The dog is an animal which is known to form the strongest bond of friendship and love with man. Thus it is rightfully referred to as ‘the best friend of man’. But what happens when your pet dog gets overly attached to you, so much so that it absolutely cannot stay without you and becomes destructive in your absence? Worry not, for in this post you will learn how to help your dog which is suffering from separation anxiety.
Dealing with the separation anxiety of your dog
• Get a dog friend for your dog
This can be done so that your dog does not feel lonely when you are not around. It will even have a companion. However you must take care to see that the other dog is not dominant or oppressive as that can have an adverse effect on the first dog. Therefore choose a canine with similar temperament as that of your dog.
• Get a dog walker
Since your dog is all alone at home while you are at work, it might just relieve him a little bit if somebody takes him out from time to time. This can be a known person or someone whom you have hired.
• Leaving the television or some music on while you are gone
Species specific music for dogs can help calm your dog to a great extent. If you do not have such music then you can even play some very light, soothing music (never heavy metal). Leaving the TV on is also helpful as some constant speaking and sound is better than the silence of being alone. Most animals seem to prefer seeing images of other animals or nature programs.
• A piece of your clothing
It has been found that dogs suffering from separation anxiety respond positively to this. When an article of your apparel is left outside, it is comforting to the dog.
• Doggy day care
If not a dog walker then you can admit your dog into a day care centre. It might be difficult to find but if you do, then it is an ideal solution. But do check the day care center just as you would check a play school before enrolling your child there.
• Creating a doggie spot in the house
Preparing a special room for your dog and getting him used to it is another suggestion. You can make him comfortable by placing things that he would like in that room. The dog can then snuggle up to the item in your absence and be reminded of better times. Be sure that this clothing is not new and that it has your scent on it so that your dog can identify with it.
• Rotation of toys
As you leave home for work, you can leave some toys out in the doggie room. This will keep your dog occupied. But there must be a regular rotation of toys so that their do not love their interesting and novel appeal. Toys that move or are good to chew are apparently the most fun.
• Exercising your dog
The idea behind this is that ‘a tired dog is a good dog’. Exercise generates serotonin in the brain and thus has a calming and mood-stabilizing effect on man and beast. A dog that has had a good run for 20 to 30 minutes before the owner departs will be less anxious; more composed, and will have a good nap.
• Leaving the dog in the compound
If you are lucky to be living in an independent house with a free compound then you have the liberty to leave your dog free out there. Although you might think that a fully furnished house is more comfortable, it is not so with animals. They prefer to be out in the open and feel more at home in nature.
• Room with a view
Suppose you cannot leave your dog in the compound then you can try leaving him in a room which has a good view of the surroundings. If he is kept entertained by the moving vehicles or passers by then he might not feel that lonely. The principle is same as that of humans watching television.
The above mentioned methods will do quite well in helping dogs suffering from separation anxiety. However if your dog is not even slightly affected by these then you should consult a vet. However, make sure never to use force to treat your dog. It won’t do any good because this is not really his fault. Treat him with patience. But you should avoid the mistake of spending more time with your dog before you leave. This only increased his anxiety. Departures should be quick and quiet. Try to make him as independent as possible so that your absence will not cause him to be depressed.