Home Alone: Separation Anxiety In Your Dog

thundershirtWhat is separation anxiety and why does it occur?

Dogs are sociable pack animals and are most content when someone is at home all the time. Unfortunately, this is not
possible for most families. Unless we can teach our pets to be comfortable with the daily routine and absences of their
human family, separation anxiety can result.

Dogs with separation anxiety exhibit the following patterns of behavior, including:

* Incessant barking
* Destructive behavior
* Refusal to eat
* Depression
* Pouting or misdirected anger
* Inappropriate urination and defecation even when previously house-trained

There are some commonly recognized techniques that you can try at home. These may be effective. However, if they are
not, contact your veterinarian, trainer or animal behaviorist for assistance.

1. Alter your behavior when leaving the home. Don’t coddle your pet or make a big fuss. Don’t comfort the dog,
but instead disengage for approximately 15 minutes before you leave.
2. Use the technique above when coming home. Don’t participate in the dog’s excitement when you arrive. Make
your entrance low key. Wait until the dog is calm before you engage him/her. Once the dog is settled, offer a
greeting and affection.
3. Supply your dog with things to do while you are out. Make sure that you leave plenty of interactive toys that
will require him to think and work a little bit to get at a favored treat such as peanut butter. This gives him
something to focus on besides your absence.
4. If you will be away for more than six hours, have a pet sitter, trusted friend or family member to stop by to take
the dog on a bathroom break, some exercise and quality time.
5. Sometimes having another pet in the house will help. If you get a second dog, just be sure that one of the dogs is
well adjusted and calm. Sometimes a calm, self -assured friend will decrease the anxiety for a high strung pet.

We at Four Paws Pet Sitting Services provide in home pet sitting and dog walking whether you are away for just a few hours or a few weeks.

We will customize a schedule just for you. We even do overnights and will stay in you house. Check our services outand give us a call! (919) 388-7297

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