Just like us, man’s best friend can experience the dreaded feeling of anxiety.
Separation anxiety can be very serious leading to dangerous and destructive behavior such as excessive whining, barking, howling, drooling, panting, pacing, shaking, the annihilation of furniture (which can be deadly to you babies intestinal traffic and airways), scratching of doors/windows, and darting out of doors being opened in an attempt to escape. Anxiety can even cause good house-trained dogs to have “oopsies”.
The good news is your dog isn’t purposely trying to be difficult, they’re just trying to cope, just like people. Some triggers of anxiety include: being alone for the first time, changing of owners or routine, being adopted, and even genetics. Some active and social breeds such as sledding and herding puppers as well as “velcro” breeds (Yorkies, Chihuahua) are especially vulnerable to anxiety.
If your dog is showing severe signs, it would be wise to seek out a vet who can rule out any medical issues or refer you to a behavior specialist. For mild cases try the following: not making a big deal out of leaving your house, giving your little nugget something you’ve recently used (blanket/clothing) because your smell is soothing or giving them calming treats in puzzle toys containing CBD extract or tryptophan.
Thinker toys or super chewer toys stuffed with yummies are a successful way of redirecting your dog’s anxious and nervous energy into something constructive and safe. It’s important to only allow your companion to ravage this special toy when you are just about to leave so that they start to positively associate this treat with your absence. And remember young padawan, your energy and emotions affect your companion’s energy and emotions, so if you remain calm so will they.
Feature Image Source: Pixabay