Walking away from your home and leaving your dog in there for hours on end can be a heartbreaking experience if you have a dog which has separation anxiety. I went through this for many months with my dog Pastor and he would always stress himself out, cry for hours on end and do damage to the property. Naturally none of these things are beneficial and he used to get himself in such a state that I would genuinely worry for his health. I always knew that there was an option to give him medication to calm him down but there was just something about drugging the dog that didn’t sit well with me. I did some research online and nothing that I tried worked and so I went to see the team at All Creatures Veterinary Center, who were absolutely amazing.
The team gave me multiple things to try and eventually we got there, and Pastor now is more than happy in his own company, here is what worked for us.
There are some brilliant toys on the market which are supposed to be used to keep your dog busy for a while and challenge their brain, they are also fabulous if you have a dog with separation anxiety. These chew toys have a space inside where you can put treats but the toy needs to be chewed and thrown in order for the treats to come out of the tiny hole. They say that it is the first 30 minutes of solitude which causes the dogs so many issues which is why this chew toy works so well. Load it up and throw it to your dog when you leave, you’ll be amazed at the results.
Another great suggestion from the team was that I train the dog whilst I am still home, helping him to learn to enjoy his own company. I did this by closing him in a room in the home for intervals, starting with 30 minutes and then eventually building to a couple of hours. At first he would jump at the door handle or cry, but eventually all of that subsided and he genuinely seemed happy to be in his own space. To be honest by the end of all this he wouldn’t even come out of the room when I opened the door.
Ain’t No Thing
Something which I had to change was the way in which I entered and left the home. Instead of making it a big thing when I left I would just slip out of the door and when I came home I wouldn’t greet the dog for perhaps 15/20 minutes after arriving. This helps bring down their anxiety because they know that even when you arrive, nothing happens. Leaving calmly also bring normality to the situation.
Try these things and let me know how you get on with your dog.