Dogs have complex emotions just like us humans. When they are left alone all day, they get anxious and sometimes take their anxiety out by chewing and barking. Because dogs are pack animals, they are genetically wired to always be close to their pack. It is up to you to make it easier on your dog when you (their pack) are away.
Before you leave the house, there are some things that you can do to make it easier on your dog. Here are 7 things that you can do to help your dog with separation anxiety.
1. Take your dog on a walk – giving your dog a brisk walk will burn off some energy and make it easier for him to get some rest while you are away. Be sure to reward your dog with treats after the walk. Depending on the breed, you will need to take more time before leaving. Hyper dogs should be challenged and given plenty of exercise.
2. Put the tv on – the sound of a voice may help reduce the anxiety while you are away. Studies have shown that you dog will be less stressed when there is the sound of a human voice. Skip
the Discovery Channel and opt for something blander like CSPAN. Having just voices going is more calming that the animal noises that may come up on animal shows.
3. Start with short times – don’t jump cold-turkey into being away for a long period of time. Start with leaving for just a few minutes and coming back with treats. Work your way up to longer period of times. This helps to let your dog know you will come back. As your dog gets more comfortable with you leaving, you can go out for longer periods of time without anxiety.
4. Provide an interactive toy – loading up a toy with treats that your dog can be challenged with will help ease the transition from you leaving. Keeping your dog entertained and focused on an activity will take their mind off you being away and tire them out.
5. Consider doggie day care – if you are going to be gone for a longer than normal time it is worth considering doggie day care. Your dog will have a much better time running around with other dogs than being home alone for 8 hours. Even if it is just a few days a week, it is worth spending the money for your dog’s overall wellbeing.
6. Make your routine unpredictable – your dog will pick up on the little things that you do as cues that you are leaving. Simple things like putting your keys in your pocket could cue your dog that you are getting ready to leave. If you switch up your routine it could help to relive the anxiety that your dog has.
7. Make departures and returns calm – when you are leaving, do so calmly and with the least amount of emotion. The same goes when you return. It is the best to be calm when coming and going. This will limit the emotional spikes that your dog may have.
If the problems persist and your dog continues to have separation anxiety, you can try working with an animal behavioral therapist. These people specialize in helping animals deal with their separation anxiety.
Pet owners are also looking to CBD products as a new remedy to treat separation anxiety. CBD has no THC in it so it does not get your pet ‘high’. Rather, it helps to balance the endo-cannabidiol system and has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety.
CBD oils are easy to ingest and work to improve your pet’s overall wellbeing. Other benefits aside from anxiety relief include anti-inflammatory, cancer prevention, and are a great source of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.
If you are considering trying CBD oil to treat your pet’s separation anxiety, be sure to use only CBD oils that have pure and high levels of the concentrate. There are lots of different CBD treat options that can be given as well. These should have at least 5% CBD in them. Some companies will only add a percent or two in order to charge a higher price. These treats will have little health benefit to them. Be sure to read the ingredients and spend the extra money on the better-quality product