Your Dog's Coming Separation Anxiety


During quarantine many people have fostered or adopted or bought new pets for companionship, and developed deep, meaningful relationships.

What happens when you split up, as in when you go back to work? Before you leave, prepare, suggests Trupanion, the leader in medical insurance for pets. They've put together this following list of suggestions:

Practice and desensitize

When leaving and returning home, it's important to keep it a very neutral and low-key experience for your dog. Petting them and giving them excessive amounts of attention before leaving or when you get home will only cause them to notice your absence that much more.

Desensitize your pet to cues you are leaving - grab your keys, put on your shoes and coat at various times of the day without actually leaving. If your dog has any cues that you are about to leave, be sure to practice those to desensitize your dog to your behavior.

Start practicing by leaving the house for very short periods of time. Be sure to keep the whole experience very low-key. Leave for 30 seconds and then return. Increase that time to 1 minute, 5 minutes, 15 minutes, etc. Vary the times to confuse your pet and show him that regardless of how long you're gone, you will still return.

Prepare your pet

Only give attention on your terms.

Exercise them before leaving to help reduce anxiety

Preparing your house

Leave a TV or radio on to fill the void of a now quiet house.

They also may enjoy the distraction of a favorite enrichment toy and, of course, snacks.

Consider your options

If your pet is comfortable with the crate, crate training may be a good place to start to keep your pet in a comfortable environment where they won't have access to chew up your possessions.

You might consider hiring a pet sitter or taking your dog to daycare a few times per week.

If you are still having troubles with separation anxiety, we recommend contacting a dog trainer with expertise in this area.

photos courtesy of getty images

Golden retriever dog rolling around on a bed

Golden retriever dog rolling around on a bed