Dogs are our best friends. These furry friends are loyal, affectionate, and sweet. Pamper them and they’ll treat you like a master. Love them and they’ll love you back a hundred times more. Earn their trust and they are yours for life.
So it isn’t surprising that separation anxiety is one of the most common behavioral problems in dogs. If you have a dog, there's a chance that your pooch is experiencing separation anxiety. Each time you leave home for work, your overly attached mutt freaks out and worries when you’re coming back.
Remember that picture of a dog looking at a window, waiting for its owner to return? Separation anxiety in dogs is real, and it’s a serious problem that too many pet owners ignore.
There are different dog separation anxiety solutions. To implement them properly, it's important that you understand the symptoms first.
What are the symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs?
Nobody wants to be alone, and even dogs detest loneliness. Symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs include:
- constant barking, howling, whining
- chewing or digging
- door scratching
- urinating or defecating indoors
- pacing or circling
If your pup gets too excited when you get home and follows you everywhere in the house, then your dog has separation anxiety.
When overlooked, separation anxiety in dogs can result to torn shoes, damaged furniture, and broken home appliances. Severe cases include self-injury or aggressive behavior around people and will require prescribed dog separation anxiety medications.
Which dog breeds suffer from separation anxiety?
Dog separation anxiety isn’t really exclusive to specific breeds, but it is more common in some breeds than others. Breeds known to be “people-dogs” as well as gun dogs seem to be at higher risk. Both are used to spending a lot of quality time with their family, whether at home or out hunting.
If you’re looking to add a new pup to your life, keep in mind that these breeds are more prone to developing separation anxiety than others:
- Labrador Retriever
- German Shepherd
- Australian Shepherd
- Cocker Spaniel
- Bichon Frise
- Toy Poodle
- German Shorthaired Pointer
- Border Collie
How to help a dog with separation anxiety
So how to treat separation anxiety in dogs? Since it’s impossible for you to stay at home all the time, there are dog supplies that can help calm an anxious dog. You don’t want things to get worse.
Curing separation anxiety quickly is unlikely, so get patient. You might need to experiment with different supplies from the list.
1. Swaddling Jacket
Swaddling jackets work like swaddling clothes for babies. These calming garments use gentle pressure to relieve pet anxiety.
The ThunderShirt is an example of an effective dog swaddle. Studies show that pressure wraps can promote relaxation and reduced anxiety in animals, particularly dogs.
Nothing beats a good old toy for an anxious mutt. They’re effective, cheap, and available in stores. Some of the common toys for dogs with separation anxiety are chew bones, treats, bully sticks, and puzzles.
KONG dog toys are probably the best dog separation anxiety toys. Stuff it with your dog’s favorite treat, and this will keep your pooch busy for quite some time.
Remember that dogs love toys that squeak. Offer toys when you leave the house and hide them as soon as you return home. It’s a healthy distraction while you’re away that will help you avoid dog anxiety medicines in the future.
3. Pet Radio
This is one of the simple but often overlooked dog separation anxiety solutions. Turn up the music when you leave the house to keep your dog engaged. Dogs enjoy “species-specific” music that produce unique pitches, tones, and tempos.
Pet radios like Pet Acoustics are pre-loaded with music specifically made for canines. These songs have been digitally modified to emit different frequencies with varying decibels, which is why they are calming for dogs.
4. Calming Supplements
Made from herbs, these supplements are natural dog anxiety solutions and a satisfying non-sedative snack. They are available as chewable tablets, water additives, or bone-shaped treats and help calm pups without the nasty side effects.
We’ve heard numerous success stories about the use of natural home remedies for dog anxiety such as chamomile, lemon balm, valerian, skullcap, and echinacea. However, dogs can respond differently, so consult your veterinarian when in doubt.
Another effective resource for dog anxiety treatment is aromatherapy. Essential oils include lavender, cedarwood, bergamot, vetiver, chamomile, ylang ylang flower, clary sage, and sweet orange.
Some fragrances are said to produce neonatal pheromones, reminding dogs of their mothers and reducing anxiety. Just spray a diluted mixture of water and oil on your dog’s fur - don’t apply the straight oil directly to their skin.
6. Pet Camera
Pet cameras like the Petcube Play cure dog separation anxiety by letting you see, talk to, and play with your pup. Download the Petcube app on your phone to interact with your furry buddy. Dog cameras are the latest breakthrough in pet care.
These pet monitors feature 1080p HD video, 2-way audio, night vision, 3x digital zoom, and a built-in laser toy. There’s also Petcube Bites which is a Wi-Fi pet cam with a built-in treat dispenser. You can use it to fling calming treats to your dog or just to remotely treat and reward your pooch for good behavior.
Petcube products are designed for pet parents to always be close to their pets. With 1080p HD video, night vision, and cloud video history, you can monitor and interact with your pets anytime, anywhere. Chat and play laser tag with Petcube Play. Treat and train your pet with Petcube Bites.