Separation anxiety is triggered when dogs become upset typically because they have been separated from their caretakers. Dogs with separation anxiety will bark, howl or display other distress behaviors typically within a short time of being left alone.
Fortunately there is help for anxious pets. First, it is important to rule out medical problems that can contribute to anxiety or anxious behavior. Speak with your vet to determine if an underlying medical condition is part of the cause.
There are also other behavioral issues that can resemble separation anxiety such as boredom, excitement urination, outside disturbances. If you have ruled out a medical condition or behavioral issue, then you may want to try other at home remedies to help soothe your anxious pet.
Gradual separation – stepping out of view for short periods can help desensitize your pet to your absence.
Exercise – exercising your pet before you leave can help tire him out so he will be more relaxed. Some vets recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic activity such as running or swimming to help your pet relax while you are gone
Busy bones or kong toys stuffed with treats, peanut butter or cheese can keep dogs busy while you are out
Soothing toys – there are several toys available that emit a low sound and can soothe a pet in distress
Television or radio – keep the TV or radio on when you leave so your pet will be less sensitive to every outside noise and it can help him feel that someone is in the home with him
Automatic treat feeders – an automatic treat feeder will help your pet focus more on his treats than you being gone and can help
Some or all of these strategies may or may not work for your elderly pet in distress. If these tactics do not work, your vet may recommend an anti-anxiety medication.
It is important that you not scold or punish your dog. Remember, your dog is acting out because he is trying to cope with the stress and anxiety of you being gone. Punishing him will make him more anxious and stressed. So be patient and try some of the strategies we have outlined to help your pet feel better when you are gone. And be sure to give him lots of love and affection when you return.
Some of the following products may help. We do not endorse or promote any of these products or companies. Products are listed for demonstration purposes only based on available information at the time of publication. You should always consult your vet to determine what is most appropriate for your pet.
Snuggle Puppy helps reduce negative behaviors such as whining and barking and can help pets transition to a new home or even reduce stress caused by fireworks or thunderstorms. Features a real feel pulsing heartbeat and heat pack to calm your pet.
The Kong classic dog toy can be stuffed with peanut butter, cheese, treats and more to help occupy your pet while you are away.
This camera is also a treat dispenser which has a 2-way audio and barking alert and barking sensor to let you know when your dog is barking and sends a push notification to your phone when it detects barking. You can talk with your pet and calm them down via the app and send them a treat when they relax.