6 simple tricks to calming separation anxiety in your dog these holidays
Train your furry bestie to cope better when you’re away this festive season
December is here and with this festive month comes com well-earned time to relax on the beach or wherever you are going these holidays!
Of course, going away means leaving your furry family member behind. And if you have a dog that suffers from separation anxiety, then this might intensify when you go away for more than just a work day.
If your dog currently has separation anxiety, which means you come home from a long day at the office to a jumping, spinning whirlwind of a dog who follows you everywhere you go from the moment you get home, has chewed your shoes, and barked like crazy while you were away - then this blog post could help!
In nature, a dog will never separate from its pack, so when you leave, it sees this situation as incredibly stressful. In order to prepare your precious pooch for when you go away in the future, here are 6 simple hacks to easing separation anxiety:
1. Go walkies before you leave the house
Start your day off by spending time with your pooch and take him for a walk.
The more rigorous the walk, the calmer your dog will be when you leave. Then, when you get back home, give your dog a treat and some water to leave him in resting mode when you are out of the house.
2. Do not touch, talk or make eye contact when you get home (and before you leave)
When getting home, make sure you avoid all touching, eye contact and talking so as to not make a big deal about the fact that you are home. Just act as if nothing has changed and you have been there all day.
Depending on how severe the separation anxiety in your dog is, you might need to practice this rule for about 5 minutes to an hour before you leave for work and when you get home.
3. Say goodbye long before leaving
Many people have issues with the no touch, no talk and no eye contact rule. The best way to get around this is to say goodbye long before you leave the house.
Show your dog attention and affection about an hour before leaving. Bear in mind that this display of attention is for your sake and not your dog’s. You won’t hurt his feelings if you leave without saying goodbye.
4. Keep calm and assert your authority
When you are getting ready to leave for work, you might start to feel nervous and guilty. DON’T! Your dog can pick up on your emotions. Let your doggie know that nothing is wrong and everything is okay. Feel confident and be a pack leader.
5. Start small - leave your dog alone for 5 minutes and then increase this time
Start by leaving your furry bestie alone for five minutes. Then increase this to 20 minutes and then 60 minutes. Continue to increase this time and then your dog should get used to you not always being around.
6. Find a dog sitter your pooch likes
If you are going away and are having someone come in and stay at your home to look after your beloved Bruno, then let your dog ‘interview’ this person. Have this person come over and play with your dog, if your dog likes him or her, then Bruno’s separation anxiety will be more manageable.
7. BONUS TIP - get pet insurance
Before you go on holiday, the first thing you need to do is make sure you have pet insurance. Anything can happen to your dog (even when you are with him), so make sure he is covered for emergencies and even day to day care.
If you go with Oneplan, we pay you BEFORE you see the vet and let you go to any vet of your choice. So, if you are taking your precious pooch on holiday with you, then you will be covered at any vet across the country.
Happy holidays to all our pet-loving clients.
Yours in paws,