Does your dog suffer from "Separation Anxiety"

Does your dog show signs of separation anxiety after you have left the house?

Have you left for work or a quick trip to the local supermarket…..However upon returning home to not be welcomed by a tail wagging happy dog but instead a living room full of mess with cushions torn to pieces or your clothing scattered all around your home? This wasn’t your dog simply being naughty but instead can be signs of separation anxiety, nearly every dog owner will face this situation at least once or many times during the doggy parenthood though many dog owners can be unsure what may be causing it…. which results often in the owner giving their dog into trouble. Although it can be easy to blame the mess on your dog (after all they did cause it) there may be an underlying cause to these distress signs and a solution to not only benefit your dog’s health and wellbeing but also save your home from destruction too.

What are the distress signs I should be looking out for?

- Excessive howling, barking throughout the day or whimpering as soon as you leave your home. Have you recently had complaints from your neighbour regarding your dog’s noise when you’re not home, don’t get into a heated debate with them as they may be telling the truth!

- Destruction of your home: The most common furniture victims can be sofa’s, wallpaper & curtains though many dogs may opt for something which also have a stronger scent of you on them such as slippers, t-shirts or pants and anything they can get their paws on to drag out of the washing basket.



Note: These symptoms can also be triggered by other causes too such as not being able to use the bathroom for long period of time (going outside for a pee) it is only natural that they have to relieve themselves. Barking and howling can be caused by localised noise such as close by building works being carried out or simply by other dogs barking from a neighbouring property. It is worth taking note however if these signs are only happening when you are not at your home then separation anxiety is more than likely the root cause of the problem.

How do I help cure my dog’s separation anxiety?

Have you ever felt anxious or worried about something? It is never a pleasant experience for anyone and dogs are no different but thankfully there are ways to help reduce this upsetting feeling and it’s triggers to benefit your dog’s health and wellbeing.

Check out below our top tips and tricks below to help reduce these unwanted feelings:

- Positive thoughts…
If your dog associates you leaving the home with a positive mind set and happy times then this will help reduce their unsettled feeling. Why not get into the routine of giving your dog their favourite treats such as a FRESCO Fillet or their favourite toy before you leave the house.

- Don’t make a scene…
Instead of making a huge deal out of you leaving the home, why not opt for a less showcase departure with a simple goodbye. Dogs are very smart and can easily read your body language, if you are sad when leaving them behind (as you naturally would be) they will pick up on this and in turn make them sad too, this can also be triggered by too much affection as it can increase their worry about you leaving. When you arrive back home, take a few minutes before showering them with affection as this will make your recent trip away less eventful and make it feel like no big deal.

- A long walk before you leave…
Taking them out for a long walk for a few hours before you leave them alone at home is a great way to not only tire them out so they can relax or sleep while you are away but it is also essential for their psychical and mental wellbeing. It is also their time to stop for a quick pee or number two before you part your ways.

Grab some gadgets…
You may have seen on social media or in a recent dog magazine the new trend of “home camera devices” for your pet. There are many different models available though we would recommend choosing one which has a treat dispensing mechanism (for your favourite FRESCO treats) and also a two way speaker phone so your dog can hear your commands. These devices will not only help with your dog’s separation anxiety as they hear your voice but also your own sad symptoms you will have as you leave your favourite family member at home (just don’t tell your partner who your real favourite is).

Let’s train for the big day…
Training is a vital part of owning a dog, whether it be for them to learn how to pee outside or how to fetch a ball. Curing separation anxiety can also benefit from a simple training exercise. Instead of leaving for long periods of time at once why not spend a week getting them used to the feeling of separation with shortened trips away. The first 15 minutes is the worst for your dog and can be the most upsetting, so why not start off with a simple 5 minute depart & return exercises while increasing the time away gradually over the course of the week. It is best to try this tactic several times per day, this will help them feel less worried for when you leave the house as it will become part of their daily routine.

Get a helping hand…
Let’s talk dog walkers and sitters! If you are leaving the home for a longer period of time than normal such as a full day at work then we recommend getting in touch with a reputable dog walker to help throughout the day. For a small fee they will take control of all the pee stops and exercise which your dog requires during the day. We recommend checking all credentials of all sitters and walkers to check they are fully trained & insured to do so and pass all police checks before handing them the keys to your home and of course the responsibility of your beloved dog.

Let us hear your story…

Has your dog experienced any of the symptoms above or has yours shown other signs of distress while you have been away from home? We would love to hear of how you took back control of the anxiety your dog was experiencing and any tips of tricks you may have to help your fellow FRESCO blog followers and their dog’s. Please comment below and let the dog world know your story…

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