You arrive at the house after a long day at work and your dog full of energy, jumping and turning receives you. It then follows you to the room where you find your favorite pair of shoes chewed. Then, your neighbor tells you that, once again, your dog has disturbed the entire neighborhood howling and barking while you were away. Does it sound familiar to you? Then your dog might be suffering from separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety in dogs is the most common canine behavior problem and one of the main causes of abandonment in dogs. Around 15% of all puppies and older dogs suffer from this attitude problem. There are many cases in which when we separate from our beloved four-legged companion, he begins to dig in places he should not, cry, bark, howl, urinate and defecate inside the house or simply destroy what he finds on his way. It is not an isolated behavior, but a derivation of the stress produced by the separation from its owner.
Main symptoms of separation anxiety
If when we leave our dog alone at home, we observe some of these symptoms, it is possible that our dog suffers or is beginning to suffer separation anxiety.
We can appreciate them mainly in puppies, although they can occur at any stage of their life. We must remember that these acts are symptoms of anxiety and fear, it is not something they do voluntarily.
They may have one of these symptoms, several or all at once.
• Excessive agitation
• Babbling / salivation
• Bricks, howls or whining
• Household smashing
How to Help a Dog with Separation Anxiety
In nature, dogs are almost never far from their pack. It is our duty to help them make this situation less stressful. So follow these tips to relieve separation anxiety:
1. Before leaving the house, take your dog for a walk
Start your day by taking your dog out for a brisk walk. To make the ride even more rigorous, use a backpack for dogs with extra weight. Then, reward your dog’s calm and submissive energy with food and water. Some dogs may need rest before eating, but all dogs can benefit from hydration. The idea is to leave your dog in silent mode, at rest, while you are absent.
2. Give him less attention
Do not give your dog too much attention when you are about to leave the house, or immediately you return. This way, you will be communicating to your dog that the time of separation is not a big deal. Depending on the intensity of the dog’s anxiety, you may have to practice this rule for five minutes or up to an hour before leaving and when you return.
3. Stay calm and firm!
When you are ready to go to work, block the feelings of guilt, worry and nervousness. Instead, let your dog know that everything will be fine by projecting the confident energy of the pack leader. A calm and assertive leader can alleviate separation anxiety in dogs without any hassles.
4. Start leaving your dog alone little by little
Leave your dog alone for five minutes, then extend the deadline to twenty minutes, and then one hour. Keep increasing the time until you can leave it alone for a total of eight hours without any problem.
5. Make use of Dog Crates
Dog Crates are particularly good tools for helping dogs with separation anxiety. Crates also help prevent boredom. If you lead his crate with toys, especially chewing toys stuffed with croquettes and a few treats, he will learn many good habits such as chewing on the toy instead of your favorite shoes.
Some people worry that crate detention is cruel, but if done correctly, your dog will not see it that way, not at all. His crate can act as a cozy cave where he can dwell or simply relax, thus pulling him back from messing up the house.
Ultimately, crate training is the easiest way to help a dog with separation anxiety, and it also teaches it to calm down when you’re gone. However, crates will not work if they are used to punish a dog or keep it out of sight/ out of mind.
The Best Dog Crate for Separation Anxiety
As highlighted above, Dog Crates are an excellent remedy for dogs with separation anxiety, and in order to achieve success, the type and quality of crate used is of great importance as well. To this end, the 9 crates listed below are a sure way to giving your dog the best:
1. AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier
2. AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Pet Kennel
3. Petmate Compass Plastic Pets Kennel with Chrome Door
4. Richell Wooden End-Table Crate
5. Petnation Port-A-Crate E2 Indoor/Outdoor Pet Home
6. ProSelect Empire Dog Cage
7. 2PET Foldable Dog Crate
8. Silverlake Dog Cage Crate Kennel
9. MidWest iCrate Single Door & Double Door Folding Metal Dog Crates
In conclusion, dog owners when together usually tell stories of their amazingly brilliant, and misbehaving dogs. As seen from most cases, a major sponsor of misbehavior in dogs is separation anxiety, and the dog crate stands as a great choice in curtailing this. For more aid as regards helping dogs with separation anxiety and accessing the best dog crates available, Yes! Healthy You & Me & Pets is here to help.
We at Yes! Healthy You & Me & Pets are committed to helping you attain your health goals or best possible health outcomes. We truly understand how each of you face daily challenges to manage your life, pets and health goals. Our valuable advice can provide the much-needed peace of mind for you or your family members.