Dog Separation Anxiety – 6 Ways To Ease Your Dog’s Fears When You Go Out

Dogs are very social animals that don’t like being alone and if they haven’t learned how to cope with being left by themselves for short periods of times can  feel panic and intense distress at being left behind. They can act out through destructive behavior, crying, barking or howling. Behavior can range from minor like pacing and panting up to serious destruction of property.

The owner of a dog with separation anxiety can often come home to a soiled house, destroyed furniture and belongings or to upset neighbors who have been subjected to the noise. Owners can then make the problem worse by getting upset at the mess and yelling at the dog.

Note:  This is one of the many problems that can be solved quite easily with our top recommended training program The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan which can show you how to have a happy healthy dog using only positive training tactics.

Rescued Dogs Are More Likely To Develop Separation Anxiety

Dog Separation Anxiety is more common in dogs that have been rescued from the pound or were living rough or locked up for a lot of the time.

You can, of course, take some steps to save your property by choosing the least destructible area of your house to leave the dog, but that won’t do anything to ease his upset or to stop him barking a lot (if that is your particular problem). However, with some training and patience your dog can learn to be calm and content when you’re out.

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Dog Separation Anxiety – 6 Things That Can Help

  1. Before you go out make sure the dog has been well exercised. A good long walk will make him a calm and happy dog who may well lie down for a good long sleep and head off any separation anxiety before it begins.
  2. Some dogs feel safer being confined to a small space such as a crate or a small gated area while others prefer to be out in the backyard. If you decide to try dog crate training and your dog gets upset, just take him out again as it will only make things worse to try to force it.
  3. Sometimes placing his bed or crate where he can see the outside world will calm him, placing his bed by a glass door would be ideal.
  4. For a dog with separation anxiety, boredom is the enemy. Teach him a game like “Find it” – this is a game can play when alone. Just hide some bones or treats where he will be able to find them. Hide more if you plan to be out quite a long time.
  5. Another way to keep him busy is to give him lots of toys. Change them out occasionally so that he doesn’t lose interest. Toys that he can hunt, chase and chew will exercise his natural canine abilities and keep him busy for hours. (A favorite of my two dogs is a KONG ToySeparation Anxiety.)
  6. Leave on the radio or television or play soft, calming music. (But make sure to choose music that you also listen to when so your dog doesn’t make an association between your absence and the music.) Studies show that dogs relax to soft classical music and that can really help with dog separation anxiety.

Dog Separation Anxiety Books and Guides

Leaving your dog with another person or home alone can be very stressful for everyone involved (sort of like a new parent leaving their newborn baby with a sitter for the first time).
Luckily there are many great guides out there that are full of great strategies and tips on what to do when you have to leave your pet for any length time. Here are two highly recommended guides:

I'll be Home Soon: How to Prevent and Treat Separation Anxiety.

I’ll be Home Soon: How to Prevent and Treat Separation Anxiety.

by Patricia B. McConnell Ph.D.

Learn all you need to know about the signs and symptoms of dogs with real separation anxiety versus those who are just experiencing behavioral issues. I’ll Be Home Soon: How to Treat and Prevent Separation Anxiety includes 38 insightful pages packed with great ideas on how to treat minor to severe dog anxiety every time your dog is left “home alone”.

You’ll soon be able to leave your home feeling reassured that your house is safe and your dog is happy.

Don't Leave Me! Step-by-Step Help for Your Dog's Separation Anxiety

Don’t Leave Me! Step-by-Step Help for Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety

by Nicole Wilde

With over 100 pages of awesome advice and amazing tips on how to deal with separation anxiety in pets, you’ll quickly become an expert in many ways. No longer will you have to leave your house with feelings of worry.

You’ll read and learn about how to build your dog’s confidence, come up with creative solutions and how to incorporate step by step behavior modification protocols as well as use the aide of alternative therapies and pharmacological intervention when necessary. Don’t Leave Me is a valuable tool that owners with separation anxiety can greatly benefit from.

Watch this video for tips on treating mild case of Separation Anxiety:
Dog Separation Anxiety

Brenda

Hi, I'm Brenda, creator of Wee Woofters. I came up with the idea when I took over as doggie mom to two wee rescue dogs, Molly and Lucy. I had not looked after dogs before and spent hours researching about caring for them properly, so I wanted to provide a useful and comprehensive resource for other dog lovers and carers. Read more!

  • Shauna James

    Separation anxiety is one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with as a dog owner. And like resource guarding it’s one of those behaviors that creeps back up if not constantly managed.

    I love this post, it’s got great information. The Kong is exactly what I did and it’s worked very well.