Do you often come back home to find your furniture chewed to bits? And, that’s just the beginning. You look around only to find shredded toilet paper rolls, claw gouges on door frames, tooth marks on window sills and messages on your answering machine from neighbors, complaining about how your dog has been howling and barking while you were away!
But, that’s weird. Because your dog is not like this when you are around. He is so good-natured and cheerful when you are with him. Sure, he is a little clingy, and he follows you around literally everywhere, but that’s what dogs do, and that’s why we love them. Isn’t it?
But perhaps, you are dealing with a dog with separation anxiety. This means: your dog freaks out when you leave him alone at home, and the destruction that follows is his response to panic.
Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Dogs
We understand that for a dog parent, living with a dog with separation anxiety can be draining, both mentally and physically. But, before you try to help your furry four-legged friend, we must be able to understand what he is going through. Here is a list of symptoms exhibited by dogs suffering from separation anxiety:
- Excessive Barking
- Destructive Chewing
- Attempts to Escape
- Whining before you prepare to leave
Most of the disruptive behavior begins as soon as you leave and carry on for the next 45 minutes to 1 hour. Also, when you come back home, your dog with separation anxiety will behave as if it’s been ages since you left.
Separation Anxiety and Excessive Chewing
A dog prone to separation anxiety is a dog prone to aggressive chewing. Chewing is normal dog behavior, but in case of anxiety, the extent of chewing can go from bad to worse in a blink. Make sure you keep him occupied with toys and chews before you leave home.
Dog toys are a great way to cheer up a dog dealing with anxiety. It can help to curb down the chewing a bit. If your dog chews destructively, you can consider giving him an antler dog chew. These chews are sturdy; they are 100% natural and stink-free. If your dog chews aggressively, but not in a reducing-the-furniture-to-dust way, the yak milk chews may be a better option. They hail from the Himalayas, and when ordered from PeaksNPaws, they come in attractive packages that are bound to light up your day just as much as your dog’s.
By the way, did you know that you can train your dog to overcome separation anxiety? Here are a few tips that should help you help your furball.
3 Tips to Help Dogs with Separation Anxiety
- Exercise helps in reliving anxiety - A tired dog is a happy dog. Organize your priorities in a way so that you never skip his walk or run routines. In fact, start the day by taking your dog for a run. That will be good for both of you.
- Train your dog to be without you- Leave your dog alone for 5 minutes every day. When you come back, act like it’s no big deal. Which means no look, no touch, no eye contact, and no extra pat on the head even if your pet comes asking for it. Gradually, increase the time to 20 minutes and then to 1 hour.
- Refrain from reassurance- Saying bye to your dog may come to you naturally but if your dog is dealing with separation anxiety; a goodbye kiss is a cause for distress. Leave home as you do at any other time; don’t make it apparent that you are going out and may not be back soon.