Friday, May 5, 2017

How to Help Quell Dog Separation Anxiety

If you have a dog that whines, barks and suffers from anxiety here are a couple of things you can try
to alleviate it. Being dog dads, we've tried a lot of things.
  If you didn't know, when you adopt a dog, or move to a new residence, those can trigger the development of separation anxiety. Eventually they calm down.
Here are some things we have done to help and some additional ones from the ASPCA:

1) Leave the Radio or TV on - noise makes the dogs feel like they're not alone. 
2) Get a larger stuffed animal, like a child's toy, that resembles a dog and put it in their bed.
3) Put a piece of your clothing in their bed, so they are surrounded by your scent (when you leave).
4) 1 hour before leaving, give a benadryl (1/2 under 50 pounds, 1 50 pounds and over) to make them groggy. They'll be more likely to sleep or bark less when you do leave.
5) Offer your dog a puzzle toy stuffed with food that will take him at least 20 to 30 minutes to finish. Like a  KONG® stuffed with treats and then spray cheese or spread low-fat peanut butter over the opening. If you FREEZE it beforehand, it takes a LOT LONGER to get to the treats. 
 (Remove these special toys as soon as you return home so that your dog only has access to them  when he’s by himself)
6) Gradually accustom a dog to being alone by starting with many short separations that do not produce anxiety. Then gradually increasing the duration of the separations over many weeks of daily sessions (recommended by the ASPCA).
7)  A good way to start reducing Anxiety- Grab the car keys and sit for an hour.  
A dog enjoying a Kong toy

Teach your dog that when you pick up your keys or put on your coat, it doesn’t always mean that you’re leaving. You can do this by exposing your dog to these cues in various orders several times a day—without leaving. For example, put on your boots and coat, and then just watch TV instead of leaving. Or pick up your keys, and then sit down at the kitchen table for awhile. This will reduce your dog’s anxiety because these cues won’t always lead to your departure, and so your dog won’t get so anxious when he sees them.

Here's the ASPCA website with more suggestions:

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next