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How to Deal with Puppy Separation Anxiety

How to Deal with Puppy Separation Anxiety

How to Deal with Puppy Separation Anxiety

Puppy Separation Anxiety
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It’s not uncommon for puppies to experience separation anxiety, leading them to feel highly distressed every time you leave the house. Since most puppies naturally seek close companionship with their human owners, they may exhibit undesirable behaviors if they haven’t learned to be comfortable alone. To address this issue, it’s essential to gradually accustom your puppy to being independent.

Keep in mind that most puppies aren’t emotionally prepared for complete unsupervised freedom in your home until they are at least a year-and-a-half old. If you must leave your puppy alone at home, you should take precautions, such as crate training them or creating a safe and secure area. Read on to learn more about puppy separation anxiety and effective ways to help your puppy overcome it.

Signs of Puppy Separation Anxiety

Signs of Puppy Separation Anxiety
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When your puppy experiences separation anxiety, specific behavioural changes may become apparent. Be attentive to the following signs, which could indicate separation anxiety:

    • Inappropriate urination or defecation within the house
    • Excessive barking or whining when left alone
    • Engaging in excessive chewing or displaying other destructive behaviours at home
        By recognising these signs early on, you can take appropriate steps to help your puppy cope with separation anxiety and create a more comfortable environment for them.

Helping a Puppy Cope with Separation Anxiety

Helping a Puppy Cope with Separation Anxiety
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Leaving your puppy behind while they cry at the door can tug at your heartstrings. But worry not, there are effective ways to assist your puppy in coping with separation anxiety. You can help your beloved puppy feel more at ease when you leave them alone by following these helpful tips and tricks.

• Establish a Consistent Routine for Your Puppy

Establish a Consistent Routine for Your Puppy
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Leaving and returning at the same time every day can help your four-legged family member adjust to your departures and reduce their separation anxiety. A consistent schedule will provide them with a sense of security and make the experience of being apart more manageable for your furry companion.

• Reward Your Puppy for Quiet Behaviour

Encourage your puppy’s quiet behaviour by offering calm praise and, if appropriate, a treat like a piece of kibble as a reward. Begin by leaving your puppy alone for short periods and gradually increase the time as they become more comfortable. While you’re at home, try to limit excessive attention, which can help reduce your puppy’s anxiety when you have to leave. Additionally, when your puppy lies quietly away from you, acknowledge their good behaviour with both treats and attention, further reinforcing their positive response to being alone.

• Schedule Exercise and Playtime for Your Puppy

Schedule Exercise and Playtime for Your Puppy
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Allocate a specific time each day for play and exercise with your puppy. Taking your puppy for a walk before you depart for the day can be a soothing routine. The exercise will tire your puppy out, leading to a nap, which presents an opportunity for you to leave. If your work schedule prevents you from walking your puppy, hiring a dog walker to give him a midday break can be beneficial. Ensuring ample playtime and exercise will contribute to a joyful and contented puppy.

• Play Music for Your Puppy

Leaving the TV or radio on for your puppy when you go out doesn’t make you crazy – it’s a thoughtful gesture. By playing music, leaving the TV on, or even tuning into an audiobook, you can offer your puppy engagement and distraction. The comforting sound of another human voice can also make your puppy feel less lonely during your absence. So, don’t hesitate to turn on some tunes and create a more soothing environment for your puppy.

• Provide Mental Stimulation for Your Puppy

Provide Mental Stimulation for Your Puppy
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Stimulate your puppy’s mind and reduce anxiety by introducing puzzle feeders and games. Each morning, pour half of his recommended daily food amount into the puzzle feeder, and then refill it in the evening. This will keep your puppy busy and mentally engaged throughout the day, providing a positive outlet for their energy and helping to alleviate feelings of anxiety.

• Remain Calm and Confident for Your Puppy

Prolonged farewells can intensify feelings of anxiety in your puppy. Instead, opt for brief goodbyes. If you find it challenging to resist a more extended farewell, offer plenty of petting and praise about 10 to 20 minutes before you leave. This will reassure your puppy and make it easier for you to leave without feeling guilty.

If unexpected situations leave you with no time for a walk or to set up a game, consider offering your puppy their favourite toy to keep them stimulated. By following these tips, you can effectively alleviate your puppy’s separation anxiety symptoms and help them feel more comfortable being home alone.

Signs of Serious Puppy Separation Anxiety

While it’s common for dogs, especially puppies, to exhibit minor whining or crying when left alone, true separation anxiety involves more severe and disruptive behaviours. These may encompass destructive actions such as tearing up the room, continuous barking and whining, or frequent housetraining accidents upon your departure. If you observe these signs in your puppy, it’s advisable to seek assistance from a qualified dog trainer or behaviour professional to address the serious separation anxiety effectively.

How to Deal with Puppy Separation Anxiety
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For any puppy, learning to be apart from their parents is a vital aspect of growing up, though it can be a challenging transition for some puppies. However, there’s no need to worry. With time, your puppy should gradually understand that spending time alone is nothing to fear. They will come to cherish the moment you return through the door as the best time of the day. Be patient and supportive during this process, and your puppy will develop the confidence to enjoy their moments of independence.

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