During our time at home due to COVID-19, we’ve all been able to spend a lot more time with our dogs. But some of us are having to go back to a normal routine. This means Fido is spending more time away from you. Some dogs will do well with the new “normal”, but others may experience separation anxiety.
Dogs with separation anxiety may develop some unwanted behaviors, like unusual barking or whining, trying to escape, or even destructive chewing. Unfortunately, some dogs may even hurt themselves while trying to escape.
Calming supplements and aids can help, but it will also take some training on your part. There are even some cases of separation anxiety that will need an experienced trainer. If you feel that your dog needs extra help, feel free to contact our trainer, Kierstin, for a consultation.
TIPS for Dealing With Separation Anxiety:
- Practice "Alone Time"
- Get Some Exercise Before You Leave
- Desensitize Anxiety Triggers
Start working with your dog now to help prevent separation anxiety. If you’re working from home, try adding in some “alone time” for your dog. Work in a different room, separated from your dog, for short periods of time. Start with 15-20 minutes and build from there. Occasionally leave your dog alone to rest, or even crate your dog while away from your dog.
Another tip to help ease separation anxiety is to walk your dog before you leave them. This will help ease them and use up some of that anxious energy. After you get back from your walk, consider leaving on some music or even a dog friendly video while you are gone.
If grabbing your keys or putting on shoes is a trigger for your dog, try putting on your shoes and then staying with your dog. Do this several times a day to help your dog get used to those actions.
Of course, if the anxiety grows into more of a problem, consult with your vet or a certified trainer. Need vet recommendation in the Fredericksburg area? Check out our list. Start working now to make sure your dog is happy and healthy.