3 Tips For Coping With Separation Anxiety In Dogs

Posted on: 30 December 2020

If your dog is anxious, or simply very attached to you, they may be prone to bouts of separation anxiety when you're away. If a dog has separation anxiety they may howl, cry, and bark the whole time you're gone. Dogs with separation anxiety also tend to destroy belongings and go to the bathroom inside as responses to their stress. Since a dog with separation anxiety is obviously in distress, it's important to treat it in a proactive manner. Here's how:

Bring Them to Doggy Daycare

One of the best ways to prevent separation anxiety is to bring your dog to doggy daycare when you're at work. Instead of anxiously pacing the living room waiting for you to come home, your dog will spend their day playing with other dogs as well as the humans who work at the doggy daycare facility. They will be pleasantly tired and calm when you pick them up, and you won't have to worry about destructive behavior in your home.

Get Them Plenty of Exercise

Just like in humans, getting regular exercise has many benefits for dogs. Not only is exercise great for a dog's physical health, but it also helps them feel less stressed, depressed, or anxious. For these reasons, prioritizing their exercise routine should be one of the first things you do when you notice signs of separation anxiety.

A long, brisk walk each day is great. For high-energy breeds and younger dogs, you may also want to mix in some rigorous hikes, jogging, or even agility training a few times a week. Your dog's sense of peace and wellbeing will increase and they will be more likely to rest when you're away.

Work on Training Your Dog

Training your dog has many benefits. Learning new skills and commands can help build your dog's confidence so they no longer act so fearful and anxious even when you leave. Training can also be specifically geared toward undoing the separation anxiety behaviors. For example, you can gradually teach a dog to associate you leaving with a positive experience through treats and other positive reinforcement.

While there are some great books and videos for learning the basics of dog training, working with a professional trainer is worthwhile for a serious issue like separation anxiety.

Dealing with a dog who has separation anxiety isn't easy, but by following these tips you will likely soon notice their anxiety fading.