The pandemic meant many of us spending much more time at home than usual. If you’re a pet owner, this meant spending lots of quality time with your dog, enjoying limitless treats, playtime, and constant attention. But you may be called back to work in your office, forced to leave your dog alone, or send them off to a trusted doggie playcamp in Morristown for the day. Either way, separation anxiety among pets is real and makes leaving your furry friend difficult in many cases. Today on the blog, our Morristown dog trainer at AllDogs shares signs that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety and what to do about it. Check out our tips to help minimize your dog’s destructive behavior, and reduce their anxiety while you’re away.
Signs of Separation Anxiety in Dogs
It’s natural for dogs to experience fear and sadness, but if these behaviors are ongoing, especially when you leave, it’s not healthy for your dog. Plus, it likely adds stress on you as well.
Here are common signs that your dog suffers from separation anxiety:
- Drool or pant
- Urinate inside when they wouldn’t do so otherwise
- Exhibit destructive behavior (scratching, ripping apart toys or furniture, digging, and chewing)
- Lack of appetite or not eating
- Whining, pacing, or trembling
- Barking excessively
- Escape attempts
Steps to Manage Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety
The goal when managing your dog’s separation anxiety is to help your dog feel secure. This process isn’t something that will happen overnight. It takes time. You may need to start with short periods of separation and gradually increase the length of time that you’re away as your dog seems to be handling it better. Check out these steps to managing separation anxiety in dogs.
Exit and Enter Calmly
When coming and going, it’s best to keep greetings and departures simple. Don’t overcomplicate it or show emotion. A simple goodbye when you leave or hello upon your arrival back home is all that is needed. Mixing in too many emotions each time you exit and enter will signal to your dog that it’s a big deal.
Continuously Come and Go
Help foster trust with your dog by continuously coming and going. For some dogs, you may only be able to walk out and shut the door for a few seconds at first. In contrast, others may be able to handle their owner being out of sight for a few minutes at a time. Then, reenter (remaining calm the whole time), and keep doing this over and over, lengthening the time that you’re outside the door each time. Eventually, you may be able to take short trips out, like to get gas or go grocery shopping, all the while your dog remains calm.
Give Your Dog Plenty of Exercise
A worn-out dog won’t have much energy for whining or destructive behavior. Ensure that your dog gets plenty of exercise each day, specifically before you leave for an extended period. The amount of exercise needed will vary for each dog, according to size, breed, and age. You know your dog best. He or she may only need a five-minute walk each morning, while other dogs may require an hour or more of continual play before getting worn out.
Change Up Your Routine
Dogs are much smarter than many people give them credit for. They pick up on routines, such as seeing you get dressed, put on your shoes, and grab your keys, and may start to get nervous anticipating your departure. Break up your routine to see how your dog reacts.
Make Your Dog’s Alone Time More Fun
Make alone time enjoyable for your dog by providing a special treat or toy that they only get when you’re away. This will give your dog something to look forward to when you leave. Kong toys with peanut butter or their favorite treat is a good option. Be sure, however, only to give your dog this treat when you’re going to be away and at no other time.
Take Your Dog to Playcamp
Leaving your fur baby behind can be hard. There is absolutely nothing wrong with training your dog to be independent and calm while you’re away. But sometimes dogs still need extra attention, love, and care while their owners are away. At AllDogs, we offer a playcamp program where you can drop off your dog on your way to work and pick them up in the evening or when your shift is over. We care for your dog just like we would our own. We even provide camera access with a private login so that you can check in on them while you’re away.
Doggie Daycamp in Morristown and Jefferson City
To learn more about the doggie playcamp in Morristown or book a stay at our facility, please call (865) 475-2225.