Helping Your Dogs Separation Anxiety
Training is all about teaching effective habits; as you may be aware, your dog’s behaviour is determined by how well they are trained. With the pandemic changing our lifestyle and habits, many of us have spent unprecedented time at home, which can drastically affect your dogs routine, feelings, behaviours and habits – all based around you being home more often with them.
So what happens when you head back into your real world routines – heading back to work, the kids are back at school, having a busier
lifestyle? What does this do for your dog, especially many puppies who were adopted during lockdowns.
Well, it may be a little shock to your dog!
Going from having constant company to alone for hours at a time or all day – argh, how confusing! Where are they? What to do now? These are the thing running through your dog’s mind and can cause stress related problems like lack of bladder control, vomiting, excessive barking or crying, shoe eating, furniture damage – you name it, with separation anxiety just about anything can happen.
So how can you help your dog transition back to normal life, and support them overcoming separation anxiety?
- If you listened to the radio or music when you were home, for the first week or so of transition leave the sound on so there is a familiar ambience in the house.
- Leave some of your worn clothes lying around in the lounge room or your work area so your smell is still around.
- Ensure they have toys that they can only play with while you are gone.
- If you can see your pet getting anxious as they watch you prepare to leave, pacing, panting, barking wanting to play, try getting ready but don’t leave immediately. Sit down and ignore them until they calm down, then leave. Or try scheduling some bonding or play time in the morning before you leave so they still get that connection.
- When you arrive back home, help them calm down and reward their behaviour with a treat – our Protein Boost Bars can be divided into smaller pieces so one bar could last you the whole week, or the Vita Shapes make great small rewards.
- It’s always a good idea to keep your arrival home pretty low key to help regulate their mood. You may be just excited to see them as they you, but this only causes them anxiety as they wait, and then wait, and wait some more for that big greeting. A pat and acknowledgment, then do something else, let them get used to you being back, then more love when they are calm.
These are pretty basic steps that will help most people help their pet’s transition to less time with you. It usually takes a week or two for your pet to acclimatise to drastic changes. As is central to owning a dog, spending quality time with them and building a connection is essential.
Read our article on fun games to play with them using their favourite Bow Wow treats – like setting up a treasure hunt or helping build better patience with the ‘which hands’ game.
Our Longer Chews are also great treats for those days when you are working back at home (or in isolation!) because your dog will spend aaaaaaaaggggggessss chewing on them, giving them a mental activity to focus on and a great taste to keep them satisfied.
If you go on evening walks after work, there’s a treat to suit your dog in our Super Snacks range, which is all specially formulated to support their wellbeing with amazing ingredients.