Five Natural Ways To Help Ease Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety
While you have lots of things to do around you, such as work, relationships, and hobbies, your dog only has you in his life. Pets treat their owners like their best friends and their own family, so imagine how sad it could be for them not to see you for a few hours, which could also seem like forever to them.
If you’ve ever wondered what does it mean when your dog follows you everywhere whenever they see you leaving the house or going wild with joy and excitement once you get home, they might experience separation anxiety. Just like humans, dogs can also feel stressed and anxious from time to time. In fact, a scientific report shows that more than 70% of dogs belonging to 264 different breeds exhibit anxious behaviors.
While all breeds can be diagnosed with separation anxiety, symptoms can vary from puppy to puppy. Some may develop some form of destructive behavior, such as chewing on items like shoes and furniture or scratching doors while you are outside. Others may become agitated and aggressive, barking and yelling excessively for no particular reason.
Although these symptoms are sometimes experienced by most dogs, if the abnormal levels of stress and anxiety are left untreated, your dog can develop an anxiety disorder and other related behavioral issues. So what can you do to protect your dog from such illnesses?
We’re here to cover everything a dog parent needs to know about separation anxiety, its common roots, and essential treatments. Although a veterinarian’s intervention is necessary, there are many natural ways to help relieve these symptoms. But it pays to be patient as it will take time to figure out which solution (s) your dog can respond to the most.
What is separation anxiety?
Separation anxiety occurs when a dog who is very attached to his owner cannot find reason and comfort when left alone at home or separated from his original family members. The symptoms are more than the usual whining when you are gone or some shenanigans while you are away. If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, he may lose his appetite and become completely stressed out and aloof over time.
Everything from abandonment to changing ownership and fear of being left alone is one of the most common causes of separation anxiety in dogs. In order to find a relevant solution, you need to understand what is triggering your dog’s anxiety. This condition often manifests itself in easily identifiable behaviors. Once you notice some changes in their moods and behaviors, don’t wait another day to create a plan of action. If the symptoms are mild, here are some natural remedies to start.
Offer special treats
Give your dog a special surprise every time you go to help brighten his mood. It can be a cute plush toy or a delicious treat new to their taste. Only give them this particular treat when you are about to leave and while you are away. Once home, it’s time to take this treat away from your dog to make him feel like a rarity. So the next time you leave your dog at home, he will be looking forward to the same surprise you gave him before. The anxieties they feel when you are about to leave can be replaced by feelings of excitement over these little surprises.
Training and mental stimulation
During playtime with your dog, teach him a new trick or any other interactive game that challenges his mind. This way helps to distract their attention from what is causing the fear. You can take them to the park, let them explore new things, and meet new people and other pets. This method helps relieve your dog’s separation anxiety, especially when it develops out of boredom.
Doing physical activities and training sessions with your dog is essential to help boost his cognitive abilities and his fitness. It also serves as a quality moment together, something that many anxious dogs crave after being alone for a few hours or days.
A CBD-infused diet
CBD pet foods are revolutionizing the pet welfare industry due to their many potential benefits. CBD (cannabidiol) is a natural substance known for its relaxing properties, which many pet owners find useful in managing their pet’s mood and behavior. Remember to consult your veterinarian first to make sure this will not affect the effectiveness of other medications your pet may be taking.
According to a 2017 study, music therapy can have beneficial effects for both humans and our four-legged friends. The sweetness and relaxing vibe of music can help soothe your dog’s noise sensitivity by blocking out loud and spooky street noises. Researchers are looking at different breeds of dogs with different genres of music. The result shows that reggae, soft rock and classical music are the most effective. Be sure to consider what your dog likes, as individuals have distinct preferences.
If you’re a little worried that long playing music could hurt your dog’s ears, there are ways to control it while you’re traveling or at work. You may have the power to manage your playlist, feed your dog, and even interact with him on the other side of the world through your smartphone. All you need to do is install a home automation system that includes a camera, giving you access to your home and your pet from virtually anywhere.
Sometimes a simple hug is what your pet needs to stay calm and collected. To them, there is probably nothing more comforting than the touch of their owner. One of the best ways to ease a dog’s anxiety is to give them the love and affection they need. If they seem a bit lonely and terrified, try picking them up and showering them with kisses and hugs. However, if their emotions are not distracted by physical contact, it may be best to contact your vet for advice.
Key points to remember
Separation anxiety can negatively impact your dog’s quality of life, as well as yours. Our dogs are so important to us, but there will be inevitable occasions when we will have to leave them for a little while. If it seems a little difficult for your dog to see you go, try one of our natural solutions above and see what a difference they could make.