If left unattended, the condition of a dog with separation anxiety could last a lifetime. It could be a debilitating condition for dogs who suffer it. Luckily, there are many methods on how to help a dog with separation anxiety.
Neither you nor your beloved dog would like to go through this problem. It is tough seeing your dog under so much anxiety, and it is heartbreaking to come home and find destruction and mayhem. If you want to know general information on what dog separation anxiety is, its symptoms, and more, you can click here.
But if you are looking for ways to break a dog’s separation anxiety, below are some of the effective tips on how to help a dog with separation anxiety.
It is worth repeating that a crate is an ally and friend for your dog. A crate is a vital training device and the solution for the majority of challenges for a dog. It is not healthy or cruel if appropriately utilized. As an alternative, it can offer your dog a haven to relax.
It would help if you educated your dog to associate his crate along with playful items such as food-releasing puzzle toys or chew toys. It will allow your dog to be excited to spend time inside the crate.
Nonetheless, crate training might not be efficient for some dogs, as a few dogs could panic. To avoid this, make sure you pay attention to the behavior of your dog. It will allow you to know if your dog settles immediately or if the distress symptoms increase. Your goal should be to create a safe environment for your dog when you are away from home.
Counter-Conditioning and Desensitization
Teach your dog to be at ease in the world. It is one crucial part of raising physically and mentally healthy dogs. Allow your dog to learn how to create positive associations along with new experiences.
Train your dog that separation has its corresponding reward. Begin by leaving it for quick periods and slowly extend the time you are away. Do you notice your dog change into panic mode when it is aware you are leaving it? You can try to counter that response by employing a special treat it loves. Make your dog aware that you will only use special treats for vital rewards and lessons.
The dog might even start to look forward to your parting when it receives a special treat before you leave. You could also make your departure routine less stressful for your dog by providing your dog with the clues that you are leaving.
For instance, you can grab your keys then make dinner instead of heading to your vehicle. You might also like to toss your dog a special treat before you grab your coat or keys. After a few days, your dog will look forward to your departure instead of stressing and panicking.
Natural Supplements and Medication
There are times that counter-conditioning training is not sufficient. Some vets suggest medications to cure depression. For instance, alprazolam is prescribed by vets for panic disorders and anxiety. Remember that these drugs need a prescription, and they are safe for the majority of pets. You need to consult your vet and be extra cautious when using this on a young dog.
Another way to break a dog’s separation anxiety is through homeopathic treatment and supplements. Natural products such as valerian or Bach’s Rescue Remedy might offer your dog relief from separation anxiety. You might also like to use compression shirts such as Thunder Shirt for your dog.
It would help if you taught your furry friend to establish independence to be on its own when you are at home. You can begin with short periods. You can then start to leave the room after your dog could stay for a few minutes.
Later on, you must leave its sight while it stays at the position for at least five minutes or more. Playing it cool plays a vital role here, especially when you are leaving your home.
Do not get too emotional when you greet your dog with love. It’s worth adding that you must not punish your pet when you go back home and find accidents or damages. Doing that will only add to his anxiety and will worsen the issue.
Keep in mind that exercise cannot cure a dog suffering from separation anxiety. Nonetheless, it could help to stop it from worsening. First, ensure your dog receives enough physical exercise appropriate for its age. That’s true, particularly big, and high-energy dogs have lots of energy to burn off. An exhausted dog who had a long walk and playtime with tend to calm down when you leave.
Make sure you do not ignore your dog’s mental condition. Cognitive games, puzzle toys, as well as training sessions, are all wonderful options. What’s more, a brain workout could be as draining as a physical one, and it provides lots of fun as well.
Separation anxiety in dogs cannot be prevented at all times, regardless of the efforts you make. It could be a difficult process to cure after the condition has taken hold. You might want to ask the assistance of a Veterinary Behaviorist or a Certified Applied Animal Behavior to help smooth the entire process.