Is your new puppy or dog suffering from Separation Anxiety?
Dogs develop a deep and loving bond with their owners, so it makes sense that they would miss you when you’re gone, but there is a difference between natural and healthy missing someone and a deeper problem.
If your dog tries to dig out of your house when you are gone or is exhibiting severe issues about you not being around, he may be suffering from Separation Anxiety.
The reasons could be anything from a formerly abandoned dog feeling abandoned a second time to a dog who was separated from his mother too early not feeling confident in being alone.
Other reasons could include stress or major changes in the dog’s life.
Has someone in the family passed?
Is there a new baby, or have you had a recent divorce?
Everything from the death of another pet to a roommate moving out, changes in your work schedule or frequent moves could be causing your dogs problems with Separation Anxiety.
Give Extra Attention
If you feel like there has been a recent significant change in your life or schedule, be sure to give your dog extra attention.
Play with them for a longer period of time than you usually do, take them out for walks more frequently, do anything that could help ease them into the new lifestyle and help to diffuse any stress they may be experiencing.
If, say, you are working longer or different hours, a good idea may be to hire a pet sitter to come over every day to play with the dog and give him a friend to pal around with while you are gone. He will feel less isolated and more confident in himself and it will even tire him out afterward.
If this is not an option, another good idea is to leave some calming music on while you are away from home. We have done this with our Chihuahuas from the very beginning, it has made a big difference. When we first started leaving them we would come home to destruction, that is no longer the case. The noise may even mask outside disturbances which can drive some animals up the wall and stress them out.
If you are aware your pet misses you while you’re gone, it helps to have a short matter of fact goodbye. Drawn out goodbyes may make your pet sense your guilt for leaving, which will make them feel worse.
Another good option is to find ways to keep your dog entertained while you are at home. There are many chew toys out there he can keep himself busy with which will distract him from him loneliness.
Some dog toys have to be played with to get treats out of, some become entertaining as they thaw (you give them to the dog after they have been frozen), some are hard treats that will take him a while to enjoy.
Seek Professional Help
Separation Anxiety differs in severity and how your dog expresses its frustration. Try some of these tips if your animal has problems with you being gone. If the problem seems to be too big to handle, contact a local behavior specialist to help