How to Deal with Puppy Separation Anxiety
Does your dog chew things every time you left home?
Or does your puppy bark or cry excessively or scratches the door when you are not at home?
If the answer is yes, probably your puppy is facing separation anxiety. That means instead of getting angry with him, you should deal with the problem. Punishing him will make the scenario worse. So make sure you know how to deal with puppy separation anxiety to handle this situation.
What is Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety refers to the situation when a dog shows frantic, destructive, and distressed behaviors caused by the separation from the pet owner. Even any behavior like this for a couple of minutes is considered as separation anxiety as well. Pet owners often make a mistake by considering it as disobedience, where it is an anxiety problem.
Causes of Separation Anxiety
Though it is not completely understood yet, however, due to some separation problems, it happens. It can be because of the separation from pet parents, unfamiliar socialization patterns, unknown surroundings, long vacations, neglect, lack of training, death of a pet friend, premature adoption, heredity behavior, simply or generic boredom. These are the main causes of separation anxiety.
Signs of Separation Anxiety
There are many signs that tell you your puppy is suffering from this anxiety problem. Among them, howling, dilated pupils, salivating, barking, panting, trembling, and pacing are the main signs. Also, there are some behavioral signs such as coprophagia, ignoring food, destroying items in the home, attempting to escape from a room or crate, scratching at furniture or shoes, and others. Whenever you notice these signs, you should understand that your puppy has this problem.
8 Tips on How to Deal with Puppy Separation Anxiety
As a dog owner, you should handle this situation carefully. You do not have to be a dog professional to handle this problem. You can do it simply by following the tips I am going to give you below.
#1. Know when to leave
You should know when to leave your pet. If your pet is too young, it will tough for him to handle the pressure of being alone. You know a small puppy is most vulnerable, and he needs your attention and love at this time most. If you leave him alone at your house, he might face a lot of trouble, and that may result in an anxiety problem. So make sure you do not leave your young puppy, and even if you have to, make sure that he has a playful, reliable partner or friend with him.
#2. Give a gift before leaving
Give an amazing treat to your puppy every time just before you leave home. When you give a treat, your puppy becomes happy. That means when you give a treat just before leaving home, your puppy will become happy instead of being traumatic. This will alleviate some terror a small puppy feels when you leave home.
#3. Crate training might help
Crate training also helps to solve this problem. You should make the crate his personal place. When you are home, keep him in the crate with some toys. Make him understand that it is his personal place where he can play. Feed him there, but make sure you do not give any water there as it can make the crate messy.
Teach him to remain calm in the crate and reward him for such behavior. Do it regularly and increase the time of keeping him in the crate. Also, make sure you use a heavy-duty dog crate to ensure maximum safety when you are not home. It is an amazing solution on how to deal with puppy separation anxiety. It allows your puppy to stay alone and enjoy his personal time.
#4. Change the routine
Your dog follows everything about you, and they are familiar with the series of actions you do before leaving. For example, you wear formal dresses, take your shoes, turn off the lights, and lots of others. Whenever the dog sees these actions, he becomes stressed as he knows you are leaving. So bring a change of your routine so that your puppy cannot understand you are leaving until you actually leave. Don’t forget to give the treat before leaving.
#5. Pay less attention before leaving
Just before 10 minutes of leaving, start ignoring him by paying less attention. It will make him understand that the time apart is not that big deal. It is an as usual thing.
#6. Exercise your dog
You know, tired dogs are calm dogs. So make him tired just before leaving home. You can take him for 30 minutes of exercise or play with him for 30-40 minutes before leaving home. It will make them tired and hungry and diverse the attention from your leaving to food and rest.
#7. Don’t leave for too long time
No matter what you do, if you stay away for a too long time, it will make them depressed. So do not leave your do for too long. If you have to, make sure you leave a friend for him or a partner to support him.
#8. Medicine might be the last option
Finally, if none of these work and the severity of the anxiety is high, you should take medicine for your puppy. Sometimes, your puppy gets an extreme shock that leads him to severe anxiety problems, and then, only medicine helps. Talk to your doctors, and he or she will tell you what medicine to take to solve this anxiety problem.
By following these simple steps, you can easily deal with this problem. Remember that there is no shortcut or magic that tells you how to deal with puppy separation anxiety fast. You have to have the patience to see the result. Consistently following these tips will result in a natural solution to this problem, and after that, you will see a happy and playful puppy. So don’t lose hope, don’t get angry, use your brain, and handle this problem effectively.