Are you struggling with a dog who becomes anxious or destructive when you leave them home alone? Separation anxiety is a common problem in dogs. It can be very frustrating for both the dog and the owner. Dogs with separation anxiety often exhibit behaviors such as barking, whining, chewing, and urinating or defecating indoors. If you are struggling with a dog with separation anxiety, don’t worry – there are things you can do to help! This article will discuss some tips to help your dog feel more comfortable when you are away from home.
1. Transport the Dog to Your Destination
One of the best ways you can help your dog with separation anxiety is by transporting them to your destination. This may not be possible or practical in all situations, but if you can do it, it can make a big difference for your dog. Dogs with separation anxiety often become anxious when they see their owner ready to leave. This can be avoided if you simply transport them to your destination instead of leaving them home.
There are various ways you can use to travel with your dog. However, the best way is to contact dog transport services. As highlighted by the team behind Pet Express, the team will pick up your dog, prepare it for transport and then deliver it to your destination. This is the most convenient way to travel with your dog, especially if you are going on a long journey. Ensure to find a reliable pet transport company to avoid any issues.
2. Give Your Dog a Special Treat When Leaving
Another way to help your dog with separation anxiety is by giving them a special treat when you leave. This will help them associate you leaving with something positive. You can give your dog a Kong toy filled with their favorite treats. This will keep them busy and distracted while you are gone.
You can also give your dog a puzzle toy that dispenses treats. These toys are designed to keep dogs entertained and engaged. They will have to figure out how to get the treats out of the toy, which will help distract them from your absence. Ensure that the treats you use are high-value to your dog. This will help them be more motivated to work for the treats.
3. Make Your Departures and Arrivals Low-Key
Making a big deal out of leaving and coming home can increase your dog’s anxiety. Dogs can sense our emotions, so if we are stressed about leaving them alone, they will also pick up on that and become anxious. Instead of making a big deal, try to be calm and low-key when you leave and come home. This will help your dog stay calm as well.
You can practice this by going in and out of the house several times a day without actually leaving. This will help your dog get used to coming and going and won’t be as anxious when you leave. Praise your dog when you return, so they associate your return with something positive.
4. Leave Your Dog With a Familiar Scent
Do you have a familiar scent that your dog loves? If so, leave this scent with your dog when you go out. This will help them feel more comfortable and relaxed while you are away. You can use a piece of clothing that you have worn or a blanket that smells like you.
You can also make a comforting spray for your dog. This can be made with a variety of essential oils that are known to be calming for dogs. Lavender is a good option, as it is known to be relaxing. You can also use chamomile or valerian root. Mix these oils with water in a spray bottle and spritz them on your dog’s bedding before you leave.
5. Hire a Dog Sitter or Walker
If you are going to be gone for a long time, it may be a good idea to hire a dog sitter or walker. This will help your dog get the attention and exercise they need while you are away. A dog sitter can also help keep your dog calm by spending time with them and providing them with the companionship they crave.
When choosing a dog sitter or walker, be sure to choose someone your dog is comfortable with and can trust. Meet with them beforehand to ensure they are a good fit for your dog. Also, be sure to leave clear instructions on how to care for your dog while you are gone. For instance, let them know your dog’s feeding schedule and any medications they are taking.
6. Give Your Dog Plenty of Exercises
Ensuring your dog gets plenty of exercises is important for overall health and can help reduce separation anxiety. Dogs with a lot of energy are more likely to become anxious when left alone. A good way to tire your dog out is by playing fetch or going on a long walk before you leave. This will help your dog use up some of its energy to relax while you are gone.
You should also ensure your dog has plenty of opportunities to exercise at home. A tired dog is a calm dog, so regular exercise will help reduce your dog’s anxiety. Some of the best exercises to tire your dog before leaving them home alone include fetch, running, playing with a tug toy, and going for a walk.
7. Create a Safe Space for Your Dog
Many things can trigger anxiety, including loud noises, unfamiliar people or animals, and environmental changes. Creating a safe space for your dog can help reduce their anxiety. This space should be quiet and free from any triggers that may cause your dog to become anxious.
You can create a safe space by using a crate or gate to block off an area of your home. This area should be comfortable for your dog and contain their favorite toys and bedding. You may also consider playing calming music in this space to help soothe your dog. If possible, set up this space in a room where your dog can see you, such as the kitchen or living room. This will help your dog feel more secure knowing you are nearby.
When it comes to helping a dog with separation anxiety, you can do a few things to make the process easier. First, travel with your dog. If not, be calm and low-key when you leave and come home. This will help your dog stay calm as well. You can also leave your dog with a familiar scent, such as a piece of your clothing or a blanket. Additionally, ensure your dog gets plenty of exercises to tire them out before you leave. Finally, create a safe space for your dog in your home to help reduce their anxiety. Following these tips can help your dog feel more comfortable when you are away.