Even the most well-behaved dogs can fall victim to separation anxiety, especially when left alone for hours while you’re at work or running errands. When isolated, anxious dogs can act out, making annoying messes and creating expensive damages. Between urinating indoors, barking incessantly, and chewing through household furniture, separation anxiety is no joke.
While some barking and chewing are normal, excessive disruptive behavior can indicate greater problems that will require close attention to fix. There are three types of separation anxiety found in canines: distress from being isolated from a caretaker, inability to be left alone, and fear of confinement. When your dog acts out and is exhibiting the telltale signs of separation anxiety, they’re not trying to cause you stress—they’re trying to alert you of uncomfortable emotions.
Although not all dogs will experience separation anxiety, it’s typical for new puppies and previously abused dogs to feel mass amounts of discomfort when their human leaves, as they’re not sure if they’ll be returning. If your dog shows signs of isolation stress, engage in soothing procedures to ensure their safety and comfort.
Dog Breeds Prone To Separation Anxiety
While all dogs breeds can develop separation anxiety, high energy pups are more prone to feelings of discomfort than other low-maintenance breeds. German Shepherds, Cocker Spaniels, Border Collies, and Labrador Retrievers are all naturally anxious dogs that require proper training and care to ensure they’re comfortable while you’re away.
Although Labs are among the list of furry friends prone to separation anxiety, the steps required to ward off discomfort are well-worth the pros of owning a Lab. By implementing a few simple procedures, like kennel training, providing ample chew toys, or leaving a tv show on in the background, you can proactively ward off separation anxiety. If you’re up for the challenge, start shopping for well-bred Retrievers, like those from Snowy Pines White Labradors (www.snowypineswhitelabs.com).
Dive into dog ownership and implement these handy hints to ensure your new companion is safe, happy, and comfortable when you’re not around.
Provide plenty of exercise and attention
Although it may be tempting to sprawl out after a long day of work, you’ll want to make sure your furry friend receives adequate stimulation before you fall deep into relaxation. Dogs need significant amounts of exercise to feel fulfilled each day. When your dog has pent-up energy, it may result in anxious feelings or destructive tendencies. Luckily, hyperactive pups are easily satiated with a walk around the block or an hour of fetch each night.
Keep things calm
The last few minutes before you leave and after you return home should be calm to encourage normalcy for your anxiety-ridden canine companion. By remaining relaxed before and after your departure and arrival, you train your dog to stay calm and reassure them nothing is wrong, allowing them to send you off without debilitating anxiety.
Practice leaving for short sessions
Puppies tend to develop separation anxiety when their owners work lengthy shifts during the day. To prepare your dog for long stretches of alone time, practice leaving in increments, starting with thirty minutes and working up to a couple of hours to prepare them for unavoidable periods of isolation.
Leave out their favorite toy
An excellent stress-reducer for anxious pups is toy time. By leaving your dog with entertainment while you’re away, you give them something to focus on to pass the time. Without a toy to keep them busy, they may result in destructive behavior, chewing on household objects to satiate feelings of stress and nervousness.
Consider hiring a dog walker
If you find yourself out of the house for extended periods without returning home to let your dog out, consider a dog walker to reduce separation anxiety. Hired help can take your nervous pup out for some well-deserved playtime or take them for a walk around the block to give them exercise and split up periods of isolation.
Anxiety ridden dogs can be difficult—especially for full-time workers. However, by giving them ample exercise, keeping calm and collected, and hiring additional help when all else fails, you can ensure your dog is safe and sound while you’re away and ready to play when you return.