Leaving your pup alone for extended periods can be difficult, but it can be even more distressing for your dog. Some dogs experience separation anxiety, which can lead them to do all kinds of destructive things, such as chewing furniture, going to the bathroom in the house, and even harming themselves.
Your dog’s reaction to your absence can be both heartbreaking and costly, and you may not feel comfortable stepping out until you find a solution to the issue.
If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, don’t worry. There are ways to calm your pup’s nerves and make them more comfortable when they’ve got the house to themselves. We’ve listed some of the most useful strategies below.
Crate-Train Your Furry Friend
You may not like the idea of locking your pup away, but a dog that’s fully crate-trained will love their crate. It makes them feel safe and comfortable. Plus, it reminds them of all of the tasty treats they’ve eaten in there during the training process.
Give your dog a secure area of their own, so they’re less likely to feel anxious when you’re not home.
Give Your Pup Plenty of Exercise
It’s always helpful to give your dog a good workout before leaving them home alone. Their pent-up energy finds its way out one way or another. If it’s not in healthy exercise, it will be in unhealthy and unpleasant behaviors like chewing, barking, and roughhousing at inappropriate times.
When you leave them home alone with extra energy, they have free reign to do as they please. With this in mind, make sure to exercise your pup before you head out the door.
Start with Small Intervals
You can build up your pup’s tolerance to being without you by leaving the house for short periods that increase in length over time. Start very small (about 5 minutes should do) and then slowly build on that until they’re able to remain calm while on their own for hours on end.
Practice at Home
When your dog was a crazy puppy, you probably kept an eagle eye on them at all times. Your puppy became attached to you because you spent a lot of time together.
Companionship is fantastic, but a dog with separation anxiety can take that attachment too far. To ease their stress in advance of you leaving, train your pup to spend time in another room while you’re still home. That way, you can feel a little more at ease when you step out of the house.