HOW TO COMBAT YOUR PET'S SEPARATION ANXIETY IN 5 SIMPLE STEPS
With back-to-school in motion and summer holidays all wrapped up (sadly), we head off to work and class leaving our furry friends behind. For some pet-owners who have dogs that experience separation anxiety, this usually manifests in barking, surprises left in the living room, and destructive tendencies. But not to worry, we have five easy tips to help combat your dog's home alone woes.
1. IGNORE THE DOG
This step may be incredibly hard to follow through with, but it's a great way to loosen up hyper attachment. When you're getting ready in the morning, try not to focus too much on your dog and go about your daily routine. When it's time to leave, make sure not to let them catch on to cues of you leaving like saying "good-bye" or putting on your shoes.
2. CRATE TRAIN
Crate training is an excellent way to combat separation anxiety. Start by leaving the dog in their crate when you're in the same room. Give them positive reinforcement when they are quiet and ignore them when they are fussy. Gradually start leaving them in the crate when you're in separate rooms. This will help your dog get used to being alone in their crate.
3. MAKE IT FUN
Make staying home alone a fun experience by leaving them treats and toys, or playing relaxing/stimulating music in the background.
Set up a camera and examine your dog's behaviour. It is important to note the threshold – time it takes for your dog to act up once you leave. You can use this data to crate train effectively.
5. HAVE PATIENCE
If these steps aren't working right away, do not give up. Gradual desensitization takes time for your pup to build up the confidence to be home alone and combat their anxiety. Patience is key!