Separation Anxiety is a condition, which a dog becomes agitated and panicked when left alone. Dogs with this condition can exhibit a variety of separation-related behaviours, but some of the most common are:
- Destructive Behaviour
- Various Types of Vocalizations
- Inappropriate elimination (toileting)
Dealing with Separation Anxiety can be extremely frustrating for owners and cause a huge mental and physical toll on the dog. Here are a few tips to help avoid the chance that your dog may develop Separation Anxiety.
Try to exercise your dog before you plan to leave. For safely reasons it is suggested that you remain with your dog for 30 minutes after the exercise period. Providing appropriate physical and mental stimulation will help your dog overcome potential anxiety.
“Down and Stay”
By teaching a “Down and Stay” behaviour to your Furry Friend you can build their confidence. They will no longer feel the need to panic when they are alone. Slowly build up the distance you are away from them, until eventually you are leaving the house.
Low Key Arrivals and Departures
Often our own emotions transmit to our animals and over-time cause unwanted anxiety. It is best to downplay your departure and arrival so that your animal will avoid feeling that they cannot be away from you.
Leaving a safe toy or bone, that your dog considers high value, will help make their time alone a little more tolerable. When being alone results in good things happening for Fido the risk of anxiety decreases. These home-alone toys should be put away until your next departure to ensure their value does not diminish.
In extreme cases of Separation Anxiety dogs can exhibit self-mutilation behaviours, for example attempting to escape a crate or home, obsessive scratching, or licking. If your dog is exhibiting this type of behaviour we suggest you consult with your Veterinarian or a Veterinary Behaviourist.