Summer vacations are over and it’s back to school or work. We all have to get back to the old routine, including our pets.
Some dogs will miss the action and the company and will begin showing signs of separation anxiety. They may act out their feelings with unacceptable behavior such as urinating and defecating in the house, chewing themselves or your favorite items (giving them a feeling of contact with you), inappropriate barking, depression or any other behavior problems.
Since medical problems can manifest themselves in behavior changes, take your dog to the veterinarian for a checkup. If all is well medically, then your can train your do to accept the situation.
Dogs need some activity, even couch potatoes and some dogs thrive on having jobs to do. Physical exercise can reduce the stress your dog may be feeling.
Work can mean a brisk walk for at least half an hour, chasing a ball and playing catch in the backyard, a run at a dog park, practicing training routines, anything that can keep a dog active. Exercise provides physical and mental stimulation and can tire your dog enough so that s/he is not anxious when family members leave the house.
Make leaving your dog a pleasant experience for him/her. There are lots of toys and puzzles available where treats can be hidden and your dog will be kept busy trying to get at them. You can scatter a few treats around the house before leaving. This will help relieve your dog’s stress at being left behind.
Dogs like to have regular schedules, so keep to a routine as much as possible.
Check our article, “Dealing with Separation Anxiety in Dogs” for more ideas.