Separation anxiety can do a lot of damage not only to your furniture and property but your dog as well. It can lead to a lot of behavioral problems that can endanger the safety and well-being of your pet.
To make sure none of these things happen, here are some of the essential things you need to know about dealing with an anxious dog.
Take your dog out for a walk before you leaveTo avoid the destructive behaviors that result from separation anxiety, make sure to leave your dog in a calm and relaxed way. One of the best things you can do is to take him out for a rigorous walk or a short exercise to wear off his excess energy.
You should, however, refrain from leaving your dog right after his walk. Make sure to give him 20 to 30 minutes to settle down, hydrate and eat.
Leave and arrive as calm as possibleDogs tend to radiate the same energy as you. If you are going to be all fussy when you leave him for work, there’s a good chance he’ll behave in the same manner. You should also avoid approaching him with excitement as soon as you arrive. As much as possible, leave and arrive as if it’s not a big deal.
Leave something with your scentYour dog finds comfort in you. Leaving a piece of clothing with your scent can give him peace while you’re gone. Just make sure to find clothes you wouldn’t mind being ripped apart and bitten as he’s likely to play with them, too.
Invest in a pet cameraThis is actually not a new innovation. In fact, you can find a lot of pet cameras in the market today. They are great for pets with separation anxiety since they’ll be able to hear your voice and interact with you through the device.
One of your best choices is PetCube. It’s an internet-connected pet camera that also comes with a built-in laser pointer which you can use to play with your dog. Aside from these features, you can also use it to take pictures of your dogs while you’re away.
Practice obedience trainingJust like any other skills, your dog also has to learn how to have patience while waiting for you. Teaching him basic obedience training can greatly help.
You can start out with leaving the house for five minutes. If possible, try incorporating the use of safe words during this training. Phrases such as “I’ll be back” and “I’ll be home soon” can help condition your dog’s mind that you’ll return. You can gradually extend the time until you’re able to leave your dog for a full 8 hours without any issues.
Ensure your dog’s comfort while you’re awayBefore you leave, keep in mind your dog’s necessities. Make sure that there’s fresh water and food for him. If you’re planning on giving him his main meal before you go, consider hiding half of it somewhere in the house. This will give him something to do while you’re away.
You should also check his bedding to make sure that it’s dry and comfortable. Some dogs find comfort whenever they are in crates. Before you consider using one for your pet, ensure that it won’t escalate your dog’s anxiety level.