Managing Separation Anxiety in Your Dogs
Whether you got your pup as a lockdown companion or if they’ve been your sidekick for years even before the pandemic, separation anxiety is a possibility when you have to step out.
We all feel the need to take one last look at our furry companion as we leave the door, but what is going on inside their minds when the door shuts? In today’s blog, we’re helping you understand why your pooch might be howling for you, how it’s not your fault, and how you can correct and ease the situation.
What is separation anxiety in dogs?
Separation anxiety can manifest itself in many ways in your dog. From creating a war path in your home to constant barking in the backyard. And to your neighbour’s dismay, separation anxiety affects you, your dog and their environment.
Although we’d all love to spend every waking moment with our pups, life unfortunately doesn’t always allow this. Your K9 companions might not understand why their owner must abandon them every day from 8-5, and they show their confusion in many ways. Their acting out could include the following:
- Excessive panting and salivation
- Excessive barking or howling
- Destructive behaviour
- Urination or defecation around the house
If any of these seem familiar, don’t despair. We’re here to help you and your pooch deal with the ups and downs of daily life.
What causes separation anxiety in dogs?
When starting to deal with separation anxiety, it is important to determine the root cause of the condition. Once the cause has been identified you are better prepared to treat separation anxiety.
Common causes of separation anxiety include:
Changes in owner schedule and routine
- Whether you’ve gone back to the office or just kick-started your social life again after lockdowns, your dog must suddenly adapt to an owner-free day. With their natural pack instincts, your pup might start to feel alone, scared, or anxious.
Change in ownership
- Taking in a rescue or fostering a dog temporarily, a new environment and owner can be startling to your new family member. Being in shelters often causes trauma and distress in dogs. Having no routine, owner, or home to call their own, can cause separation anxiety that follows them to their forever home.
- We often associate separation anxiety with new pups or rescues but your older doggo could suddenly start showing signs of separation anxiety due to a multitude of reasons. Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, and vision or hearing loss are often the main cause of adult-onset anxiety and knowing the root cause of the condition will help remedy the situation.
How to manage separation anxiety in dogs
- Exercise your dog before you leave to help them relax.
- Downplay entrances and exits of the home. Not making a scene and giving long goodbyes will help your dog not build up anxiety before your departure. So, upon coming home, ignore your dogs until they are calm and then greet them.
- Long-lasting chew toys help keep your dog occupied in your absence. Reward-rich toys will keep your dog’s attention, while you’re conquering the urban jungle.
- Randomly pick up keys throughout the day as if you are leaving, but then not going anywhere, so they don’t get triggered.
- Consider a CBD oil for dogs. It’s THC-free and safe, just make sure to follow the instructions carefully and stick to the recommended dosages.
Dealing with separation anxiety is an issue that is felt by both dog and owner, and understanding you’re not to blame is the first step in managing the condition. Many resources are available to help owners understand and treat the condition. It is important to never give up and to keep finding ways to create balance in your household.
Remember, we’re always here to help you understand what’s going on inside your dog’s mind… and most importantly, tell your dog we say HI! ◖°ᴥ°◗