Between 20% to 40% of dogs suffer from separation anxiety. It is a common behavioral disorder and there are many causes of separation anxiety in canines, ranging from trauma to emotional distress.
If you have an anxious pooch, it makes leaving the house difficult and life hard for the both of you. That's why it's important that you learn how to calm a dog with separation anxiety.
While there is no hard and fast cure for canine separation anxiety, there are some effective methods for calming your dog and soothing his stress.
Are you interested in knowing more? Check out this guide to calming a dog with separation anxiety.
Exercise Can Help Dog Anxiety
While exercise isn't a cure for separation anxiety, much like with humans it can help to calm your pup. It's vital that your dog gets enough age-appropriate and breed-appropriate physical exercise.
A high-energy dog who doesn't get enough exercise will have pent-up energy and heightened anxiety when you leave the house.
Before you leave the house take your dog for a walk or have a vigorous play session to tire them out. Mental exercise is as important as physical exercise so keep your dog stimulated with puzzle toys, training, and cognitive games.
Downplay Greetings and Goodbyes
If you get your dog super excited every time you arrive home, you're telling them that your time apart is a big deal. You want to avoid reinforcing the fear of your absence by giving emotional goodbyes and happy returns.
When you leave the house, play it cool. Don't make eye contact or give tons of cuddles. In fact, avoid physical contact completely and make the goodbye 'business as usual.' The same goes for when you arrive home — don't make a big scene.
If your dog has severe anxiety, you may need to refrain from giving her attention for up to an hour before you leave the house.
Don't Encourage Clinginess
While it's fantastic to have a dog's best friend, avoid encouraging over-clingy behavior as this will only serve to heighten separation anxiety in dogs. Rather, work on raising an independent pooch who loves being around you but is happy to be alone.
Encourage him to be in another room without you. Start by putting him in another room for short periods of time and rewarding him with treats so that he can become comfortable being alone.
Try Putting on an Audiobook or Music When You Leave
The thought of your poor pup pining away every time you leave the house is terrible. Try putting on background music or audiobooks for when you're not around.
Audiobooks may help to calm your pup as she can hear the sound of a human voice which can reduce stress. Stick with using the same audiobook so that your dog becomes used to the voice.
Music therapy can be as beneficial for your dog as it is for humans. It provides a calming effect and it also reduces noise sensitivity by blocking out outside sounds that may make your dog anxious — such as the vehicles on the road, or thunder.
Anxious dogs could benefit from classical music. You may need to give it some time for your dog to become used to the music or audiobook.
Alternative Pet Anxiety Products
There are some homeopathic remedies available to help ease anxiety in dogs. Rescue Remedy is a common homeopathic line of remedies that humans have been using for over 200 years.
There is a Rescue Remedy Pet that comprises 5 Batch Flower Remedies to helo reduce stress. You can add a couple of drops to your dog's drinking water and use the spray on their beds and toys. The research is limited on how effective this is, but it is completely safe to use with no adverse side effects.
Another good option to consider is CBD for pets. While the research is still in the early phases, there is evidence that suggests that CBD can help to soothe your pup's anxiety.
With the boom in the popularity of CBD, there are plenty of pet options on the market. Look here now for CBD pet treats that your dog will love.
Prevent Separation Anxiety in Dogs With Crate Training
If you've just brought home a new puppy or planning on adding one to your family, it's important that you take measures to prevent separation anxiety. One of the most effective ways of doing this is crate training.
You need to help your dog associate their crate with comfort, safety, and relaxation. You can do this by creating an association of toys, food, and sleep, with the crate.
If your pup thinks of his crate as a safe and happy place, this is where he will hang out if he ever becomes to feel anxious when you're away. It will be his safe haven when you're not around and in times of stress.
Now You Know How to Calm a Dog With Separation Anxiety
There is no cure, but knowing how to calm a dog with separation anxiety will make life a lot easier for both you and your pup. You'll need to experiment with a few different methods to see what works for your dog. Most importantly, be patient and persistent as it takes time to form new habits.
Did you enjoy this post? We have plenty of awesome articles for pet parents to help you navigate raising a dog, so keep exploring for more!