If your dog seems anxious when you leave, tries to escape the house through chewing and digging, or excessively drools, it may be suffering from separation anxiety. Separation anxiety occurs when your dog cannot cope with being separated from trusted people. Help your dog overcome separation anxiety with these tips.
1. Give Your Dog a Task to Complete
Dogs benefit from physical and mental stimulation. When you have to leave, give your dog a puzzle toy filled with dog food or a safe treat.
These toys help your dog stay occupied while you are gone. Licking and chewing, two actions required to get to the treat, are believed to help reduce your dog's stress levels.
Since these puzzle toys also have a beloved treat, they provide your dog with a positive experience when you leave. Positive associations can also reduce separation anxiety.
2. Provide Your Dog with a Safe Space
A safe space is a confined area that has all of your dog's necessities. Items to include are food, water, toys, your dog's bed, and clothing with your scent on it. Not only do safe spaces help your dog feel secure while you are gone, but they also minimize destruction that is caused by separation anxiety.
3. Implement Desensitization Training and Counterconditioning
Severe cases of separation anxiety benefit from desensitization training and counterconditioning. These two techniques are used in conjunction with one another to change how your dog acts when you leave. Once your dog's mind begins to change, you can start leaving for short periods of time, gradually extending the time that you are gone.
These techniques are tricky to implement on your own. Many pet owners find that the services of an animal behaviorist are essential for successfully completing this type of training.
4. Medicate Your Pooch
In cases of severe separation anxiety, the dog may be so distraught that other methods for managing separation anxiety cannot be implemented. Prescription medication helps your dog calm down so that it can learn coping mechanisms for being alone. In severe cases of separation anxiety, prescription medications are most effective when combined with treatment for the anxiety.
Mild cases of separation anxiety are also helped by medication. The medication helps your dog relax, enabling your dog to realize that being left alone is okay. Your dog's new state of mind reduces the destructive behavior.
Medications frequently prescribed for separation anxiety include Amitriptyline and Clomicalm. Both of these medications change the chemicals in your dog's brain to improve separation anxiety.
As a part owner, you want your dog to be happy and healthy. If your pooch suffers from separation anxiety, help your dog manage these intense feelings by implementing these suggestions. You can also ask for help from an online pet medication pharmacy.