Dog anxiety and how to tell if your dog is lonely when he`s home alone!
Dog anxiety is a real thing and it can become a serous problem. While most of us dog owners would love nothing more than to spend every waking minute hanging with our pups, for 9-to-5, that is usually not an option. When you see that all-too-familiar baleful look when you leave for the office, it is only natural to assume that your dog is lonely. Unfortunately, our doggies can not just come out and say how they are feeling. So how can you tell if your dog is lonely while you are away from them? Your pup will make it pretty clear when you have a real problem on your hands.
Behavior to watch for:
While “loneliness” is a really common human emotion, it might not exactly translate for dogs anxiety or distressed by their owner’s absence, explains Shelby Semel. She is a senior trainer and founder of Shelby Semel Dog Training.
“I believe dogs are more likely to be bored, anxious or just stressed than ‘lonely,’” Semel tells. “They may bark, whine, pace, howl, also try to escape and/or sleep by the front door waiting for your return”.
Pet owners should keep an eye out for these types of behaviors, but try not to become too much of a helicopter parent for their furbaby. “If your dog looks relaxed and takes a nap while you are away and is not entertaining themselves by playing with toys or is eating, that is not a real reason for concern,” Semel says. “That behavior is not categorized as being lonely or unhappy, but is most likely a sign of them resting”.
It is very important to understand the signs of loneliness and dog anxiety so you can figure out how to help your little buddy. Every dog is different, and some are more likely to experience those symptoms than others.
Dogs who are very attached to their owners or who experienced significant trauma, such as a recent move or a transition from a shelter to a home, may have more trouble being left alone, Semel explains.
Train your pup to be alone
How long is actually too long to leave a pup by themselves? There is no hard and fast rule for this amount of time, so pet owners need to take into account how long their dog is able to hold their bladder and also rest comfortably.
Alone time training should start as soon as you bring your pup home, Semel advises. “For a typical puppy, I suggest 1-2 hours to start with. Then slowly extend the time they can be left alone longer as they get a bit older,” Semel says. “An important point to note is to make sure your dog has had an adequate level of exercise before he is alone, as this can help your dog being left alone for long stretches of time”.
Make sure your pup is comfortable before leaving
“I suggest plenty of exercises before the dog is home alone,” Semel says. “Make sure they have a very high-value chew or a toy that they can keep busy with for a while”.
Setting the vibe at home may also be comforting to a stressed out dog. “Leaving on classical music or any type of calming music and a lavender plug-ins can also be very helpful,” Semel explains.
Talk to your vet
If signs of stress and anxiety continue, dog owners should discuss additional techniques with their primary vet. “If you suspect your dog is more sensitive to separation anxiety, there are safe and also natural calming supplements available. You should make sure to discuss your options with your vet,” Semel suggests.
Don not let this issue get out of hand
If you believe your pup is suffering, don not let it go on too long. Semel advises investing in a baby monitor to check in on your dog regularly when you are not home. “With this modern technology, most baby monitors also offer an app. It allows you to have easy accessibility to monitor your dog even from your mobile phone”.
Of course, no one wants their dog to be upset when your away from home. There is absolutely nothing wrong with becoming a stay-at-home pup parent.