Helping your pets learn to be alone helps both them and you – and your furniture and shoes and carpet!
Separation Anxiety is very common and, without behaviour intervention, can develop into other anxiety problems including noise phobias and body destruction. Understanding what causes separation anxiety can help pet owners cure it – it just takes a combination of human and pet conditioning! Here are some tips to help you…
No emotional farewells – Treat your departure exactly like you treat every day activities like doing the washing or preparing meals. The best farewell is done when you simply get your keys and leave.
Provide a special toy – Leave a time consuming treat like a food filled Kong toy to distract your pet from your departure and give him/her something to do while you are away.
No emotional returns – It can be difficult, but ignoring your dog when you return if they meet you with uncontrollable excitement is important to reaffirm that you returning is a normal activity. Once they have settled, then give them all the attention they (and you!) want.
Doggie Daycare – Consider a fun and interactive doggie daycare if you will be leaving for long periods of time during the day. A good program should provide a safe and caring environment that emphases exercise and socialisation.
Alone time – Encourage your dog to play with their toys without you to give them the security of knowing they can still have fun when you are away.
Exercise – A build-up of stored energy can cause multiple behaviour problems in a dog. When you leave, your four legged friend can act out because they don’t know what to do with built up energy. Daily exercise helps immensely.
Medication – If your dog suffers from severe separation anxiety, your vet may suggest a medication that increases serotonin production. But remember, medication is meant to facilitate a behaviour modification program not replace it!
By providing a little human and pet behaviour modification, we hope you can prevent separation anxiety in your fur baby.