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How to Calm Dogs with Separation Anxiety?

Are you thinking of a way to calm dogs who become destructive and anxious when left alone at home? Then you are not the only one who is facing this problem.

You might have experienced an extremely messy house, ripped-off shoes, torn cushions, and neighbors complaining about howling and barking that your dog has been doing all day when you were not at home.

The very first question that arises in your mind is “Why my dog barks when I leave?”
The answer to this question is that your dog is facing separation anxiety.

When you enter the house you see your dog panting and pacing heavily. The drooling mouth and stressed face say that all. According to experts, a dog with separation anxiety experiences the same feeling as a human with a panic attack experiences. That‘s heart-wrenching that your fur baby has been facing all this alone.

aggressive dog with separation anxiety

At this moment the only question that arises in your mind is:

How to calm a dog down when stressed?

If your angry dog goes berserk then go for the following tips:

6 Useful Tips to Calm Dogs Facing Separation Anxiety

The following tips are very helpful to calm dogs with separation anxiety

1. Engage Your Dog in Physical Activity Before You Leave

To calm dogs with separation anxiety the dog owners can engage them in physical activity before leaving for work. When you spend time with your dog doing a stressful activity it comes with lots of benefits. And the best of them is that your dog feels confident and loved.

The other benefit is that the vigorous activity would be a massive output of energy which will prevent any destructive behavior in your absence. In addition, this activity will make your dog tired and he will spend all the time sleeping and resting when alone at home. This will eventually rule out any chance destructive activity at home.

2. Keep It Normal

When leaving for work, keep it normal. Let your dog feel that it is a routine activity so there is no need to create hype. Try to prevent any eye contact with your dog, and just let it go. This will be a very helpful tip to calm the anxious pet.

3. Practice Separation for a Short Period

To deal with your dog anxiety attack, you should practice separation for a short period. Start with a shorter period like 5 minutes, and then gradually extend the time to an hour and ultimately take it to a full 8 hours. If the dog behaves well then reward him with a special treat. This practice will play a key role in calming dogs with separation anxiety.

4. Use Desensitization Techniques

Desensitization can be effective while training the anxious pet. Practice the routine that you follow before leaving home and instead of leaving indulge in other activities at home. For example, grab your car keys or hat like you do before leaving for work, and then instead of getting inside your car, head towards the kitchen or do some other chores.

To make it less stressful, give your dog a high-value treat before leaving for work so that he realizes that when you are leaving for work it is the time for the treat. Over time your dog will finally stop behaving anxiously while you are at work.

5. Give Them Interactive Toys

Interactive toys have proved to be beneficial in calming dogs with separation anxiety. When leaving the house, engage your dog with some interactive toys like puzzles from which they get treats. You can even hide their daily treats in these puzzles.

These toys will keep your dog occupied and delighted when alone at home. In addition, audiobooks can also keep your dog calm, as the dogs feel themselves in the company of humans when listening to audiobooks.

6. Medication and Food Supplements

If you fail to calm dogs then your vet will recommend dog anxiety medication that would prevent a dog anxiety attack. Some dog owners question Benadryl for dog anxiety.

The answer to this question is that Benadryl can only make your dog sedative. It is not a dog calming medication. Always give medicines prescribed by your vet.

In other cases, you could also consult a dog behaviorist to calm dogs with separation anxiety.

FAQs

How do you stop separation anxiety in dogs?

The following tips are very helpful to calm dogs with separation anxiety

  1. Engage your dog in physical activity before you leave
  2. Keep it normal
  3. Practice separation for a short period
  4. Use desensitization techniques
  5. Give them interactive toys
  6. Medication and food supplements

What are the symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs?

Some common symptoms of separation anxiety includes:

  1. Barking and howling
  2. Destructive behavior at home
  3. Defecating and urination in the house
  4. Panting and pacing
  5. Escaping

How long does separation anxiety in dogs last?

Usually separation anxiety in dogs lasts for about 4 to 6 weeks.

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