As a dog owner, dealing with separation anxiety in dogs and distress can sound like a daunting task. When you become a dog parent, you never even think about the potential behavioral issues that might arise and the thought of having a dog that struggles with anxiety almost seems slightly absurd. The reality is, though, that at one point or another during your life of being a doggy parent, you are going to have to deal with issues and one of the most common is learning how to correctly and effectively treat separation anxiety.
Just like raising a child, everyone has different styles of parenting when it comes to their dog’s behavior. Some people prefer to crate train their dogs, so they get used to being in a safe place when you are not home, while others believe that separation anxiety is due to a lack of mental stimulation or exercise. However, despite the fact that everyone has their own preferences when it comes to treating severe separation anxiety, distress, destructive behavior, and other problems in dogs—even for short periods—they all have one thing in common: the desire to overcome it.
Here are some of the most effective ways of naturally helping your dog to overcome separation anxiety of your pet (sometimes severe cases), so you can feel completely at ease when you have to leave him home alone.
STEP 1: Decide on a Strategy and Method
The very first thing you need to do is to determine whether or not the unusual behavior or distress increases right about the time you are getting ready to go out, or even better, while you are out. This is so you can pinpoint if your pup is acting out due to separation anxiety or if there is something else going on. If you are concerned, then you should contact your vet and schedule a check-up.
Once you have been given the all-clear, it’s time to create a strategy that you feel comfortable with. The most important thing to take into account when it comes to treating separation anxiety in dogs is that you have to be consistent and you need to have patience. You won’t necessarily see an improvement overnight, but stick with it and before too long things will get better.
STEP 2: Create a Safe Place
As humans, when we feel alone or panicked, we will automatically seek refuge in our safe place. Some people will retreat to their man caves for long periods while others will seek comfort in their favorite chair and many people instantly start to feel better when they are snuggled up in bed with their favorite pajamas on. If your dog doesn’t currently have its own bed, feeding area or toys, then understandably she could feel unsettled.
To create a safe space for your pup, find a cozy and warm corner where you can lay down a few blankets that have your scent on them to reassure her when you aren’t there. Many people are massive advocates of crate training, as it not only keeps your dogs out of trouble when unsupervised, it can actually be beneficial for their safety.
If you do choose to look into crate training, please make sure that you seek professional guidance to ensure you do it right, or it could backfire. You can find plenty of free information online, or by watched TV shows like Cesar Milan’s “The Dog Whisperer.” If you have made a decision not to crate your pup while you are out or turn to an animal behaviorist, then you can hide the CBD dog treats around the house to keep your dog entertained with a game of hide-and-seek!
Step 3: Natural CBD Treats
Cannabinoid-based products are appearing in media headlines every day, thanks to therapeutic capabilities. With so many people starting to take CBD oil to alleviate a range of illnesses and issues like anxiety, CBD dog treats have also become extremely popular over recent years. The healing treats have been proven to significantly decrease the symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs, as well as having a range of positive benefits such as:
- Soothes and alleviates anxiety
- Reduces nervous or hyperactive behavior
- Treats epilepsy and seizures
- Relieves pain
- Effectively treats arthritis
- Better immune system
- Promotes organ health
Step 4: Doggie Cinema
Many dog owners report that their dog is less anxious and displays fewer problem behaviors such as destructive chewing when left alone if they have some background noise to keep them company. And while it might sound a little ridiculous, leaving the TV or radio on while your dog is alone can help her to feel less alone. The next time you are getting ready for a night out, try putting on a movie as “treatment” that will distract and entertain your dog, allowing you to enjoy your evening without the fear of coming home to chaos and destruction.
Helping your dog to overcome separation anxiety is not only going to allow your dog to have a well-balanced approach to life, but it will also benefit you as an owner. And if you want to successfully treat separation anxiety for good, then it is important to create a routine and stick to it.
The good thing about natural medicines like CBD treats is that they can be used alone or in conjunction with any other method you choose. CBD is pretty much the only natural remedy that will allow you to see positive improvements fast and the fact that there are so many other benefits means that your dog’s overall health will improve.
Separation anxiety in dogs will progressively get worse over time, which is why it is so important to take action as soon as you notice that something is awry. And as responsible dog owners, we should always approach the methods we choose with love and care, as changes won’t happen overnight—patience and persistence is a key factor in ensuring that you are reinforcing a bond with your dog that is based on discipline and trust.
This article by Jennifer is originally published at FOMO Bones.
Author bio: Jennifer is the voice behind the FOMO Bones blog. She’s pretty sure in her past life, she was a Great Dane. However, we peg her as more of a labrador. Regardless of her breed, she’s a dog enthusiast who has 15 years experience training dogs and owners.