Here are the top 5 techniques to relieve separation anxiety in dogs
Dogs exhibit signs of fear and anxiety in several ways. If your dog acts out once or twice, it might not be something to worry about. However, it should not be overlooked if they regularly exhibit multiple signs of separation anxiety. Here are a few things you can do to ease separation anxiety in dogs.
Managing Separation Anxiety
- Management of separation anxiety is a gradual process involving short timeframes of individual activities followed by extended periods of separation from the dog. Here are a few techniques that can help your dog feel secure.
Establish A Daily Routine
- Start by making your dog’s day calmer and more predictable, whether home or away. Establish a daily routine so that your dog knows when to expect attention and when he should be prepared for inattention. Schedule exercise, feeding, and training when you are at home. Schedule naps or play with favored toys at times when you usually depart.
Meet Your Dog’s Needs
- If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, ensure that you meet all his needs at home. This includes social interactions, play, training, and elimination. Initiate regular interactive sessions and provide enough play so that your dog prepares to settle down and relax when each session is over.
Provide new chew toys, so your dog has something new to focus on when you are not home. Replace standard food bowls with feeding toys to make feeding time more effortless.
Reward Calm Behaviors
- The favorite rewards of dogs with separation anxiety are attention and play. Other highly desirable rewards include chew toys, treats, and food. Reinforce your dog for relaxing, showing independence, and settling down. Teach and train your dog to calm down, relax, and go to the mat or bed on command. When your dog has spent sufficient time on the mat, give attention or treat it as a reward.
In this way, long periods of inattention should be shaped before giving attention. The goal here is to ignore the attention-seeking behavior and ease the separation anxiety. In addition, ignore all casual interactions during the first few weeks so that your dog knows a calm and settled response yields rewards while attention-seeking does not.
Establish An Area For Relaxation
- One of the most effective techniques to promote relaxation is having a mat in a room or crate where your dog can nap, play, or rest. This provides a safe location where your dog can relax when you are not home. Train your dog to settle in the area for gradually longer durations before rewards are given.
In addition, it might be helpful to have a barricade or crate that could be closed. This allows your pet to remain in the area for each session before being released. Use a toy or treat as a lure to take your dog to this area. Alternatively, you can use a lease and head halter. Establish a specific time each day when your dog learns to lie on his mat to either nap or play with his toys.
Train To Respond To Simple Commands
- It can be helpful to have the dog respond to simple commands before giving anything he wants. For instance, if your dog wants treats, have him respond to the command. If he complies, give him the treat. This technique can effectively train your dog to remain calm while you are away.
If your dog is not acting right, consult a veterinarian immediately. At Autumn Trails and Veterinary Center, we provide comprehensive care to your pets. We have the experience and technology to handle all types of healthcare needs of your pets. We are located in Charlottesville, VA. Appointments are conveniently available. Call us at 434-971-9800.