Does your favorite pup spoil the house when you return? Are your good-looking couches torn?
Are your shiny show-pieces fallen apart?
Your pup may be suffering from separation anxiety although it may be difficult to notice.
This is a common behavioral issue in canines that is expressed when their caretakers leave them alone. About 20-30% of the dogs suffer from this anxiety.
So, What is separation anxiety?
Dr. Karen Overall, a certified applied animal behaviorist explains it as a physical, physiological, and behavioral sign of distress exhibited by the animal only during the absence of the owner.
In other words, it’s a fear that your dog exhibits when left alone at home.
What are the symptoms? How are they caused?
Although the symptoms vary from pup to pup, these are a few common ones.
- Chewing, Digging & Destruction
- Barking and Howling
The definite causes of separation anxiety are not known, however, it may include changing schedule, changing the location, sudden death, or loss of a dear one.
SA cannot be treated completely. However, you can ease the anxiety in dogs.
Here are 5 ways to ease separation anxiety in your dogs.
1. Jumble the cues
Dogs always notice the cues of their owners. Actions you take when you leave, things you do when you relax, words you use when you return, etc., are all noted. If your pup is suffering from separation anxiety, try desensitizing your departure. For example, try watching TV after you put on your shoes. Have breakfast after you pick up your car keys.
These are considered to be relaxing cues and when your pup notices that you are relaxed, it feels confident and secure.
Mix and match the cues so that the dogs are less anxious the next time you leave your home.
You can also try giving some toys, puzzles, or their favorite treats while you leave. This keeps them busy and engaged.They might even expect you to leave to get nice treats.
2. Divide the tasks
Jolanda Pluijmakers, a research scholar, in one of her dissertations says, dividing the tasks among other members of the home can reduce the over-dependency of the pup. When you leave, they are sure to have another family member thus feeling less insecure.
This also helps the pup build good relationships with the family members. It creates a bond and increases the confidence in the pup.
3. Don’t create excitement in your departures and arrivals
Creating too much awareness of the departure or arrival can lead the pup to get attached to you. They will grab your departure signs and may feel left alone. Instead, leave normally with simple talks. You can also assure your pup that you’ll join him soon.
This applies when you return back home too. Don’t be over-excited to cuddle your pup. You can have a playful time once your buddy is settled down.
4. Try calming agents
Aromatherapy soothes the mood of your puppy. Viola Richards in her book ‘Separation Anxiety in Dogs’ says the aroma can help in releasing serotonin, a hormone that calms anxiety.
Try leaving your used shirt or jacket when you depart. This assures the pup that you’re close by.
Grooming your pup also can help release happy hormones to suppress stress. You can provide a bath to your furry pet. Pet grooming services can be your ally.
Music also can help reduce the stress that your pup is facing. Playing soothing songs or recordings of the sounds of your home can prove beneficial.
Tip: Pet clinic in Noida offers aromatherapy and provides calming medications to the dogs.
A tired pup is more likely to rest and stays calm. Get your pup to exercise 15 minutes before you leave. Not only does this create a physical bond between you and the pup, but it also makes it tired. This creates a need for rest and your pup wouldn’t mind taking a nap.
They would also anticipate playing with you every time you leave the house.
You can use dog crates or pup daycares if they are available. There is a pet boarding in Noida that provides pup boarding facilities where your pup can play with other pups in the boarding. It also helps in reducing the social anxiety of your dog. The pet boarding in Noida also provides dog walking, dog sitting, and expert vet services.
Not every dog that tears your cushions is suffering from separation anxiety. It could also indicate serious medical problems or just that the pup is not house trained properly. If you feel your pup’s behavior is not because of anxiety, you can consult pet clinics or grooming services to train your bud.
If you fear your pet is experiencing separation anxiety, the above tips can help you raise a confident, playful pup.