5 Ways To Deal With Separation Anxiety In Rescue Dogs
Separation anxiety is a common problem in rescue dogs, and it can make their lives miserable. If you are a rescue dog owner struggling with separation anxiety, this article is for you!
What is separation anxiety?
Separation anxiety happens when your dog panics because they feel alone or abandoned. The symptoms can be very obvious (you come home to destroyed carpets) or less obvious (your dog barks at everything all day long). Dogs of any age can develop separation anxiety, regardless of whether they were taken away from their parents too early (where some people think the cause originates) or not.
Symptoms of separation anxiety include:
Looking out the window or door every time you leave the house
Craving attention from you whenever you are home (pestering you for constant petting or a game)
Chewing, licking, or scratching at doors and windows when left alone (sometimes resulting in injury)
Destroying objects like carpets, walls, even furniture when left alone (this could be caused by nervous energy too)
Seeking your attention by whining or barking nonstop whenever you’re gone
Many dogs get used to these symptoms over time. However, if your dog has any of these behaviors on a regular basis, it is possible they have some form of separation anxiety.
What should you do if this describes your dog? Keep reading!
1. Create a new routine
Our first tip for dealing with separation anxiety is to create a new routine where you come and go more often . The goal is to get your dog used to you coming and going so they don’t feel abandoned or stressed when you leave. In other words, allow them to realize that just because you’re gone doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world!
When you leave the house in the morning before your dog wakes up (or even better—at night after everyone has fallen asleep). Don’t worry about what time exactly—as long as it’s early enough not to disturb your dog.
Come back home before your dog gets too worked up about you leaving. Keep doing this until they have an idea of what happens when you leave and come back. You should try to gradually increase the time between each “practice” session over time, but take it slowly—don’t just drop everything in one day!
If your schedule doesn’t allow for this routine, then start with quick trips out of sight (as if you’re heading to work or school). Your dog will probably get somewhat anxious at first since they haven’t had a chance to get used to your new pattern yet. But with practice, they’ll learn that life goes on even when you’re not around.
2. Reward calm behavior
In addition to creating a new home routine, it’s important that you reward your dog when they are calm and quiet for long periods of time. This can be as simple as giving them their favorite pet treat or letting them play with their favorite toy. Keep in mind that dogs don’t always need to be rewarded with food — sometimes a gentle pat on the head will do!
Many rescue dogs come from abusive homes where they were punished each time they did something “wrong.” Because of this, many of these dogs struggle with feeling loved or being able to relax because they’re afraid you’ll hurt them if they misbehave .
To help alleviate this fear, we recommend taking the time to find out what your dog loves. Try giving them a treat every time they sit, stay by the door, or even just look at you. You can also tie their leash to your belt loop so that no matter where they go on walks, they’ll have to walk right next to you (that’s if they’re okay with this). These kinds of little things will not only help your rescue dog feel more loved and at home in their new environment, it will also help alleviate any tension between the two of you.
3. Clean up accidents quickly
Dogs with separation anxiety are prone to “accidents” because they’re too anxious about being alone to wait for a chance to relieve themselves outside . This is why our second tip for dealing with dog’s separation anxiety is very important—clean up any “accidents” as soon as you can.
Accidents happen regardless, but when you leave your dog at home for too long, they may not be able to hold it until you come back. To avoid this, make sure they always have easy access to water and a place to do their business outside (away from food and bedding). If necessary, keep the house extra warm or put down a tarp sheet on cold days so that your dog can relieve themselves without having to step into frozen grass.
When accidents do occur inside the house, clean up any messes with an enzymatic cleaner like Nature’s Miracle . This will help remove any odors left behind so your dog doesn’t keep returning to that spot.
4. Remove possible triggers from the environment (food, bedding).
If your dog has severe separation anxiety, then they probably have an extra strong attachment to objects like food bowls or beds. They see these things as being essential in life and taking them away can trigger a lot of anxiety . So if you’re dealing with a rescue dog who seems to be nervous about being left alone, take the time to put all these items out of their reach (ideally outside). If that’s not possible, try moving them into another room where it’ll be harder for them to find them on their own.
5. Agree on an appropriate time limit for being left alone in your dog’s first few weeks with you.
If you have a dog who seems particularly anxious about being left alone (due to past abuse, for example), then it’s okay to agree with your friends and family member that the dog shouldn’t be left alone for longer than an hour or two and they can keep your dog for a few hours while you are away. This might not seem like a big deal right now, but you don’t want your once-reactive dog to develop even more anxiety because they’ve been forced to spend too much time alone!
CBD Oil For Dog Anxiety
It’s also important to note that CBD oil is one of the best ways to treat separation anxiety in dogs . You can buy CBD Oil here, and it doesn’t need a prescription. Just make sure you speak to your vet before starting your dog on any new supplements or medication!
In the end, we hope that this blog post has provided you with 5 methods for dealing with dog separation anxiety. Keep in mind that it takes time for dogs to get used to new situations (and sometimes they never do). So be patient, and let your pooch grow into the fantastic companion you’ve always wanted!