It is no secret that dogs are often described as man’s best friend. They earn this title due to their loyalty and often unbreakable bond to their owners. The downside to this relationship is that sometimes a dog develops separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is just what it sounds like–a dog develops anxiety and becomes upset when they must be separated or alone without their guardians or people they are attached to.
Separation anxiety often takes the form of destruction in the home, excessive vocalization, and inappropriate elimination. Separation anxiety has been a topic of concern even more recently with the many Covid-19 pandemic adoptions. Throughout the pandemic, many have sought the companionship of pets to help them navigate the feelings of living with Covid-19 restrictions and quarantines. Unfortunately, with owners returning to work post-pandemic, the schedule change is triggering many dogs to have separation anxiety.
One of the best ways to help separation anxiety is to build a strong relationship with your pet by training and helping them to be more independent during the hours you are together. Our best suggestion is always to consult a trainer when you are seeing extreme behaviors in your dog that affects their happiness and well-being. But here are a few suggestions for helping to manage separation anxiety:
Maintain ambient noise in your home while you are gone. Recently, Amazon’s Audible.com and Cesar Milan’s Dog Psychology Center performed a study on 100 volunteer dogs. The results of the 28-day study found that listening to audiobooks can make your dog calmer and happier when you’re away.
Other sound therapy ideas include making a recording of your voice and having it repeatedly play throughout the day, playing music, or leaving the television on.
Dogs perceive the world through a sense of smell that is hundreds of times keener than our own. Keeping your smell close to your dog can offer a sense of relief. This can be done by leaving an article of clothing or item that smells like you near your dog while you are gone.
CBD therapy has become increasingly popular in the past few years. There is still much research to be done on the benefits of CBD, but initial research is very promising.
CBD is thought to interact with your dog’s endocannabinoid system and help restore a sense of wellbeing and emotional balance. This can be very useful if your dog is in a stressful situation. As always, before beginning any new medication or diet, please consult with your veterinarian first.