Treating Separation Anxiety In Puppies

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Are you a new puppy owner because of the pandemic? The recent move to working from home has allowed thousands of people like yourself to take on the responsibility of a new puppy. It is a perfect situation. You get a dog to love on and your pet gets a devoted owner who is around all of the time. It really is a situation made in dog heaven.

There is a problem though. What happens when you get called back to the office? That puppy of yours is used to round-the-clock attention and when you take it away, you might very well end up with something called separation anxiety.

We talked to Trisha, one of the puppy experts from PuppyLending.com and she explained a little about this condition and how to deal with it. Here is what she had to say.

What Is Separation Anxiety?

Essentially, your dog is just emotionally upset when you leave. All dogs miss their owners, but some just can’t handle it and develop anxiety. They show their anxiety in a number of different ways. They may be destructive, they might go potty in the house (even if they are fully trained), they might try to escape, or all of the above.

Separation anxiety symptoms can be mild to severe. They might just bark for a bit when you leave the home or they could, quite frankly, tear your house apart. In any case, it is something that you need to address for the sake of you and your pup.

How Do I Deal With Minor Separation Anxiety?

There are a number of ways to deal with separation anxiety and the method or methods you choose will depend on the severity of your dog’s problem.

For starters, you need to take the drama out of leaving your home. You should never make it an event by excessively loving your dog when you leave. It only gets them worked up and then disappointed when you step out the door. Ideally, you should not even address your dog when you leave, just go. When you get home, do the same thing, Don’t address your dog for several minutes.

Also, stop giving the dog clues that you are about to leave. They pick up on more things than you probably realize. Things like picking up your keys, putting on your shoes, or even making your lunch in the morning. Try to do these things well in advance of your departure and then have a seat for a few minutes. After your dog calms down, get up and leave.

Finally, a special toy can do the trick, one that they only get when you are away. Try something that keeps them occupied, like one of the interactive toys from KongCompany.com. Pick the right treat ball and your pup will likely never even realize that you are gone.

How Do I Deal With Sever Separation Anxiety?

If your dog has severe separation anxiety and has been tearing up your house and trying to escape when you leave, you have a bigger problem.  They will probably need a bit more than just a fancy treat ball. Here is what you need to do.

Start by training your dog to not need to be in the same room as you. Tell them to stay in one room while you go into another one. Gradually work up the time from a minute to several minutes to half an hour.

Once you get your dog comfortable with not being in the same room, it is time to start leaving the home without them. Just like being in another room, you will work up the time slowly. Leave for a few minutes, then a half-hour, and gradually work up to several hours. Over time, your dog should become adjusted to the new normal of you not being home all the time.

What If My Puppy Does Not Get Better?

If all else fails, there are a number of medications on the market that can help your puppy deal with their anxiety. Talk to your veterinarian about some options. Medications are not an ideal solution but your puppy tearing up your home is not ideal either. Luckily, your dog can often be weaned off of these medications over time, so medicating your dog may not be a lifelong thing

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