According to several studies, 20 to 40% of dogs suffer from separation anxiety. The current health crisis and the many confinements and telecommuting, accentuate this anxiety already very present in dogs.
In this article, we will see what the signs of separation anxiety are and what tips you can use to relieve your pet.
Signs of separation anxiety in dogs:
More often than not, a pet suffering from separation anxiety will show changes in behavior.
You should be on the lookout for the following signs:
- Urinating and defecating in inappropriate places in the house
- Excessive barking or howling
- Excessive chewing or other destructive behaviours in the house
Reducing separation anxiety in dogs:
1/ Create a routine
Routine is comforting for pets and owners, big and small. Leaving and returning at the same time each day helps four-legged family members adjust to the changes they experience and reduces separation anxiety.
2/ Make time for play and exercise
Set aside time each day to play with your dog. During play, treats are appropriate. It's important to reward good behavior and, conversely, discourage bad behavior. Verbal praise is also very effective in rewarding your dog for good behavior.
It is also very important to take your pet for a walk before leaving home. This is a technique that also reduces anxiety in dogs. After an exercise, animals are more likely to rest and relax.
3/ Leave background noise
Leaving a television or radio on is a good way to limit and manage separation anxiety. Background noise can distract and occupy your pet's mind, making it less aware of your absence. The sound of human voices makes your pet feel less alone.
4/ Try mazes and stimulating games
Maintaining your pet's mental stimulation level is important and also generates fatigue in your pet, allowing you to leave your home more freely. Mazes are a great way to reduce anxiety and maintain a good level of mental stimulation. You can simply pour some of his food before you leave into the maze, this will keep your pet occupied for a while.
Another option is to hide several bowls of food around the house. Your dog will have to look for these and will be intellectually stimulated.
5/ Stay calm and confident
Your dog will sense your emotions, so it is important for you to remain calm and confident when approaching a separation with your dog. The longer you stay with him before a separation, the more your pet will suffer from separation anxiety. A quick pat before a departure is more beneficial.
Remember to praise your pet when you notice an improvement in his anxiety.