northwood animal hospital employee hugging a dog

3 Tips to Ease Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety

It’s no secret that our dogs hate to be apart from us. But some pup’s dogs can’t handle this speratation and resort to destructive behaviors when left alone. This is due to separation anxiety, a common behavioural issue many dog owners must face. This anxiety is triggered when your dog becomes acutely anxious when someone they are bonded to leaves. 

Dogs sometimes resort to escape attempts or other potentially harmful behaviours.


In this guide we will provide three tips to help ease your dog’s separation anxiety and reduce destructive and self-harming behaviors.


Crate Training: Crate training can help offer some dogs a place of security in your absence. However, this approach does not fit every pup. If you decide to purchase a crate, carefully monitor how your dog behaves while inside. If your dog shows nervous behavior such as excess panting or whining, it may not be a good fit. Ideally, the crate will be a place your dog can take refuge and comfort while they wait for you to return home. 


Play and Tire Your Pup Out: Before leaving, take some time to play with your pup! Run with them, play tug-of-war, fetch, provide food puzzles, etc. A physically and mentally tired dog will be much less prone to act on anxieties when they finally depart. 


Counter Conditioning: One way to ease your dog out of separation anxiety is to counter condition their feelings towards your absence. Give them treats, delicious foods, and attention whenever you are about to leave. Ideally your dog will begin to associate your leaving with positive activities, which will help curb their separation anxiety.


How to Handle Separation Anxiety in Dogs 

Although separation anxiety is stressful for your pet as well as the family, you can gradually train your pet to remain calm and comfortable when you’re not around. Through successful crate training and other counter conditioning efforts, your dog can overcome their anxiety. However, if symptoms of separation anxiety persist despite your efforts, consider taking them to Northwood Animal Hospital. Call or visit us today to schedule an appointment today!

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