There are few things worse as a dog owner than knowing your pooch is going crazy in the home every time that you go out. This is not only difficult for the dog to take and will see them become increasingly stressed, but they can also cause a lot of financial damage to the home, as I can personally attest to. When my dog Butch was struggling with anxiety separation I spoke to the team at the brilliant All Creatures Veterinary Center, to get some tips on what I could do. The advice they gave was great and these were the actions which I took that really worked.
There are some brilliant toys on the market which you load up with snacks and treats, and then as the dog plays with the toy the treats gradually begin to fall out. This is a toy which your dog will not put down until they have managed to get all of the treats out, which is why it is the perfect thing to give your dog before you leave the home. Most separation anxiety problems which dogs have are seen in the initial 20-30 minutes after you have gone, once they pass this stage they generally settle down. Give one of these toys a try and see for yourself how well it works.
In Home Practice
Dogs are real creatures of habit which is why they can get stressed out when you go out at times when they aren’t expecting. The key here is to teach the dog to feel comfortable being alone, and you can train them whilst you are still in the house. All you need to do is put them in a room in the home, close the door and then go about your business, they may cry a little but they will know that you are still there. This is a great way of teaching your dog to be happy on their own and to stay calm until you return and open the door.
Avoid Big Welcomes and Goodbyes
It is so tempting to give your dog plenty of live when you leave or when you get back to the house, but in reality this really isn’t good for them. If you start giving them cuddles and attention just before you leave then they are going to get excited and the blood will pump around their body, only for you to walk out the door then next minute and leave them with nothing to focus that energy on. When you come back, showering your dog with love will give them heighten levels of expectation before your arrival, because they aren’t going to want to wait for that huge return. You should be leaving and entering the house without any grand gestures, walk in and out like everything is fine, and leave it at least 15 minutes before you get home to give you dog that love, which will ensure that they aren’t anticipating your arrival all day.