Today I would like to welcome Wendy Lipscomb to the blog. Wendy is the founder, main contributor to and editor of TotallyGoldens.com. Wendy is a self-employed beauty therapist, mother of two; life-long pet parent and lover of dogs who somehow manages to squeeze in the time to satisfy another of her loves – writing.
Wendy is here today to talk to us about what to do if your dog suffers from Separation Anxiety.
Just as anxiety is common in humans, dogs are also a victim of this behavioral issue that arises sometimes due to the physical or mental state of dog and other times it is just a behavioral issue. Dogs may experience anxiety due to many reasons such as loud noises, change in routine, traveling, fear, and aging or due to separation.
Dog anxiety has many unnoticeable symptoms such as air sniffing, excessive barking, hiding, panting and low physical activity. These are common behaviors of a dog but if any of these becomes a repetitive behavior you must attend your dog because anxiety can lead your dog to destructive behavior like chewing, biting, snapping aggressively towards other people and animal or even trying to escape the house. This is a very common anxiety issue that is noticed by dog parents.
What is Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety refers to a condition when one has fear of being detached from a thing or a person he loves. As we all know dogs and human create the unconditional bond with each other, they prove to be best partners and dog soon becomes a member of the family.
Due to this unconditional love, dogs experience loneliness and sadness when they are left alone at home. Some dogs are more prone to anxiety as compared to other dogs. It is assumed that human-friendly dog breeds such as golden retriever tend to experience a higher rate of separation anxiety.
Dealing with Separation Anxiety
Dealing with separation anxiety sometimes becomes a difficult job because due to the scheduled routine you have to leave your pet at home which will surely make him feel sad.
If you are going to visit your vet to solve this issue he will probably prescribe some anti-depressant for your dog but it is just a temporary solution because you do not want to fill you pups body with the unnecessary chemical. However, these anti-depressants can be used for natural anxiety not stimulated behavior. Therefore, you need to find the root cause and start from there.
Avoid Showing Extra Affection
Anxiety can be treated by training and counterconditioning. You must teach your dog to spend time without you from a very young age.
Never show sympathy to your little pup when he cries out because you are subconsciously reinforcing dog crying and attention seeking behavior by rewarding him with your attention and extra affection. Instead of this, you must teach your puppy to stay calm and every time he does that reward him with a dog treat, kiss or a hug.
Divert His Attention
Do not allow your dog to stay with you all the time when you are home. Keep moving from one room to another so that they may understand that you cannot stay in front of their eyes 24/7.
From the start make him stay in his crate. To distract his attention provide him with interactive toys and chew toys that will keep him engaged. The chew toys will help the dog to release anxiety as well and help younger puppies in teething process.
Minor Changes in Routine
Regular exercising is important for your dog’s better development. Therefore, take few measures such as taking your dog for a walk or jog in the morning. Make him release stress hormones by exercising.
In addition to this, you can get your hands on a Compression wrap. The thunder shirt wraps around your dog and applies continuous gentle pressure that minimizes your dog’s fear.
Do not let your dog’s anxiety take over your life. Having the right plan you can prevent anxiety to develop in your dog.
Another big thank you to Wendy for joining us today. Go check her out at TotallyGoldens.com.
Leave a comment below on how what tactics work for you and your buddy. Not sure if your pup has Separation Anxiety? Read a little more about it here.