk out the door. Then go ahead and leave without any fanfare.
3. Play Music
We know that humans listen to music to wind down or relax, but we don’t necessarily think about it helping out pets. Playing music is one of the lesser known dog separation anxiety solutions.
Putting on music when you leave your house can help keep your dog from getting too bored while you’re away. There’s even music with species-specific frequencies that’s designed to help your dog calm down. Just press play and go about your day.
4. Walk Your Dog Before Leaving
Of course, we can’t forget about how important exercise is for both the physical and mental health of dogs. You should be making sure your dog gets regular exercise no matter what, but it can also double as a way to reduce anxiety.
Taking your dog for a walk in the morning before you leave can help to wear them out and burn off some of that nervous energy. They’re more likely to nap and be in a better state of mind after they’ve gotten some activity in their day!
5. Help Your Pet Socialize With Other Dogs
Sometimes, dog separation anxiety solutions are as simple as going to the dog park.
How often does your pet get the chance to socialize with other dogs? If they’re not with you all day, are they alone, or do they get some time to be around other dogs?
Even if you’re able to set aside a lot of time to be with your pup, she still needs to learn how to be around other dogs. This kind of stimulation will help reduce boredom and problem behaviors like chewing and digging.
6. Buy A Pet Cam
Pet cameras are more advanced than ever. If you can’t be around your dog, you can still interact with them whether you’re at work or on vacation!
Some pet cameras go above just letting you see your dog and will also let you talk to and play with them. If your dog likes lasers, play with them with the camera’s built-in laser toy.
You can even reward good behavior by dispensing treats on your cue. If you’re looking for dog separation anxiety solutions that will combat bad behavior, this is an excellent choice for any owner.
7. Try Natural Supplements
Some owners want to stay away from giving their dog anything to alter their behavior. In some cases, though, it might be necessary or even beneficial to add in a natural supplement to your dog’s diet.
There are calming solutions that are available as pseudo-treats or even as an addition to your pup’s water. The natural solutions don’t have some of the scarier side effects people might associate with meds.
All dogs are different, though, so you should absolutely consult with your vet before introducing anything to your dog.
8. Stay Calm And In Control
No matter which of the above dog separation anxiety solutions you choose, you should stay calm and in control no matter what.
Your dog looks to you for cues about how he should react. If you’re anxious and upset, your dog will pick up on and mirror those emotional cues. Before you know it, you’re feeding into the anxious behavior instead of helping it.
Make sure that you’re helping your dog by being the ‘alpha’ of your little pack. Knowing that someone else is in control helps dogs to relax.
And remember not to get mad if your dog’s behavior doesn’t improve immediately — he might just need time. Be patient and keep working at it!
Call Us For More Dog Separation Anxiety Solutions
Still looking for more ways to help your dog stay calm when you’re not around? Consider bringing your dog in for a day of luxury with Pet Spas and Suites.
We offer doggy daycare services that offer lots of playtime and socialization with other dogs while you’re at work. To really pamper your dog, check out our grooming salon. Choose from bathing, styling, ear cleaning, or even teeth cleaning. Rest assured that you’ll pick up a clean, happy, and relaxed pup.
To schedule your appointment, call 518-783-5506 or shoot us a private message using this form.