How to Reduce Separation Anxiety in Your Dog
Does your dog panic every time you leave the house? Take a look at this guide to learn how to reduce separation anxiety in your dog.
Does your canine friend start acting out whenever you need to leave?
Dogs are social and loyal animals and can form strong bonds with their masters. Separation anxiety in dogs can manifest in aggressiveness, compulsive or repetitive behaviors, and depression, among many other issues.
There over 20 to 40% of dogs who suffer from separation anxiety. A dog with it can be difficult to work with. But like other unhealthy behaviors, you can help your dog with their separation anxiety.
Being a good dog owner means knowing when to listen to your dog. Here are some ways to reduce separation anxiety in dogs.
Desensitize Your Dog
If you’re bringing home a new puppy with separation anxiety, start by slowly introducing alone time. Go out for a few minutes and calmly greet your dog when you come back. Increase the time you are gone.
Your dog may also have pre-departure triggers. Your dog will start to pick up on your behavior before you leave. This can be getting your keys or putting on a jacket.
Identify these pre-departure triggers and how they affect your dog. You can start desensitizing your dog to these during your free time. Try putting on your shoes or grabbing your bag, then sit on the couch like normal.
Your dog will learn to accept these things as normal.
A Daily Routine
Ease your dog into a daily routine. A routine helps your dog predict the schedule for the day. It helps you reduce your dog’s anxiety and help them feel more confident.
Part of your dog’s daily routine should be exercising. Separation anxiety is partly excess energy, so exercise will help you burn your dog’s energy. Before you leave for work or school, take your dog out for a walk.
Every once in a while, change your walk pattern so it still feels interesting for your dog. Try giving your dog some mental exercise too! Give your dog food puzzles and toys or a chew toy for while you’re gone.
Massage Your Pooch
Your dog finds comfort in physical affection. Regular petting session has benefits for both you and your dog. Touch helps to calm a nervous or anxious dog.
The best places to pet a dog are on the chest, shoulder, and base of the tail. Your dog may have special spots where they want to be pet, like the ears or chin. Giving your dog a massage can help them relieve muscle tension.
Start with long, downward strokes from the neck. Place a hand on your dog’s head. Then, give your dog gentle strokes starting from the neck to the tail.
Remember not to press straight down on your dog’s lower back. Depending on how your dog likes it, you can increase the pressure.
Playing music can help you reduce separation anxiety in dogs. Auditory enrichment can serve as white noise that can help your dog calm down. In animal shelters, music reduces barking and stress levels.
Try out different music genres to find which one is best for your dog. Researchers found that many dogs prefer classical music. Remember to change up the genre every now and then.
Variety in music genres is the most effective way to use music for therapy. After a while, your dog gets used to the background noise and stops showing stress. You can find music playlists for dogs on Spotify.
Make sure that your dog doesn’t mark this as a pre-departure trigger. Play this music whenever you’re at home with your dog.
Compression wraps press down on your dog’s pressure points that reduce tension. Compression wraps for your dog are similar to swaddling a baby. The illusion of a hug can help your dog relieve anxiety.
There are many compression wraps available in the market. They provide various designs and sizes that are best for your canine friend. But for frugal and resourceful dog owners, you can also use what you have at home!
Find a scarf that you no longer need. Place it across your dog’s chest and cross it over their shoulders. Tie it back up beneath the chest.
CBD for Dog Anxiety
CBD may seem like an unconventional way to treat separation anxiety in dogs. But several owners reported the using CBD oil was effective in treating dog anxiety! CBD oil is non-psychoactive, so your dog will receive the therapeutic benefits without feeling “high.”
So far, there’s no scientific data to back up CBD for dogs, but there is positive anecdotal evidence. Aside from treating anxiety, dog owners reported that CBD helps with pain and seizures. Be smart when looking for CBD oil for your dog.
High-quality CBD is more expensive but less likely to contain pesticides, herbicides, or heavy metals. You can buy CBD for your dog in a liquid form. But if you want to give your dog something to chew on, check out our bacon-flavored dog treats!
Seek Professional Help
If you’re still not sure where to start, consult a professional. The best way to treat your dog’s anxiety is to find the root causes. The best way to identify the issues is with the help of a professional.
You may even find that the symptoms are due to a health condition.
A veterinarian or a certified animal behaviorist can help you come up with a plan to reduce your dog’s anxiety. They will help you ensure that your dog’s anxiety doesn’t turn into a behavioral problem.
How to Reduce Separation Anxiety in Your Dog
Now you know several ways to help your dog through separation anxiety!
As a good dog owner, it’s important to help your dog through their anxiety. Knowing the causes, symptoms, and treatments will greatly benefit your dog. If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, we hope this article helped.
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