4 Ways To Ease a Dog’s Separation Anxiety

Having a close relationship with your dog is important and allows the two of you to feel bonded. However, some dogs are overly reliant on their owners and become “Velcro dogs” that need to follow their human companions everywhere. This can leave you feeling guilty anytime you leave the house, especially if your dog shows common signs of stress, such as excessive barking, pacing, or destructive behavior.

Jot down these ways to help your dog deal with separation anxiety so that you don’t have to feel guilty leaving your pup home alone.

Practice Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a widely used technique in dog training to encourage good behavior and help your dog deal with separation anxiety. Whenever your dog exhibits calm and relaxed behavior, reward it with treats or praise. By doing this consistently, your dog will associate calm and relaxed behavior with positive rewards, which can ultimately reduce its separation anxiety.

Crate Train Your Dog

One of the most important reasons to crate train your dog is that it provides your furry friend with a safe and secure place to remain if you’re out. Getting your dog used to its crate early on makes it more likely to see it as a safe space. Moreover, crating your dog keeps it in a designated space, preventing it from roaming the house and becoming destructive as it seeks a stress outlet.

Pro Tip

Never use your dog’s kennel as a punishment spot. This will only create negative associations with the crate and may worsen its separation anxiety.

Start With Small Trips

Attempt a proactive approach and spend short spurts of time away from your dog. You should start this while you’re still in the house. For example, put your dog in its crate while you do household chores in another room, such as cooking or cleaning. This way, your dog still knows you’re in the house but not directly beside it.

As your dog becomes more comfortable, gradually increase your time apart. You may leave the house for a few minutes to get the mail and talk to a neighbor. Although training takes time, patience, and persistence, your dog can eventually learn that you always return.

Pro Tip

Avoid long goodbyes when you have to leave your dog, and instead, stay calm and casual. This will prevent your dog from sensing that something’s wrong and potentially triggering its separation anxiety.

Consult Your Vet

Constant stress is unhealthy for any living creature; however, there will be times when you have to leave your dog home alone. If you’ve tried multiple ways to help your dog deal with separation anxiety and none worked, it may be time to consult your vet.

Depending on the breed, a veterinarian may recommend giving your dog more exercise or prescribe medication. Likewise, consulting with your vet can help you determine the best action for your dog’s needs.

Separation anxiety in dogs is a common issue that can be stressful for both the dog and you. Being proactive and attempting various approaches can reduce separation anxiety in pets, making it easier to leave your pup home alone.