Chihuahua with separation anxiety - Puppy Separation Anxiety: How to Keep Your Dog Calm When You Leave

Puppy Separation Anxiety: How to Keep Your Dog Calm When You Leave

Is there anything better than welcoming your new fur baby into your home? We think not, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t challenges. Puppies are still babies and, although they might act shy for the first few days, they soon become familiar with their new surroundings and loving family. Leaving a puppy on his own often leads to stress and anxiety, especially separation anxiety, not to mention a level of worry on the side of the pet owner. But, like all things puppy related, they need to learn—even though it may feel like a “dog’s life” for him for a while. Here, we are highlighting some key tips on how to improve your dog’s behavior and keep him calm when you leave. After all, puppies with separation anxiety could become a real issue for you, your pups, the pet sitter and even the neighbors.

What is puppy separation anxiety?

For a puppy, everything is new and everything is big and it can start to feel stress quite quickly. Naturally, once a puppy has bonded with its owners it wants to be near them at all times. In a puppy’s eyes, their human friends are loving, fun, protective and they provide food. Everything that they need they rely on through their humans (the pet parents). So, it makes sense that they are going to want to have you in their sights at all times, which is why it can quickly turn to anxiety in dogs when you are not. Separation anxiety occurs when dogs are left on their own, whether in the house they stay in a crate and it can become a real problem for you and your neighbors. Separation anxiety in dogs doesn’t always happen but sometimes in your absence, your dog could bark continuously, go to toilet all over the floor, chew furniture, cry and even scratch at the doors. So, how can we avoid this and how can your pup overcome separation anxiety?

The anxiety build-up in dogs

For dogs to remain calm when they see their human family walk through the door, they need to understand what’s happening. For pups and, in particular, rescue dogs, you leaving for short periods, say an hour or two, could result in them feeling abandoned. Their whimpering, barking and crying is them screaming for you to go back. One of the best ways for dogs to understand the leaving and coming back process is for them to learn and understand the expected behavior of them. The build-up is a method in which you gradually work your way through the process with your dog. As an example, you would maybe start by putting the dog in the selected room then walking outside as if you were going out. After waiting outside for very short periods, say about ten minutes, go back in. This way, your dog is understanding that when you leave you do come back. Gradually, you can increase the time that you spend away. Some people may find that when they leave for a short amount of time and the dog doesn’t bark, start whining or chew anything, then rewarding it with a treat might help to get the message across and ease their anxious dogs.

Coming and going

It’s always nice to be greeted at the door by your loyal canine housemate and by all means give it some attention but just be wary of how much attention you give. When dogs have experienced or still experience separation anxiety then a big scene when you are going or coming can make it worse. It’s never easy to leave your dog alone, especially when it’s relatively new to the family but if you can’t leave before giving your pup five thousand hugs and kisses while telling them you will miss them like crazy, then expect to come home to a few complaints, a ripped-up dog bed and possibly some pee on the floor. By doing this, your dog will begin to feel that you leaving, really is a massive deal. So, by trying to act as normal as possible when walking out of the door and walking through it, your pup will begin to understand the routine and will hopefully remain calm in your absence.

Some company while you’re gone

There are ways that you can actually give your puppy some company while you are gone. Aside from the obvious (toys in the basket), some owners have found that leaving the radio or TV on for them helps the dogs to stay calm while you’re away. The music and sound of people talking can have a calming effect on dogs, which, in turn, helps to keep the anxiety at bay. Another option is to find a dog walker. If you have a job where you work long hours, a dog walker could not only help your dog get through the day but they can also relieve you of a task as well.

Alternative treatments for separation anxiety

If you are pretty up to date with puppy tips, tricks, information and training techniques, then you will have definitely heard of CBD oil for dogs and CBD Dog Treats. Now, this isn’t a new thing, it has actually been around for years; however, recently, the popularity and interest in CBD dog products have soared. Experts around the world are now looking deeper into the potential of CBD, as well as how to incorporate it into modern medicine. A lot more research and studies need to be completed but it’s safe to say that this particular method has received a lot of attention.

Why use CBD dog products for separation anxiety?

Well, CBD has shown its ability to interact with the body’s receptors and calm them down. Using CBD Dog Treats for separation anxiety is extremely easy and has been incredibly successful for many owners. If you are unfamiliar with CBD dog products then you must understand that CBD is a non-psychoactive. This means that it will not get you or your pet high nor will it make you feel dazed. You probably now know that CBD is derived from a strain of the cannabis plant alongside another cannabinoid known as THC. This is what is responsible for cannabis making people high. Overall, CBD has displayed tremendous results in the form of calming people and pets down.  

Whichever option you decide on to help with separation anxiety, it generally fades as the pup grows as well. Whether you are going to crate your dog or leave him in the house, the more they become accustomed to your routine the more they will settle while you are away. Even our furry friends need a little help every now and then.

This article by Jennifer is originally published at FOMO Bones.