Dog separation anxiety makes up about 15 percent of all behavior problems in canines. The idea pet will find a comfortable spot and sleep when it is left alone. However, pets that suffer from dog anxiety exhibit negative behavior such as barking, chewing, digging and eliminating on carpets or furniture.
How to treat separation anxiety in dogs
Make Goodbyes Short
When you are getting ready to leave your dog alone, simply leave. Never dwell on lengthy goodbyes. In fact, it is best if you ignore your pet for a few minutes before you leave. Lengthy farewells only make your pet more insecure and can increase dog anxiety.
When pets are distracted, they are less likely to display negative dog behavior. With that said, be sure to leave your dog with several of its favorite toys before you go. Some of the best distractions are Nylabones or bones that you can fill with such things as peanut butter or cheese.
You can even pre-fill several bones and freeze them, only offering one to your pet when you have to go somewhere. Simply give one to your dog right before you walk out the door. The bone will keep your pet busy for hours; however, always remember to take the bone back when you return.
At times, crating your dog can help keep it calm during your absence. Not only will a crate prevent your pet from damaging your home, but it also offers your dog a safe place to sleep while you are gone. Keep in mind though, that you should never crate your pet for more than three hours at a time.
Play with Your Dog
Studies show that dogs that do not get enough play time or exercise are more likely to display negative dog behavior when bored or left alone. Just as with people, exercise can help to relieve your pet’s stress and anxiety. If you know what time you will be leaving, schedule a play session or walk with your pet about an hour before you go. Go here for Best Exercise Tips for Dogs
Provide Background Sound
Perhaps the best dog separation anxiety treatment is to provide your pet with some form of background sound while you are gone. Since dogs prefer to hear human voices rather than music, find a talk show on the radio or TV. You may also choose to record your own voice and leave it playing while you are gone.
Keep Farewells Consistent
Dogs crave consistency. As such, if at all possible, you need to make all of your goodbyes routine. Try to do the same things each time and in the same order. You can even practice your routine before actually going somewhere by simply stepping outside for several minutes.
These are just a few ways that you can help to relieve dog separation anxiety in your pet. However, no matter what you choose to do, always remember that consistency is the key. Never stray away from whatever dog separation anxiety treatment you choose.