How To Help Your Dog Reduce Separation Anxiety
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If you are currently fostering or looking after someone else’s dog, or you are staying home to flatten the curve of the coronavirus, you’ll be spending more time at home which might cause unexpected consequences for your dog when you do have to pop out for supplies. In the 6th episode of Bugsy’s new ‘Ask The Expert’ series, V from Zenimal answers a question from our customer Jacqui Clark, who wrote in to us on Facebook and asked about how to handle separation anxiety.
Auntie Jo spoke to V from Zenimal Animal Therapies for this latest chat.
Working in shelters, I often deal with dogs that have separation anxiety. It can turn into a serious problem if you don’t help them to get over their anxiety as soon as they become yours.
Here are a few tips that I’ve found can almost immediately get your dog to feel less anxious when they’re apart from you.
Let them know you’re coming back!
In the first few days of bringing them home, get them used to you leaving the room they’re in knowing you’ll return.
Leave without saying anything, close the door and come back after some time passes.
Do this up to 10-20 times a day, the aim here is to get them used to the fact that when you leave, you’ll come back.
Eventually, they’ll get so bored of you walking in and out that they’ll stop reacting to it!
How to train them to deal with separation
To ease them into it, start by only leaving for a short period of time, around 30 seconds to start with.
Give them something to occupy them while you’re gone too. Sprinkle a few treats or give them a toy before you leave.
Gradually extend the time you’re out of the room to longer periods of time, but treat this as the next step in the training process, and always make sure they’re comfortable with the previous step before moving on.
Always change the treat or toy too, perhaps switch the chew toy for a puzzle toy and throw some different treats into the mix, giving them as many different separation situations as you can. Boredom is a breeding ground for anxiety, so make sure they’re always gainfully occupied.
Supplements to stop anxiety
Try rubbing some calming essential oils on them, or making up an essential oil spray that you can spray on their harness, bedding and around the house.
There are also herbal supplements you can add to their food that also helps keep them calm and content.
If you’d like to know more about what supplements are best to help beat separation anxiety, get in contact with me.
Verina is a certified Dog Trainer and Canine Myotherapy (CMT) Practitioner, two passions she combines in her business Zenimal. Check out her website and connect with her on Facebook.