How to Help your Dog Overcome Separation Anxiety

Separation Anxiety:
A Problem which is Often an Issue for
Dog Owners who Work Outside the Home

Because dogs are social animals, it's important that you train them so they feel
comfortable about being left alone for any extended period of time.

That's because dogs who stay at home while their owners work often suffer from
separation anxiety. Pets with the problem can also be sensitive to the sound of
thunder or outside noises as well.

Some of the Symptoms Associated with Separation Anxiety

Dogs with separation anxiety may urinate or defecate in the house, drool, bark to excess or refuse to eat. However, these kinds of symptoms may be related to a medical problem too. Therefore, make sure you have your dog checked by your veterinarian to rule out any possible health issues that may cause your canine companion to act inappropriately.

Don't Punish your Pet for any Actions that Result from his Anxiety of Being Left Alone

If you have determined that some of your dog's unacceptable actions are the result of separation anxiety, you'll have to work at alleviating his fears. Therefore, you don't want to punish your pet for an action that results from this kind of stress. That can only worsen the problem as his reactions are not done out of disobedience to you but because of his discomfort of being left alone.

Use Rewards and Desensitization to Treat a Separation Problem

One of the ways you can help your pet accept being left alone is by using rewards. In order to make the connection, give your dog a reward, such as a treat or toy, when you are leaving the house. While this method can work wonders for relieving a mild case of separation anxiety, you'll need to desensitize your pet to your leaving if he is more severely affected. For example, act like you are leaving but stay at home instead. Follow up by staying away from him for a minute or two and gradually increase the time. Once your dog is accustomed to being left by himself for a couple hours, he should be able to endure your absence for a much lengthier stretch of time.

Other Ways to Treat your Pet's Anxiety

Your dog will feel less stressed too if you keep him occupied .Therefore, make sure he is well-exercised and that he is put on a schedule of regular obedience or behavioral training. When you do leave your canine friend alone, only confine him to a certain area of the house. Doing so will make him feel less anxious as well as keep him from causing damage to your furnishings. It also helps to turn on a TV or radio and let it play while you're away from home. The sound will make him feel more safe and secure.

Prescription Medications may also Help if your Pet Still Doesn't Respond to the Above Measures

If the above methods still do not work, talk to your veterinarian. He or she may be able to suggest or prescribe some anxiety medications.

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