How to Overcome Dog’s Separation Anxiety Issues? Use a Dog Blanket and Other Tricks!

dog separation anxiety issuesLike people, dogs can also have fears and anxieties. Although these issues might not be the same as the ones we experience, they still cause physical reactions and stress. The most common dog anxiety issues include travel anxiety, confinement anxiety (feeling confined and trapped), noise anxiety (fireworks, garbage trucks, thunderstorms…) and, of course, separation anxiety. Is there a way to prevent separation anxiety episodes to occur? We’ll give you several tips!

Veterinarians can prescribe anti-anxiety drugs which can calm your pet’s senses to some extent, but they aren’t a cure. Basically, drugs are temporary fixes, not the solution to the problem and you should treat the cause not the symptoms. So, drugs can be used, but only if the anxiety disorder is rather severe and if combined with other treatment processes.

So, how to resolve your pet’s underlying anxiety? It’s crucial to teach him to tolerate or even enjoy being left alone. One of the ways to achieve this is so-called counter-conditioning. It’s a treatment process which can reduce or resolve anxiety problem by changing your pet’s anxious, fearful or aggressive reaction to a relaxed and pleasant one. Counter-conditioning is done by associating the presence or sight of a disliked or feared situation, object, place, object or person with something a pet loves. Eventually, your dogs will learn that whatever they are anxious about in fact predicts positive things for them. In case of a separation anxiety, this treatment process should focus on developing an association between being left alone and, for instance, delicious food or a special toy. It’s crucial to remove these special foods and toys as soon as you come back home to let your dogs know that these things are accessible for them only when they are alone.

Finally, you know how your doggy likes to burrow, don’t you? Well, give your pet an opportunity to burrow by providing him a nice dog-blanket to help him feel safe and secure when you’re not around.