Back To School Season And Separation Anxiety In Dogs
For some dogs, the thought of being away from their people for a few hours is stressful enough to create separation anxiety. This is especially true for dogs that tend to experience fear and anxiety when they are suddenly left without their playmates.
A dog that is prone to separation anxiety might show signs such as howling, barking, hiding, pacing, destroying household items, and/or urinating and defecating in the house.
In order to help your dog with separation anxiety, it is essential to take the following steps.
Exercise And Mental Stimulation
It is important to provide your dog with lots of physical and mental stimulation, so they don't dwell on the fear and anxiety of being left alone. One easy way to do this is by taking your dog for a walk, which is both mentally and physically stimulating.
You can schedule long walks in the morning before you, and the kids are out of the house and in the evenings when you return. Another way to keep your dog distracted is to provide interactive toys that they can play with while you are away.
Desensitization And Counterconditioning
If you want to reduce your dog's anxiety when you're away, you first need to desensitize it to being away from you. To do this, start with short separations that do not produce anxiety and then gradually increase the duration of the separations.
Another desensitization technique is to go through the motions of a regular school day schedule before school starts in order for your dog to get used to this new routine. For example, if you have to leave for work and your dog gets anxious when you pick up your car keys, wallet, or bag, get into the habit of doing these things several times throughout the day before the school week.
By repetitively going through the routine of leaving the house, your dog will eventually become accustomed to seeing you go through these motions without becoming anxious.
Some dogs may benefit from crate training if they come to view the crate as a place where they are safe when no one else is around. However, a crate can cause stress and anxiety for some dogs. If you want to use one, monitor your dog's behavior throughout his training and while he is left in the crate when you are at home.
If your pet shows signs of distress (heavy panting, excessive salivation, frantic escape attempts, persistent howling,, or barking), crate confinement isn't the best option for him. Instead of using a crate, you can confine your dog to one room with a baby gate.
The benefits of doggie daycare are numerous. Not only does it provide a fun and engaging outlet for your dog, but it also gives them socialization opportunities that they might not otherwise get. This is especially important if you work long hours or have an irregular schedule.
It's also an excellent way for your dog to burn off some energy to keep them from getting into trouble at home. And the best part? You can rest assured that your dog is being well taken care of by professionals trained in all aspects of dog behavior, safety, and care.
K-9 Coach Can Make Your Dog's Day Amazing!
At K-9 Coach, we take fun and safety seriously. Your dog will have a safe, stress-free day at our climate-controlled facility. They'll engage in small, carefully structured groups to enjoy enriching activities with their human and canine pals.
We're the only dog daycare in Atlanta with full-time Certified Canine Specialists monitoring playgroups—so your pup is always safe when he's here. We'd love to meet you and your pet. Contact us about scheduling a free Meet and Greet Day to determine if your dog would enjoy daycare.