Our dogs worry when we’re gone, but there are some easy way’s to ease your dog’s stress when you’re away from the home. Read on to learn how to relieve separation anxiety in dogs!
A Morning Walk: Walking your dog is so much more important than many owners realize. Exercise stops your dog from getting bored, is a training opportunity, gets both of you out of the house and improves your dog’s behavior while you’re away.
Young dogs need about an hour of daily exercise, but some dogs bred for sports or herding may need more. A well-exercised dog is a better behaved dog and you’ll also help your pet avoid unnecessary weight gain.
A long walk in the morning, when done on a daily basis, will have tremendously positive effects on your dog’s overall health (mental, physical and emotional).
Access to the Outdoors: Giving your dog access to the outdoors with a doggie door lets them relieve themselves as soon as they need to go, lets them stretch their legs and helps them feel less confined.
Dogs need lots of stimulation, so being indoors for an extended period of time can be much more boring for your pup than for you. Remember that your dog is instinctual and they use their sense of smell and extraordinary hearing all day long. The freedom to go outside lets them use these senses throughout the day.
Television and Radio: When you and your family are home your house is full of noises; talking, music, TV, footsteps, doors opening and closing, etc. Your dog is used to these familiar noises, and so much so that the deafening silence of being home alone can be unsettling.
Some dogs enjoy the continuous noise of TV or the radio. These noises also help drown out outside noises like neighbors, street traffic, etc. and will help lessen the chance of your dog barking at the slightest disturbance outside.
Pick radio stations and TV channels that will sooth your dog. Channels with a lot of loud, dramatic high points can be jarring if your dog is in a restful state of mind. Cooking channels, children’s stations and soothing music are all good choices. What you want is for your dog to relax, not to get wound up.
Chew Toys: We tend to forget that the powerful muscles that make up our dogs’ jaws need as much stimulation as any other muscle in their body. When they don’t have a constructive way of using their jaws and teeth (chewing bones, rubber toys, etc.) dogs start chewing on the furniture, shoes, door frames, and just about anything they can sink their teeth into.
Chew toys provide an outlet for lack of stimulation and boredom. Pick chew toys that can’t be torn apart or swallowed by your dog. Don’t leave them alone with bones or hides because of choking risks. While you’re away stuff kongs with treats or food, and give them other non-hazardous toys. This will keep your dog busy while you’re gone. While you’re home you can give them bones.
Visitors: If you’re away from the house for long periods of time consider hiring a sitter or dog walker who can check in on your dog each day and let them out of the house for a while.
This is especially something to consider if your dog doesn’t have access to the outdoors or if you don’t have time to walk them in the mornings. Choose someone who is good with your dog and is trustworthy. The exercise and company will help break up their long days indoors.
These solutions will go a long way towards easing separation anxiety in dogs, but will not get at what is ultimately causing your problem. Your dog is getting anxious when you leave the home because they see themselves as the leader of your pack.
But the good news is there’s a great free video series that can help you in this area. It will show you how to make it clear to your dog that you are the one in charge, which your pup will love because it frees them of worrying when you are away from the “den.”
Get a handle on this issue and you’ll be able to leave the home without worrying about what kind of madhouse you’ll be returning to.
Keep Your Pup at Ease
Dogs may feel anxious, bored, or scared when we are not around. But there are a lot of ways to keep them at ease and help them overcome their separation anxiety.