A dog with separation anxiety will show signs of stress whenever an owner leaves it alone in the house. In some severe cases, dogs become anxious when the owner moves into another house room. Some dogs cry, bark, pace, or destroy the house while you're going. While we spent more time at home with our pets than ever this year, some of them have become very accustomed to us being around. Changing your routine, such as returning to work, can be very stressful for your dog.
Here are some simple tips for preventing separation anxiety.
Tip 1: Get some time apart from the beginning.
If you or a client have recently taken on a dog, you must practice healthy separation time early on. Leaving the dog for short periods will get the dog used to the idea of you not being around all the time, even if this is just a quick trip to the shops or a café. When you have to leave for a whole day, the dog will not find this as distressing as they are already used to you coming and going. Although tempting, it's essential not to take your dog everywhere you go. They must learn to settle themselves at home on their own. If you're noticing a little anxiety as you leave, try leaving some enrichment toys with him to keep him entertained. He will then begin associating toys with you leaving, creating a more positive experience overall.
Tip 2: Use Doggy Day Care Wisely
Dog daycare is an excellent option for dog owners to socialise their dogs and allow them some much-needed TLC, exercise and attention while at work. However, if your dog suffers from separation anxiety, try not to make this a daily habit. Your furry friend needs to get into a routine and learn how to settle in the comfort of their home without you.
*Some Doggy Daycares do specialize in separation anxiety; speak to the friendly team member at your care choice if you have any concerns.
Tip 3: Bring in a trainer...
Some dogs have severe separation anxiety, so you, as an owner, may need professional help. A dog with severe separation anxiety will notice when you put your shoes on and grab your bag and keys. Knowing you are about to leave is a trigger point for them. This will begin their anxiety (barking, whimpering, jumping on you, spinning in circles). This is distressing for both the dog and the owner. In some cases, veterinary attention should also be sought, as the dog may benefit from a medication plan in addition to training.
While separation anxiety is more common after the pandemic, it is a treatable condition. A dog suffering from separation anxiety will greatly benefit from professional training advice and become a much happier dog, leading to a much more relaxed owner. If you want to study a short course to help understand your canine friend further, look at OCA's pet care courses.
Olivia Basham- Opinion Piece
Online Courses Australia is a short course, CPD Endorsed training that covers more than 20 professional areas; call us today on 1300 611 404 or email our friendly team at [email protected], and we'll be happy to talk to you through some of your Animal Health.