There are too many reasons to mention that makes a dog man’s best friend. As all dog owners know, our furry friends provide us with unconditional loyalty, affection, and entertainment and if you treat them well, you will have a friend for life. Much like human interaction, our relationships with our pets are based on trust. If a dog knows that he can trust you to care for him, he will never leave your side and life becomes so much sweeter in general.
So, when we notice that our dogs seem to panic when we leave them on our own or their behavior changes, it really isn’t surprising when you consider that we are literally their whole world. If you have a pampered pooch that is spoilt rotten with love and cuddles, then there is quite a big chance that at some point your pup will suffer from separation anxiety.
If you have ever seen the classic picture of a dog woefully gazing out a window waiting for his best friend to come home or you have to place him in a crate for the day and can hear him whimpering as you leave, then you will understand that separation anxiety in dogs is very real and if left untreated, it could seriously affect your dog’s quality of life, as well as your own.
Fortunately, as behaviorists discover new ways to effectively deal with canine separation anxiety, there are tons of natural ways that you can try in order to soothe your pup when you are out and settle his behavior. And, in order to implement them successfully, it’s useful to know what is triggering your dog’s anxiety.
Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Dogs
Because dogs are pack animals, they don’t like being left alone and when they are experiencing extreme bouts of loneliness, you might notice the following symptoms that are related to anxiety in dogs:
- Barking or whining for long periods of time
- Digging or chewing
- Scratching at the door and walls
- Going potty inside, usually in the same spot
- Destructive behavior every time you go out
While many people love to be greeted by an excited dog at the end of a long day at the office, if you notice that your dog is starting to bark, whine or get overly clingy once you are home, you could have a case of separation anxiety on your hands that needs to be dealt with immediately with behavior modification.
If you overlook the fact that your dog is experiencing severe anxiety, then get ready to come home to destroyed furniture, chewed up shoes and even broken electronics. In worst-case scenarios, your dog could also injure himself by trying to escape or choking on something he has chewed.
Are Certain Breeds More Prone to Anxiety?
Separation anxiety isn’t exactly breed specific, but certain breeds will be more prone to anxious behavior than others. Some dogs just seem to be people-oriented from the day they are born and when we mollycoddle our dogs too much, they just can’t cope with being away from us. Hunting dogs like Weimaraners and Labradors are at higher risk of experiencing separation anxiety, as they are working dogs and can get bored easily when left alone.
Unfortunately, separation anxiety and anxiety in dogs, in general, isn’t something that can be cured overnight and some techniques will work better for your dog than others. Here are some supplies that you can use in order to help your dog feel less anxious.
CBD Dog Treats
CBD dog treats are a wonderful way to cure anxiety and improve your dog’s behavior, without using toxic chemicals that could affect your dog’s long-term health. Existing research has already demonstrated that CBD helps calm the central nervous system and promotes tranquility and CBD supplements are often more cost-effective than traditional medicines prescribed by a vet.
An anxious mutt will benefit no end from the entertainment that a toy can provide them with. A durable chew toy or a meaty raw bone can give your dog hours of entertainment and he is less likely to experience boredom or loneliness. The great thing about dog toys is that there is something to suit all budgets. An old shoe can often serve as the perfect security blanket when you are gone, as your dog will be able to smell your scent. Squeaky toys are also firm favorites among most pooches, but just be sure that they are strong enough to withstand your dog chewing them into pieces and swallowing them.
A Weighted Jacket
Weighted jackets or blankets have a swaddling effect on dogs and like babies, they feel comfort from the gentle pressure supplied by a swaddling jacket. Studies have shown that gentle pressure can massively contribute to reducing anxiety in animals, especially dogs.
A simple remedy for anxiety is relaxing music. This tool is often overlooked, but leaving the radio or soothing music on for your pet while you are out will help him to feel less alone. You can even find free pre-made playlists online that feature music with unique pitches and tones that emit the necessary calming frequencies for dogs.
Aromatherapy treatment will not only calm your dog, but your house will smell great too benefitting all pet parents! There are particular essential oils like lavender, chamomile, and geranium that are completely safe for dogs when used in an oil burner. Many of these essential oils provoke your pet to release certain hormones and pheromones that, in turn, work to soothe their body and mind.
A slightly more expensive option to alleviate separation anxiety in dogs in severe cases is to book your dog into doggy daycare if you know you will be out for long periods of time. Usually, as a dog gets used to being away from you, he will learn to panic less about you coming back for him and doggy daycare is a great interim step to encouraging dogs with separation anxiety used to being away from his favorite human, even if it’s just for short periods in the beginning.
This article by Jennifer is originally published at FOMO Bones.