From puppies to adult dogs, anxiety can be present regardless of age, size, breed and gender. Separation anxiety can happen for a variety of reasons, but luckily for us dog owners, there are a lot of solutions to helping your dog overcome this problem. In order to help a dog feel comfortable being left alone, follow these five tips.
Before you leave the house and leave your furry friend behind, make sure he or she has had a good deal of exercise. Whether this means taking a long walk or a short run before leaving your pet at home, exercise will help your pet feel more relaxed when you walk out the door. This is because your pet will have less energy to focus on being left alone and will most likely fall asleep easier when you leave.
As much as you want to tell your dog you love them as you’re leaving and pet them, making a big deal about your departure is only going to make it more difficult. By being casual when you’re leaving your pet behind, it’ll seem less serious and won’t make them think that the world is ending as you shut the door. When you return after your departure, it’s also important not to overreact when you see your pet again. Remaining calm will help the dog feel relaxed and will make them realize you leaving and returning isn’t that big of a deal.
Say goodbye early
It’s always a good idea to prepare for your departure a little early so that your pet has time to cope with the situation. Just like you should be avoiding eye contact, you also should be avoiding showing any sort of affection right before you leave. Whether you’re putting your dog in a crate or you are simply shutting the door behind you, don’t say goodbye and don’t act like you’re leaving forever.
Never feel guilty about leaving your pet, ever. Instead, show your pet that everything is going to be okay by showing confidence and positive energy. Being calm and assertive can help ease any feelings of separation anxiety in dogs and will help you break this habit faster.
Start small and grow gradually
The first step to breaking this habit from your dog is to start small. This could mean doing little things like only leaving your dog alone for five minutes or using one tip at a time until you can handle all five. The most important thing is to do things gradually so that it’s not a shock when you pay less attention to your dog as you’re leaving the house. Eventually over time, you will see that both you as the owner and your pet will be less stressed and hopefully anxiety free!
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Jessica McNeal is a freelance writer and dog lover. Because she loves animals, she loves to make sure they’re safe from harm and are protected with pet ID tags. She buys her animals ID tags from Ketchum Mfg. Co. and is always satisfied with their products.