Home Alone: How to Ease Your Pet’s Separation Anxiety.
What is separation anxiety and how does it manifest? Separation anxiety is a marked distress that occurs only in the absence of the owner. Signs and symptoms include excessive panting, hyperventilation, withdrawal, pacing around the home and/or extreme levels of panic such as self-trauma caused by trying to escape.
This can be extremely worrisome for any pet parent, especially for those who are returning to work post-covid. During the pandemic pets have happily adapted to having their parents around all the time. Here are some tips that can help alleviate separation anxiety.
Provide Proper Exercise We know that daily exercise helps alleviates anxiety in humans, and this is the same for pets. As the saying goes a tired dog, is a happy dog. How much exercise should dogs get?
A general rule of thumb is that dogs should get between 30 minutes to 2 hours of exercise per day depending on their breed.
Here’s a quick guide:
Small breeds such as Shih Tzus and Chihuahuas require moderate exercise for 20-30 minutes per day.
Sight Hounds such as Wolfhounds, Whippets and Greyhounds require a moderate paced walk of 35-45 minutes per day.
Giant Breeds such as Great Danea, Newfoundlanders and Saint Bernards require moderate exercise. Two 30-minute walks per day will help reduce bone and joint disease.
Sporting breeds ( Labrador Retrievers, Poodles and Setters), Working Breeds ( Huskies, Rottweilers and Dobermans) and Herding Breeds (Collies, Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs) require 60-120 minutes moderate to high exercise per day.
Brachycephalic dogs such as Bulldogs and Pugs require very little exercise because they are prone to overheating. 20-30 minutes per day broken down into small sessions is sufficient. Soothing Sounds
Certain types of sounds can help alleviate separation anxiety in dogs. Leaving a radio or television on can help a frantic dog calm down. Certain genres of music such as Reggae and Soft Rock are used in shelters to help relax dogs. Classical music may also help soothe an anxious dog. White noise produced by a static television, a fan or rainfall sounds are also proven to help reduce separation anxiety in pets.
Give Your Dog Something to Do Giving your dog a KONG stuffed with frozen peanut or any of your dog’s favorite high value food can help create a positive association with you leaving, thus reducing separation anxiety. It also acts as a distraction. Generally, separation anxiety will occur within the first 30 minutes of a dog being left alone. There are also several other products that can help keep your pets busy while you’re gone such as dog puzzles, treat dispensing balls and pet cameras. Check out our selection of interactive toys that can ease your dogs separation anxiety.
What has helped ease your pet’s separation anxiety? Let us know in the comment section!