Have you noticed any strange behaviour in your dogs lately? Do they appear more anxious than usual when you come to get ready to leave the house? Are they in a hyper mood when you return? Then this could be the start of your dog feeling the full effects of separation anxiety.
Whilst you may think that this only happens in humans, you would be surprised to know that dogs can be affected by this too, especially as hundreds of people have been required to stay at home for the past couple of months. But don’t worry. This article will allow you to understand the most effective ways to calm an anxious dog, so their mental health doesn’t get any worse.
What is Separation Anxiety
Separation Anxiety occurs when a dog has found themselves increasingly attached to their owner, which could happen when their owner has spent more days than usual at home. And when left alone, they suddenly feel a lot more stressed. Most people think that it is just the case of your dog whimpering, but it is not.
Some of the signs of separation anxiety include howling, barking, excessive whining, having urinary accidents indoors, and chewing up objects, amongst others. It is very likely that you won’t see these problems yourself, as it tends to happen when they have been left alone, and if they are suffering from this type of anxiety, it will happen quite frequently.
First Thing You Can Do to Help
There are many different methods that you can implement to help your four-legged friend with their anxiety, and the first could be to speak with your vet to avoid the risk of any further medical complications from occurring. Or, if your dog is on medication, any accidents that could be occurring in the house could be because of the medication and not any separation anxiety they may be experiencing. So, it may be in your best interest to get this question answered first.
Mild Separation Anxiety
If your dog is suffering from mild anxiety, there are plenty of simple, yet effective practices that you can incorporate into your daily lives that could make a difference. Buying them special toys, like chew toys or a soft and cuddly animal could help to provide comfort when they have been left on their own. Even looking for a Calming Dog Bed that is known to be a safe haven for your pup could also work, as it can mimic the cuddles and softness that their owner provides them with when they are in their company. Supplements have also been known to help provide calming emotions to your pup, so any of these things could help your dog with any mild separation anxiety they may be suffering from.
Serious Separation Anxiety
Whilst this is very unlikely in most cases, this type of anxiety can occur. So, training your dog may be the step you wish to take to keep their anxiety to a minimum. For example, get ready as if you were leaving the house, but then sit down and watch some television. Over time, you will see that their anxiety levels have decreased. Then take the time to partake in other activities to further help them. Leaving them for a couple of minutes at a time and then reappearing, whilst telling them to stay, will eventually lead to them becoming more relaxed when you leave, but this method needs to be eased into and not rushed.
In conclusion, it isn’t rare for some dogs to experience separation anxiety at one point or another in their lives, so it is important that you have a good knowledge base for what to do if your dog ever finds themselves in this situation. Each dog is different, so creating a plan that meets their needs will definitely be in their best interest. All the ideas mentioned above are just a small number of things that you can do, so we would love to hear from you if you have gone down a different route. You could be helping someone in need after all.