by Anjilla Young, Director of Marketing for Smart Pet Love
According to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, 20-40% of dogs suffer from separation anxiety.
Why does separation anxiety occur?
How can you tell if your dog has separation anxiety?
How can you help your dog improve their separation anxiety or prevent it from happening?
- Teach them to self-soothe. Toys that require mental stimultion and concentration are great for helping dogs stay busy. Things like toys that can be stuffed with treats or "games" for your pooch are also good tools. These methods keep them distracted and can help them forget their fears, or tune out the anxiety.
- Keep your departures quiet. Don't make a big deal about leaving the house. If your pet gets anxious when you leave, making it a spectacle will only make it worse. Give them a pat on the head, then calmly and quietly leave. This can help them realize that you leaving isn't a big thing.
- Give them something to entertain them. There are many great resources for dogs with anxiety these days. Some that can really help to distract or occupy them are visual & audio stimulation tools like DogTV, which provides many different types of visual & audio stimulation for dogs that are scientifically created.
- Give them plenty of exercise before you leave and again when you come home. Tiring out your pup is a great way to help their anxiety. Make sure they get adequate playtime with you before you leave so they are tired once they are alone. Then, when you come home, play with them some more to help expend the energy they built up while alone and also so they know that if you leave, it means you'll come home and play!
- Also consider introducing a comfort tool. One terrific comfort tool to try is a Snuggle Puppy that’s designed to instinctively relieve anxiety with the real-feel heartbeat and heat pack that slips into the pouch, mimicking a friend or littermate.