Going back to work can be rough on our dogs, especially since they’ve gotten used to us being home all the time with them. Are you noticing that your pup is becoming anxious when you’re getting ready to leave the house? This nervousness could be separation anxiety. These are the top tips to help calm an anxious dog while you’re at work.
What Is Dog Anxiety?
Separation anxiety will appear in dogs that are highly attached to their owners. They will become exceptionally stressed when separated from their family. We’re not talking about a bit of whining or a touch of mischief when you’re out.
What may cause them to act this way? There are a couple of reasons:
- Change of owners
- Being alone for the first time or when they’re used to being surrounded by people
- Loss of a family member
- Change in family schedule or routine
- Moving from a shelter to a home
What Are Some Signs?
A pup who has separation anxiety will display a lot of stress when they’re alone. Signs could include:
- Trying to escape
- Indoor accidents, even though they’re housetrained
- Panting, salivating, or drooling more than usual
- Barking, whining, or howling in excess
- Scratching at windows or doors, chewing things up, and digging holes
- Pacing around in obsessive patterns
You likely won’t see this behavior in excess when you’re home. A dog without anxiety shows this behavior every so often, but one with it will do these things almost always.
Mild Case of Anxiety
Try giving your dog a special treat every time you leave the house for work. Only provide them with this treat before you go and take it away as soon as you get back home. Discreetly leaving will also help your pup if their anxiety is mild.
Another tip to calm your dog while you’re at work is to try leaving out some recently worn clothes that smell like you. They can cuddle into them on the couch and feel like they’re snuggling into your lap.
Serious Case of Anxiety
Your fur baby may begin to notice signs that you’re about to leave, such as picking up your car keys or putting on your shoes. Do these activities, but then stay home. Pick up your keys, then sit down to watch TV. Put on your shoes, then start cooking food. Do this over and over, several times a day.
When you begin to notice your dog is less anxious, you can slowly start to disappear for short amounts of time. Reappear after a few seconds and gradually up the amount of time you’re gone.
Make sure all dogs get the proper amount of exercise. It’s not a bad idea to look into doggy daycare options for your pup to let them socialize and play with other humans and dogs.