Here are some great tips when dealing with Separation Anxiety
- Right off the bat—whether your dog’s steady or anxious—practice leaving and coming back for longer and longer periods of time. Working slowly will help your dog become accustomed to your absences. Consider engaging a professional trainer to help you get started.
- Dogs have stress indicators; learn to read them and how to respond. For example, if the dog starts to whine when you grab your keys or put on your coat, vary your departure cues. This may nip impending separation anxiety in the bud.
- Provide a safe place—a crate, a mat, a bed—where your dog can relax at home and have some independence.
- Develop a travel plan long before you need or want to leave town. Where will the dog stay when you’re away? Is this a dog who is happier in a room full of other dogs at a boarding facility, or does he prefer to be alone on his favorite couch at home?
- If you plan to keep your dog at home, will you have a pet sitter stay overnight? If not, how many visits will your dog need each day? What type of instructions do you need to impart?
- Whether you plan to board your dog or have a pet sitter come in, do your research as well as a test run (or two). The cost of a couple of days of care is more than repaid by the peace of mind you’ll have when you know that your furry companion is safe and comfortable without you.