Dogs can be quite sensitive to our actions, and that includes being separated from us. Some dogs can grow to be quite attached to their owners; this attachment is usually positive, as the dog sees that person as someone important. However, a dog can suffer from separation anxiety if their “important person” leaves, or goes missing for a while. Most dogs have this issue whenever their owner leaves for a certain amount of time. Nevertheless, some other dogs can have a terrible time by just watching as their owner approaches the door.
Dogs can appear to be stressed when their owner leaves the house, so much that it can sometimes even seem painful to them. This is why we should learn how to help our dogs dealing with this issue. Uncontrolled anxiety can be a nightmare, even to dogs. Doing this, however, is not an easy task, anxiety can cause all sorts of erratic behavior in humans, and this is also true for dogs. Most dogs can pick up these anxiety habits whenever they feel that negative wave when you leave them alone at home. These habits include destructive behaviors such as chewing on shoes or sandals, or other repetitive behaviors, like whining and barking; some can even be shown before you leave, as they can become shy, secluded, or even aggressive towards you as you’re about to go.
Behaviors associated with separation anxiety in dogs:
- Chewing on shoes or other objects
- Excessive barking
There are ways to help your dog overcome this separation anxiety. Most of these practices include keeping your dog distracted as you get ready to leave or making the process of getting ready to go as relaxing or calming as possible for your dog. Imagine your dog becomes increasingly worried as you dress up, or as you perform a simple task like putting on your shoes. You could consider using gentle movements while doing these activities; dogs tend to watch the things we do, the way we move, and so on. They tend to react accordingly when they see us behave in some specific way.
Making sudden movements, being in a noisy environment, and constantly pacing back and forth around your dog, are all factors that can stress your dog as you get ready to leave. These activities can cause your dog’s anxiety to show up. Doing things carefully, and at a calm pace should help to keep your dog’s mind at ease. Another way of improving your dog’s anxiety towards your preparation can be to give them food, or toys so they can dump their energy and frustration on them instead of letting it build up. There are other things you can consider, if your dog can’t handle the loneliness for long periods of time, you should shortening the time you leave him alone. Shorter periods of absence can be easier to manage for most dogs.
Keeping your dog distracted as you’re gone can also help quite a lot. Anything that mentally stimulates them can help them think of something other than you. For instance, including at home toys, food, or places where they can relax, like their bed or a backyard where they can run around if they wish.
Dogs need physical and outdoor exercise on a regular basis. Most dogs can grow anxious if they’re indoors for too long. This fact, coupled with their owner leaving for an extended period, can cause them a lot of distress as they can start to feel the need to go out for a walk. Keeping your dog in good shape with regular walks can help them feel less pressure to go out of the house at times, it will also help them cope with your absence much better.
Dealing with a dog’s anxiety is a long, arduous task. Something like anxiety does not disappear in the course of a few hours; it is something that has to be built from scratch until your dog feels comfortable. Doing it, however, is an excellent way to help your dog dealing with stress issues, and it will improve their general mood and attitude towards you and the things you do.