Helpful Tips for Dealing with Dog Separation Anxiety in Lake Zurich, IL

It can be hard to leave your dog at home alone, especially if they have separation anxiety. They may give you a look or make a sound that melts your heart, and you will not want to leave. This situation is not ideal for you and your dog.

It is essential to keep your dog mentally stimulated while you are away.  When dealing with separation anxiety, keeping them busy helps to ease their stress and anxiety. Your dog will learn to create positive associations with you going out.

Separation anxiety can be upsetting for both you and your dog. You need to learn how to manage it. Read below to find out helpful tips for dealing with dog separation anxiety in Lake Zurich, IL.

dog separation anxiety in Lake Zurich, IL

What Are The Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Dogs?

There are several symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs. Different dogs exhibit different symptoms. The following are common symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs:

Going to the Bathroom In The House

Some dogs go to the bathroom in the house when their owners leave them alone. This situation can happen even if your dog just went outside before your departure.

They do not do this to be spiteful, but instead because they cannot control their anxiety. Crate training may be necessary to help them learn the appropriate places to urinate or defecate.

Barking and Howling

Your dog may bark or howl loudly when you leave the house, which is their way of trying to express their disdain over you being gone. It also goes back to their pack instinct.

Before they were domesticated, dogs were always together in groups. Dogs are very social animals. They often become anxious when they are left alone.

Chewing or Digging

If your dog has separation anxiety, they may chew on things in your house while you are away. They may even destroy household furniture and objects.

This chewing may lead to self-injury, such as broken teeth, cuts, scraped paws and damaged nails. If your dog demonstrates this behavior, you may need to “dog-proof” your house until you feel comfortable leaving them alone.

Attempting To Escape

If your dog is left alone and anxious, they may try to escape the confined area when separated from their guardian. This behavior can also result in self-injury if they try to chew through doors or windows.

Even if you have another dog with them, it will not calm them down. Your dog is not upset because they are alone. They are upset because you are not there with them.

Pacing

When left alone, your dog may pace around the house or even walk around in a circular pattern in an obsessive-compulsive manner.

Some dogs will repeatedly walk back and forth in a straight line to reduce their anxiety and calm their nerves. This movement diminishes their stress levels.

Most dogs who pace after you leave will demonstrate this behavior when nervous or frustrated.

Panting Frantically

If your dog displays this behavior, they will begin panting when they see you grab your keys or put on your shoes to leave the house. They will also drool excessively and possibly whine in an attempt to get you to stay with them.

Your dog may panic at the idea of you leaving them alone. When you return home, your dog will greet you frantically and let you know they have missed you terribly.

Tips to Support Your Dog With Separation Anxiety in Lake Zurich

Your dog must learn to be alone without resorting to chewing or destructive behavior. The following tips will help you determine how to treat your dog’s separation anxiety:

Take your dog for a walk or to the park for a bit before you leave the house

Make sure the pace is brisk. Take a dog backpack to add extra weight. If your pup has exerted enough energy, they will be calm and quiet when you leave.

No touch, talk, or eye contact

Do not make a big deal out of you leaving for the day. Over time, your dog will understand that it is no big deal when you leave the house, and this will take practice to get it right.

Say goodbye to your dog long before you leave the house

If the no-touch, talk, or eye contact is too difficult for you and your dog, try saying goodbye and giving them pets before you leave.

This way, your dog is reassured that you will come back. They may wait at the door for you to return for a while, but over time, they will understand that you not being there with them is only temporary.

Start by only leaving them alone for a short time

Begin with short periods and then progressively increase the time you are away. Start with 15 minutes, then go for 30 minutes and then increase it to an hour. This way, your dog will become acclimated to you being gone.

Eventually, you will be able to leave for the day.

Get somebody to take your dog for a walk

If you are going to be out for most of the day, it is only fair to your dog that you have a trusted neighbor, family, or friend come to take your pup for some time outside. This time outside breaks up the time they are alone.

Leave them with dog puzzles or toys

When your dog is mentally stimulated, they will not be upset or stressed out wondering when you are coming home. They will be too busy playing to be worried.

Dog puzzles will help get your pup into a relaxed state. The right toys will give them comfort.

Make a relaxing space for your pup

You could provide your pup with a nice bed and put on some music or the television while you are gone. The music sounds will soothe them, while the tv gives them human voices to hear, which also calms them.

You can even use an audiobook to accomplish this. Do whatever your dog needs to relax and feel safe.

Crate training is something you should only consider if your pup is peeing or defecating in the house or if they are destructive. It is an excellent way to settle them down while you are away.

Go slowly with training and be patient with them.

Try using treats

Dogs love their treats. When you are about to leave the house, give your dog a treat, which allows your dog to make positive associations with you leaving, rather than negative. Then, when you come home, reward them for being a good boy or girl.

Discuss Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety with Your Veterinarian

You should discuss your dog’s behavior with your veterinarian to rule out any health or behavioral conditions your dog may be suffering from.

Your vet may also prescribe anti-anxiety medication for your dog. Make sure you talk with the vet and listen carefully concerning any side effects the medication might have on your pup. It would be best to try to approach the situation without the use of drugs first. If the separation anxiety is severe, then you may need to go that route.

When treating a dog with separation anxiety, the trick is to reduce their stress level and overall anxiety over you leaving the house. Your dog will eventually learn that it is okay for them to be alone.

Conclusion About Dog Separation Anxiety in Lake Zurich, IL

If your dog is battling separation anxiety, you should try these tips to help them feel better about being left alone. If you successfully treat your pup for separation anxiety, it will be that much more rewarding when you are reunited with your fur baby.

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About Companion Animal Hospital Lake Zurich

Located just a stone’s throw away from beautiful Lake Zurich, Companion Animal Hospital, formerly Lake Zurich Animal Hospital, has warmly welcomed pets and their families since 1973.