Recognizing Dog Separation Anxiety: Symptom and How to Calm A Nervous Dog
First of all, dogs are same with human and they do have intense emotion including fearful feeling especially facing with separation and anxiety. Dog ears is more sensitive to a wide range of low & high frequency of sound. Therefore, they may be easily triggered by sudden noise such as loud talking noise, car engine sound, fireworks and any high-pitch music. Apart of environment sound, Dog are prone to separation anxiety under a few circumstances such as moving to a new environment from shelter to new home and getting anxious when the owner travelling to work during the day time.
Another big concern for the dogs’ owners is separation anxiety which most of the fur-dads and fur-mums have gone through this tough experience with their pets previously. Having two dogs as each other companion might sound a good idea to overcome separation problem, there are also others approach to gradually overcome your dog’s fear when you are leaving home for work. Some of my friends told me normally they will have a routine affection bonding time with their dogs 15 minutes prior of leaving their house. On the others hands, if this way doesn’t work, you might do the opposite way which practice no eye contact, no interaction with your dog and leave quietly for work. If you aren’t favor of the two options above, try to gradually increase the separation time by leaving the door and come back in every 5 minutes until your dog getting used to it. The golden rule is always stay calm when you leave and return to home. This is to let your dog know that separation is on a routine & temporary term only.
Watch for your dog body language to identify if he develops any severe symptom of anxiety & fearful feeling. Below are some of the common signals of a nervous dog
- Excessive barking
- Urinating in the house
- Destructive / Self injury
Destructive behavior happens especially when separation anxiety occurs. Dogs will start to misbehave and destroy the shoes, carpet and any possible household items at the door entry points. For preventive measures, you may bring your dog for regular exercise to find ways for him to release the extra energy, become tired and happy. Some expert recommends a comfortable grooming and massage session will ease your dog tension and helps to relax their body muscle.
Alternatively, you may create a quiet sanctuary place with bedding, “low light” and “light music for your dogs. It will be their comfortable “hideout” place and your dog will feel safe from danger and stress when they stay at their sanctuary. It encourages calm behavior and boost up dog’s confidence.
Obedience training is one of the ways to helps your dog to handle fearful feelings. Incentivize them with their favorite snacks or play toy when they perform a task accordingly. Obedience training helps to establish a healthy relationship between the owner and its dogs as it builds trust and confidence within them.
If your dog has developed prolonged state of anxiety, it’s advisable to visit a vet for examination and the right treatment according to your dog health condition. In some cases, the vet will issue over-the-counter medication for treatment purposes