The most obvious way to avoid separation anxiety in your dog is to never ever lead his side. Of course, we know that’s not realistic so luckily we have other options for you to try.
If your dog gets anxious or stressed when you leave him by himself, he is experiencing separation anxiety. Symptoms of separation anxiety often include excessive barking or crying, destructive behavior, and house soiling. Many pet parents try to mitigate this by crating their dogs, but they may find their dogs not deterred by this, attempting to break free no matter if they injure themselves in the process.
It’s normal for young mammals to experience some form of separation anxiety, especially when separated from their mothers. And, while you may be at your wit’s end with your dog destroying your furniture, there are steps you can take to avoid this in the future.
Make “Goodbyes” Less Dramatic
We know you hate leaving our dog just as much as he hates to see you go, but try not to get too emotional when saying goodbye to him. Emotional goodbyes and overly energetic hellos make your comings and goings more dramatic than they need to be, and it becomes more significant and triggering to your dog when you leave him.
Tire Your Dog Out Before You Go
Before you leave, make sure you give your dog plenty of exercise. If your dog is tired, he’ll have less energy to bark or be destructive. Finishing the workout 30 minutes before you depart will give your dog enough time to calm down before you leave him alone.
Train Your Dog to Be Alone While You’re Still in the House
If your dog can entertain himself while you are still in the house, it will be easier for him to do his own thing when you actually leave. Try leaving him in a room in the house for small 5-10 second intervals and overtime work your way up to 20-30 minutes.
It’s also good practice to leave him plenty of toys and puzzles so he doesn’t get bored and work himself up into an anxious, and possible destructive, state. Hide treats around the house for him to find, leave on relaxing background music or nature sounds, really anything to keep your dog busy until you return.
There are many ways to save both yourself and your dog the unnecessary stress of separation anxiety. You both can overcome this if you work at it with the right attitude.