Separation Anxiety in Dogs and Cats
Every pet has a personality. Learning to decode your pet’s actions and moods is an art, but there are certain behaviors common to dogs and to cats which can give you enormous insight into how they’re feeling. Watching out for the signs of anxiety or stress will help keep your pets happy and healthy. And remember, it’s not always their behavior that needs to change – it could be yours!
Tips to reduce separation anxiety
- Be calm and maintain low key departures and arrivals. For instance, when you arrive home, you should ignore your dog for several minutes or until he or she calms down. The key is to not reward your dog’s anxious behavior.
- Leave a toy stuffed with food. It’s important to not only reserve this type of toy for times you are leaving. Doing so could allow your dog to associate the toy with your absence, and further increase their anxiety.
- Leave behind an item of yours that has your scent, such as a sleeping shirt.
- Help your dog release built up energy with daily exercise.
- Crate training shouldn’t only be used for when you are away. Encouraging your dog to use the crate when you are home can help your dog become comfortable using it.