As school kicks off for students and teachers alike, families everywhere are working on getting accustomed to the school year schedule. This may be an easy switch for the humans in your family, but have you ever considered how the family dog will feel about the seemingly sudden change in schedule?
Approximately 15% of dogs in America suffer from some form of separation anxiety. When their normal routines are interrupted or changed and the humans are away for a longer, unanticipated amount of time, your pal could get very lonely or feel great distress as he misses you or the kids and waits for your return in the quiet and empty house. You might find that your pup exhibits certain signs of separation anxiety in chewing furniture, ripping out the stuffing in your pillows, pottying in the house, shredding paper, or even by barking, howling, or whining for extended periods of time.
Don’t worry! While separation anxiety is a serious condition, it can be managed with structure, understanding, and patience. If your buddy suffers from separation anxiety, try these 5 handy tips to help allay his fears!
Make Her Feel Safe – Start the road to betterment by tapping into one of your buddy’s natural instincts – denning. A wild dog’s den is his home, a place to retreat and sleep, hide from danger, and raise a family. A crate can become your dog’s den and give him an ideal, cozy spot for him to take a nap when you’re gone. You can also consider using a Thundershirt or some other tight-fitting garment to help soothe your buddy if he is particularly anxious.
Keep It Casual – It’s so very tempting to want to love on our dogs and kiss them all over their cute heads when we have to go, but doing so can be quite detrimental to the dog. You may even confuse her into thinking that you aren’t coming back. Avoid this by keeping your arrivals and departures casual, and teach your kids to do the same. You can also help further by jingling your keys periodically or jiggle the doorknob without actually leaving the house. Your buddy will soon stop associating these actions with being left alone.
Consider turning on the television or radio for your dog when you leave. The background noise will help your pup feel like she’s not totally alone.
Exercise Him – Think about how you feel when you go for a nice long walk or an invigorating swim. You probably feel accomplished, happy, and on top of the world, right? Your furry friend is no exception! Fido adores taking walks, especially with you, so try to exercise him, walk him, or play with him before leaving in the morning. Doing so will help him become more relaxed.
Keep Her Occupied – Before you leave in the morning for school (or for work), give your buddy some fun, sturdy, interactive toys to keep them from getting bored. Alleviating boredom can help curb any destructive behaviors your dog might exhibit if she has separation anxiety. A few favorite toys or a fun Kong ball filled with easy-to-eat, tasty treats will do nicely!
Consider Doggie Daycare – Dogs crave companionship, and they especially love getting quality time with their masters. If you find that you’ll be gone for long portions of the day regularly, consider bringing your four-legged friend to doggie daycare instead of letting her sulk alone at home. She’ll get to interact with other dogs and get some exercise and playtime in, too, making the time without you fly by!
We at BauserHaus understand that your schedule can be a very busy one, especially as the new school year begins. When you drop your kids off to school, why not drop your pup off at BauserHaus as well? While no one can ever replace you as the owner, our doggy caretakers interact with all the dogs at our facilities and help them to feel more at ease while you’re gone. Your dog will become familiar with the stable staff members here at BauserHaus and will want to come back for more playtime whenever you can’t be around. Call (314) 961-3911 or visit us online at www.bauserhaus.com to learn all about us!