How To Help A Dog With Separation Anxiety
If you have a dog that gets nervous or scared when you leave, it’s probably a case of 'separation anxiety'. This is when your dog struggles to be without you. When you leave the house, they don’t know when you’re coming back, so for them, it’s a time of uncertainty.
New puppies that have joined a family in the time of COVID are not used to being alone due to our lock-down rules, resulting in a lot more dogs showing signs of separation anxiety now that the world is beginning to slowly open. If your dog inhibits behaviours such as; crying or whimpering, biting furniture, urinating indoors, or barking they could have attachment issues.
Don’t worry! There are ways to overcome these behaviours. If you train your dog into feeling more confident in their own company and build the knowledge and trust that you will return, their anxiety will begin to ease. 4 top tips:
- Alone time practice - Start with small amounts of time, and familiar surroundings such as your dog’s bed. Encourage your pup to go to that place and praise them when they settle there. You should then calmly leave the room. Start with 10 minutes and work your way up from there. If your dog starts to become visibly upset after a few minutes, reduce the amount of time, and build it up. On your return if they have stayed relatively calm praise them.
- Toys - A toy can be necessary to keep your dog distracted and well behaved, your dog’s favourite toy may keep them distracted and happy while you are away. Mind stimulating games are perfect for keeping them busy for a longer period.
- Leave a scent - Put a safe object or an item of your clothing in their bed or room that is a familiar space. The comfort of your smell will keep them calm while you’re away. A dogs’ strongest sense is their sense of smell, meaning they are very sensitive to the scent of you.
Pheromones - Dog appeasing pheromones provide dogs with a sense of safety and well-being. There are synthetic pheromone products available for helping reduce nervousness and separation anxiety. They mimic the calming effect that a mother dog’s pheromones would have on her pup and affect both pups and adults.
Try our Natural Calm Herbal Spray here