Got Separation Anxiety?
Updated On: Friday, April 17, 2020 15:18:28 PM America/Los_Angeles
You hear a whimper and feel something nudge the back of your knee as you try to sneak out of the house in the morning for work. Letting out a pitying sigh, you look down to find your round, watery-eyed boykin spaniel rubbing his face into your leg. He’s always had separation anxiety issues ever since he was a puppy, but now that he’s eight, his condition only seems to have gotten worse.
In your absence, you know he’ll destroy the baseboards, tear up the curtains, have an accident or two, go through the pantry or maybe the garbage. More than a dozen times, you’ve even found him in your closet- laying in a self-made nest of the nice striped silk shirt that mom bought you for Christmas, your Captain America pajama bottoms, and two t-shirts you were sure you’d folded and put into the topmost drawer of your dresser (that one always gets an eyebrow raise because you wonder how he even got into that drawer in the first place).
Your pup is definitely stressed when you’re away, and it’s painful for both of you. Never fear- we have some tips for dealing with separation anxiety that you can try on your furbaby to see which one sticks!
This one seems like a gimme, but building a daily routine for your dog and going over it every single day will give your pup a sense of regimentation and security. That way, your baby will know what kind of behaviors are expected of them, and which ones are out of the norm. This includes crate training and housebreaking.
Another good tip is to normalize your “leaving” routine. It may seem a little weird, but if you do this routine over and over again, but do not actually leave the house, you can train your pup not to freak out every time you actually do leave.
Sometimes, dogs with separation anxiety will go to the bathroom anywhere and everywhere they aren’t supposed to go. It’s sad, but they can’t always control themselves when they’re anxious.
We suggest normalizing a safe, comfortable place for them to go to the bathroom while you’re away- either a wee wee pad or DoggieLawn depending on your dog’s preference, or outside in your backyard if you have a doggie door and don’t crate them. This will alleviate the stress on both you and your dog, minimize after work clean up, and keep your home smelling fresh.
Does your pup like watching Star Trek: Discovery with you on Saturday mornings? Do they enjoy listening to smooth jazz? Maybe they just like hearing people talk. Why not leave on the TV or their favorite Spotify playlist when you leave for an evening out? Whether they like Bach or True Crime podcasts- this one is an easy one to try out!
Thundershirts are weighted dog apparel that acts like a weighted blanket and makes your dog feel as if they are being held firmly. This can be comforting to dogs with severe separation anxiety issues. You can also try them out during storms if your pup is scared of those, too.
You’ll want to talk to your vet about this organic treatment first, but hemp and CBD products can relieve your pet’s stress and anxiety for a time. These products are made from the seeds / leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant respectively. Don’t worry, neither of these products have the hallucinogenic properties of marajuana caused by THC which is dangerous for your dog to ingest. We suggest popping over to Greenwell Pet for more information- and to see if hemp or CBD products are right for your pup.
Photo by JC Gellidon