After a long day at work, you are welcomed at home by a jumping, spinning whirlwind of energy. Your dog is excited to see you and follows you wherever you go. You discover that he has chewed on your favorite pair of shoes and anything else that was handy. You once again receive a complaint from neighbors that your dog creates a ruckus by barking and howling throughout the day. Is this becoming routine? If this is the case, then there is a good chance that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety. Dogs prefer to stay with their pack and being separated and left alone is an unnatural situation for them, which can be stressful.
So, what can you do to help your dog? Is there a way to handle animals with anxiety? How can you calm them down? Here are some of the best tips you can use with your dog:
Take your dog for a walk before you leave
Begin your day by taking your dog out for a brisk walk with you. Make the walk rigorous for your dog by using a dog backpack that has extra weight in it. Then use water and food for rewarding your dog’s submissive and calm energy. Some dogs prefer to rest before they eat, but hydration can be good for all of them. The purpose is to leave your pet behind in a resting and quiet mode when you are away.
Avoid touching, talking and eye contact
When you are leaving for the day or even when you return, you need to stay normal and not create a fuss. This sends a message to your dog that spending some time apart is not a big deal. Keep it business as usual. Depending on how severe your dog’s anxiety is, you will have to practice this rule for anywhere between five minutes to an hour before you are leaving or when you return.
Say goodbye a while before leaving
Are you finding it difficult to follow the no touching, no talking rule? Then, it is a good idea for you to take a moment and share some affection with your pet a while before you leave. You can tell him that you will miss him because this display is for your benefit and not for your dog. If you don’t say goodbye your dog will not have his feelings hurt.
Stay assertive and calm
Leave you nervous, guilty and concerned feelings behind when you are about to leave. Project some confidence to let your dog know that things will be fine. An assertive and calm leader can ease the separation anxiety experienced by dogs.
Start out small
First leave your dog alone for five minutes, then extend it to twenty and so on. Increase the time constantly until you can leave the behind for eight hours or more without having to deal with any more dog problems.
Use these tips and you will be able to help your dog manage their separation anxiety in the best possible way.