Like it or not, we are heading back to work, and this will have a significant effect on our dogs. Separation anxiety is a thing, and it's best to prepare so you can help your dog adjust.
Our dogs have had a long period at home with us, this has brought extra attention and extra walks (to get us out of the house).
When we go back to work, it will be confusing for your dog and for some this will show itself as anxiety.
Signs of anxiety range from.
Whining, barking, destroying furniture or personal belongings and going off their food.
What is Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety occurs when dogs that are attached to their owners get stressed when we are not around. You don't need to worry if it's just a little whining where you turn the key in the door, or they throw off all the cushions on the sofa, but when you get a scowl from your neighbours at the end of the day, it's time to take action.
- Change of ownership or rescuing a dog.
- A change in your family loved one passed away or stressful situations at home.
- Leaving them alone after spending long periods together.
- Trauma from an accident.
- Signs your dog may have Separation Anxiety
- Dogs that show signs of stress exhibit certain behaviours.
- They whine, how or bark excessively.
- Destroy furniture, shoes, TV remotes or in our case bicycle helmets.
- Drooling or panting excessively is a clear sign of stress.
- Toilet accidents indoor.
- Going off their food (very important, do not change their diet).
It is usual for some dogs to do some of these from time to time, as you know, it takes very little to spook most dogs. Separation anxiety is one or more of the above list daily.
Before we begin to treat dogs with anxiety, it's essential not to get stressed yourself, your dog will sense this, and it can make things worse.
It's also essential that you have spoken with your Vet that infections have been ruled out, this is especially true with toilet accidents in the home.
Treating Separation Anxiety.
Go back to basics, leave the house for five minutes and when you get back, do not praise your dog, act normal.
Build up their tolerance day by day. When working from home, try not to allow them in the same room you are working in, clear boundaries equal less confusion.
If you're leaving a dog at home for a period of time.
- Start by leaving them with a special treat that they only get when you leave them at home, we like to fill Kongs with itsdogfood.com raw. It will take them a considerable amount of time to get it all out, and during this time, their minds will become less active.
- Increase your exercise routine; a tired dog has a tired mind.
- Natural remedies are available but ask your Vet first.
- We also leave a t-shirt that we wear to bed and place it on their beds, our scents reassure them, and this can have a calming effect on them.
- Leave on classical music, studies in shelters have shown a considerable decrease in anxiety.
If the problem is not subsiding, it may be beneficial to have a dog behaviourist visit your home. Spend time on the phone before you hire them, as you don't want someone who is going to train your dog in ways that you will not be comfortable.
We find reward-based training the best.