If your dog follows you from room to room and panics when you leave them home alone, they may be suffering from separation anxiety. While it may be tempting to want to cuddle with your pup all day long to prevent their anxious behaviors, this will only make the problem worse in the long run.
Separation anxiety is a common problem among dogs, but fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to help your furry friend cope.
The first step is to try and figure out what is triggering your dog's anxiety. Is it when you put on your coat? Pick up your keys? Or maybe they start to get stressed as soon as you leave the house. Once you've identified the trigger, you can begin to work on desensitizing your dog to that particular action.
Start by putting on your coat or picking up your keys and then performing a series of calm activities such as reading a book or taking a phone call. Do this several times a day for a week or two until your dog no longer reacting anxiously to the trigger.
Once you've made progress with the trigger, you can begin working on leaving the house for short periods of time. Start by walking out the door and then coming back in after just a minute or two. Gradually increase the amount of time you're gone until you're able to leave for several hours without your dog becoming anxious.
It's important to keep in mind that desensitization takes time and patience. Avoid scolding your dog for their anxious behaviors as this will only make them more stressed. If you find yourself getting frustrated, it's best to take a break and try again later. With some time and effort, you should be able to help your dog cope with their separation anxiety.
If your dog has separation anxiety, don't despair—there are things you can do to help them cope. By desensitizing your dog to their triggers and gradually increasing the amount of time they're left alone, you can help reduce their anxiety levels and make being apart more manageable for both of you.
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