It can be a very traumatic event for your dog when you leave him alone. The good news is that with dedication and patience, separation anxiety can be resolved. Your dog may suffer from general anxiety, which is very common when dogs become anxious when separated from their human family.
What causes separation anxiety in Dogs?
There may be a few reasons why your dog is becoming stressed when you leave him alone. Although it may not necessarily be that he wants to spend time with you, sometimes dogs can become anxious and afraid in new situations and surroundings, like when they first come home to live with you.
It’s also possible that whatever triggered the anxiety started after a traumatic event, such as a loud noise or an accident that left your dog feeling very frightened when left alone.
What Can I Do to Help my Dog?
It’s important to know that your dog will always feel less anxious if he knows what to expect and feels safe in his surroundings.
So instead of constantly leaving your dog alone at home, vary the time you leave home for short periods (5-10 mins) and gradually increase the time. For example, first, go out for 30 seconds, then come back in, next wait 2 minutes before coming back indoors, then increase this by 1 minute per day until your dog can remain alone at home without becoming stressed.
If you notice your dog is becoming anxious before you go out, give him a unique chew to keep him occupied. When he’s chewing, this will distract his mind and take his sense of the stress that he may be feeling. You could also try feeding your dog his typical meal or giving him treats when you are at home so that he can look forward to your return.
What Can I do when I Get Home?
When you get home, you mustn’t fuss about your dog for at least 5 minutes after returning home; otherwise, he will become excited, which could trigger the anxiety again when you leave. So instead, ignore him for 5 minutes and then calmly ask him to sit and reward him with a tasty treat.
When gone for an extended period, you should stay at home for 20 minutes or so and play with your dog before taking him out again. This way, he will become more tired and less likely to get anxious when you leave on vacation?
How long will my Dog’s Anxiety last?
It’s crucial to not give up after just one week of trying these techniques because it could take weeks or months for the anxiety to be completely resolved. However, once your dog starts feeling more comfortable at home when he’s alone, his fear of new situations should decrease, which means minor panic when you first bring him into your house.
Separation Anxiety and Leaving on Vacation
In the weeks leading to your vacation, gradually increase the time he spends alone by keeping him in a secure room with his favorite familiar toys and bedding. If necessary, give him an Anxiety Wrap coat so that he can be left alone without feeling anxious or stressed.
Leaving your Dog at a Pet Hotel
If you know that your dog will suffer from stress if left on his own, then its best to leave him in a pet hotel nearby where he is around other dogs and people who won’t ignore him. Make sure that this place is familiar to him so that it feels like home, which can help reduce the stress caused by being away from you.
It’s important to remember that your dog suffers from a disorder and not because he doesn’t love you. Separation anxiety is treatable, but it takes time for the behavior to resolve. So please be patient with your dog and don’t give up!