Are There Any Dog Separation Anxiety Solutions?
Boy, that is a question I must have asked a million times! Hard to believe that our Jake, the relaxed, without a care-in-the-world dog pictured below, could have ever been anxiety-ridden. But, it is so true and we’ve got the scratched drywall, chewed woodwork and destroyed hardwood floors to prove it.
However, thanks to finding some good dog separation anxiety solutions, we are now able to start repairing all the destruction with a certain amount of confidence that he will not tear it all up again. At least not as badly. Jake is still not happy when all his family leaves at the same time. He still hangs his head, mopes and usually refuses to say goodbye. As we back out of the drive he can be heard barking his displeasure. But now when we come home, we are not met with total chaos. There is still drool in front of the door and his water and food have gone untouched. He truly is in mourning until his people come home. When that happens, watch out! He is flying about the house, grabbing toys and challenging us to chase him. And he will then drink enough water to float a boat. Life is good again. It wasn’t easy getting to this point.but so worth it. These are some things that have helped us in dealing with dog separation anxiety.
Dog Separation Anxiety Solutions:
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- Make your departure as uneventful as possible. Resist the urge to hug, kiss and make over your dog in an attempt to soothe your guilt. This lets him in on the idea that something big is about to happen and he probably won’t like it. I’ve done this and it never ended well. Instead, keep everything as low key as possible. Pet him if you must but make it a quick pat and just move right out the door as if it is no big deal. You can cry in the car if the need arises (and I have.) Overcoming dog separation anxiety requires you to be tough.
- Leave lots of his toys about to give him something to amuse and distract. Be cautious of any toys you choose to leave when you are not at home. Leave nothing with small parts or made of material that can be chewed off and potentially cause your dog to choke. A good choice I like is the Kong Extreme Dog Toy. This toy is a hard, durable rubber. Your dog will love to chew on it and it also has openings on each end to hide treats for your dog to shake loose and enjoy. It comes in an assortment of sizes, shapes and strengths, to meet each dog’s needs. Also, an old piece of your clothing can provide some comfort to him. Your scent is one of his favorite things.
- Try crating your dog or confining him to a small room. Allowing him the run of the house can be overwhelming.
- Leave a piece of your unwashed clothing with your dog. Your familiar scent can be comforting.
- Start out with short absences. Try 10 minutes to start, gradually increasing by 5 minutes increments. He’ll realize each time that “Hey, they do come back!”
- Make your return as uneventful as your departure. Enter the house calmly and greet him but do not hug, make baby talk and generally display your guilt to him. After in the house for a short time, then you can play and have some fun.
- Be sure to doggy-proof the house before you leave, for his safety and your sanity.
- Another thing that proved to be effective to stop my dog separation anxiety is the ThunderShirt . The shirt fits snugly on the dog’s body, creating a sense of security. The Thunder Shirt is also helpful for dogs with a fear of thunderstorms. It worked well in helping one of my other dogs to get over her fear of the storms.
It may seem impossible at the moment but take it from someone that has been there; dog separation anxiety can get better with a little effort. It’s worth your sanity and your dog’s happiness to try these dog separation anxiety solutions.This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won't cost you a penny more) Click here for my full disclosure policy.