We’ve all been there. The moment you grab your keys or touch the doggy crate, your pup’s anxiety hits the roof because he knows you’re about to head out the door without him. Separation anxiety is actually very common among pups — both young and older — and the symptoms can be very debilitating. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), common symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs include urination, defecation, excessive barking or howling, chewing, digging and more. Before you give up on helping your dog cope, check out our best ways to ease your dog’s separation anxiety:
Create ‘jobs’ for your dog
When we say ‘jobs,’ we’re really talking about activities that keep your dog’s mind and body stimulated. Like humans, dogs actually relieve stress and anxiety when performing aerobic activities, and these exercises can also add years to your dog’s life, too. If your dog is used to completing jobs throughout the day, like playing off-leash with other pups, he’ll feel rewarded for completing a daily activity andhe’ll experience an overall decrease in stress from exerting energy.
Consider crate training
Some pups become easily aggitated when they are left alone, especially if they have problems resisting behavioral temptations like chewing, digging and otherwise destroying expensive household items like furniture, doors and walls. If you usually leave your dog to explore the house at his own leisure while you’re away, consider crate training as an alternative. Dogs are often comforted by confined and comfortable spaces when anxious, and there are other benefits, too!
Consult your vet about anxiety medications for dogs
If all else fails to relieve your dog’s separation anxiety, you should contact your trusted vet about anxiety medications in order to learn if they can help your dog’s particular needs. When dogs have severe separation anxiety, sometimes medication becomes the only way to successfully relieve stress. However, most often, owners see more success when they pair behavioral modifications with the medication.
We wish you the best of luck with helping your dog find relief from his separation anxiety! Need a little help keeping the front or backyard free of doggy landmines, too? Giveus a call at (877) 930-POOP to schedule your first pet waste removal service for free if you live in the Orlando, Denver, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Phoenix or Atlanta metro areas.