3 Simple Ways to Deal With Puppy Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety is the number one reason for behavior issues. Many dog owners don’t connect their dog’s behavior to separation anxiety. So many dogs are put to sleep or homeless because their owner’s couldn’t deal with their behaviors anymore. If they only knew that their dog was dealing with separation anxiety, more dogs would have a place to call home right now.
Separation anxiety is common with dogs. Dogs are pack animals. They get very stressed out when someone in their pack leaves, mainly you.
Here are some things you should know about puppy separation anxiety.
First things first, as a dog owner, you should be able to recognize the symptoms of your puppy separation anxiety. So, what are the symptoms of puppy separation anxiety?
Destruction (Chewing and Scratching)-Are you coming home to a place that looks like a war-zone because you dog chewed on everything, including your most favorite items? This is a big sign that your dog has a separation anxiety. They usually chew on objects that have your scent. That’s why so many people come home to their favorite items all chewed up, like their shoes.
Whining & Barking- When your dog barks and whines while your away is a big sign of distress that your dog may be suffering from separation anxiety.
Clingy and Demanding-Your dog turns into your shadow or constantly following your when you return home . They become very demanding for attention. Encouraging this behavior by lavishing them with attention does not help the situation.
Anxiousness-If your dog becomes anxious or whiny while your getting ready to leave the house is a big sign of puppy separation anxiety. They know you are about to leave and that’s when their separation anxiety begins.
Eliminating In the House- A very common sign of separation anxiety is when your dog eliminates in your house. It’s common to find “accidents” when your training a new puppy, but if your dog is already potty trained than this is a sign your poor puppy has separation anxiety.
Very Excitable When Your Return-Does your dog gets so excited upon your return that their doing laps around the house? This is a big sign of puppy separation anxiety.
What You Can Do to Prevent Puppy Separation Anxiety
An effective way to deal with puppy separation anxiety is crate training. Having a special place for your dog to feel secure while your away is important to prevent destructive behaviors. When your dog feels vulnerable, he will have a place to go to feel secure and safe while your away.
Reduce your puppy’s separation anxiety by getting them used to your “getting ready to go out” cues. For example, put your shoes and jacket on off and on throughout the day and grab your keys now and then. This will help prevent your puppy’s separation anxiety from kicking in when you actually prepare to go out.
A good way to prevent behavior issues from occurring is making sure your dog gets enough exercise. I don’t mean sticking your dog in the backyard while your inside watching TV. Making sure your dog gets enough exercise requires you walk your dog several times a day. A tired dog is a happy and well behaved dog! Don’t forget mental stimulation as well as physical exercise. Socialize your dog with other dogs, play fetch, explore new places together, and invest in buying a kong (a great mental stimulation and babysitter while your away).
Remember, your dog isn’t trashing your belongings to “get back at you” for leaving. Puppy separation anxiety is fear that your poor dog gets when a member of their pack leaves. Reducing puppy separation anxiety will reduce bad behavior.