If you got a puppy during lockdown, and now you’re going back to work full time, you could be experiencing the same thing as a lot of new dog owners: separation anxiety. Even if your dog is used to being left alone, he could have general anxiety, too, which causes stress for the whole family.
Anxiety in dogs can appear for lots of different reasons, and in today’s post, we will give you some practical solutions to helping your pooch get over their worries. These practices take time and patience to be successful – and if you need better support, contact a private trainer for more advice.
Here are 3 ways to calm your anxious dog!
Ease your dog into his new routine.
If you are going back to work after a period of working from home during the pandemic, you can’t expect your dog to be totally fine with this big shift.
To stop separation anxiety from happening, you need to ease your dog into the new routine. First, leave him alone for between five minutes and half an hour. Leave your phone or a nanny cam to record his reaction while you go out, then come back and observe his behaviour. If he reacts badly by howling, barking or being destructive, you need to do some training.
Next time you leave, just go for five minutes. Master the art of the five minute pop-out, and once your dog becomes accustomed to that and reacts calmly, you can extend this time. This can be a frustrating process, but it helps your dog to understand that leaving him alone isn’t a bad thing – and that you’ll always be back.
Show the dog that you are in charge.
Often, dogs become anxious because they feel they need to assume the role of pack leader and they don’t know how. If the dog doesn’t feel that you are in control of the situation, they might become worried and panic. To alleviate their anxiety, you need to step into the role of a calm leader.
How do you show leadership to a dog? Firstly, basic training is a good idea. Things like “go to your bed” and “sit” and “wait” are common ones for dogs to learn, and these basic commands can help the dog assume their role as a follower, not a leader.
Need more advice? Why not check out the Dog Whisperer on YouTube!
Make the dog’s environment calmer.
If your dog’s home environment is busy and stressful, it is hard for him to calm down. When you are preparing to leave the house, make sure to keep the environment calm and balanced so he doesn’t get over excited, which can turn quickly into anxiety.
You should leave the radio playing in the background, so your dog can hear human voices – they find this calming. You can also get a treat dispensing toy that is filled with cbd calming dog treats, so your dog’s mind is occupied – plus the CBD treats will calm him down too!
Want to calm your anxious dog? Use our guide to help you achieve harmony in your home!