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Anyone who owns a dog you know how hard it can be to leave them on their own – those pleading eyes, the sad expression and the "take me with you" look can leave you feeling a bit of a "meanie" at times. However, once you've made sure your pet has everything they need to keep them happy and you shut the door, most dogs will settle down and snooze – but some of our canine friends do not. They stress out and get incredibly anxious when left on their own – even for shorter periods of time and this can lead to all sorts of unwanted behavioural problems!
Separation anxiety can be a real issue for some dogs. Some of our four-legged canine friends show they are extremely distressed in many different ways whether it's barking or whining, becoming destructive or regressing back to the days when they were puppies and some even lose control of their bladders when they think they are going to be left on their own. This leads to them chewing and scratching at doors, furniture and anything else they come across when they are left to their own devices.
If you have just got a puppy or adopted an older dog from a rescue centre, you may find they get very stressed out when they think they are going to be left on their own. With puppies, it's important they get used to be left for short periods of time which you should include in their training programme. If you do go out you might like to leave puppy in a room and not allow them to have free run of the house like this you limit the chances of them getting into trouble and injuring themselves on anything when you are not around.
However, if you've adopted a new canine friend and they suffer from separation anxiety, there are certain things you can do to make the ordeal less stressful for them (and you). You have to bear in mind that nothing will happen overnight – you will need a lot of time and quite a bit of patience and understanding especially if you find your new pet has been a little naughty or had an accident in your absence.
Some top tips you can include in your routine that might help your dog deal with separation anxiety include the following:
Dealing with separation anxiety in dogs can be very stressful for owners too. You need to show your pet a lot of patience and understanding and never tell them off if they have been naughty or had an "accident" during your absence because they will not understand why they are being punished. You have to remember that nothing will happen overnight, that it will take time for your pet to come around to the idea that they are safe even when you are not around.
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