One of the greatest joys of dog ownership is the tight bond we develop with our pups. However, if your dog becomes too reliant on you, your dog may suffer from separation anxiety you are apart. Separation anxiety is one of the most common canine behavioural problems (found in 15% of all dogs). A dog with separation anxiety will become distressed when he realizes that you are about to leave home. Once you’re gone, he’ll act out – he may howl, bark, or even urinate/defecate. Rather than get upset with your dog, you should take a moment to consider why he’s so scared.
Are You Coming Home?
Your dog may be afraid that when you leave you will not return. If your dog was abandoned before, he will be especially worried. It may also be confused by a change in routine. If, say, you spent a few weeks at home with your dog over summer vacation, your dog will have gotten very used to you being around. If you then return to work or go away for a vacation, your dog will be confused by this unexpected change and may think you’re not coming back. In both these situations, it may take a while for him to learn that you haven’t left forever.
Buying a puppy monitor will allow you to keep track of your dog while you are back at work. The iPatrol [email protected] pet camera has a ton of features that will make your dog believe you are still in the room! With two way communication, a remote pet laser toy, and a remote pet treat dispenser that you can control over WiFi, you can play and talk to your pet all day even when you aren’t home.
Desensitize Your Dog
Work on making your dog okay with being left alone. First, discourage him from following you around the house when you are home by giving him something to distract him, like a toy bone. You should also jingle your keys or jiggle the doorknob and lock without leaving the house so your dog stops associating these sounds with being left alone. When it’s time to leave the house, don’t make a big deal about it – simply walk out the door. It may help to leave the television or radio playing while you’re gone so the house is not completely quiet.
Quality Time Over Quantity
Dogs need companionship. They want quality time with you and would love nothing more than to spend every waking minute in your arms. This is impossible, but you should make an effort to spend at least an hour or two a day with him. This will help you too, as you’ll feel less guilty about leaving your dog when you’ve already put in a few hours with him.
If you know you won’t have enough time to give your dog the attention he needs, you may want to enroll him in a doggie daycare or hire a dog walker to get him some exercise when you can’t be around.
Another way to help a dog suffering from separation anxiety is to try adding another dog to your household. A furry friend can help calm your dog during its moments of anxiety.
If All Else Fails…
If you feel like you’ve tried everything and your dog still exhibits behaviour problems, you may need to speak with a professional. Leaving your dog home alone should not be a traumatic experience for you or your pet, so don’t be afraid to seek help.