Ultimately, what you’d want to set out to do is developing a measured connection with your dog in such a way, that it could manage to be by itself without acting out. But just to make sure, go to a vet in order to eliminate any possibility of pet anxiety being caused by a body ailment.
That would mean, checking for UTIs if your pooch is urinating in unfamiliar places. Then, besides all the other things we considered in the previous part of this series, give your pet regular physical activity as well as brain stimulus.
A dog is likely to feel more relaxed when it is exercised closer before its owner leaves. This is because the endorphins released as a result of the physical activity are high enough so that it won’t allow your dog to experience stress, even if it wants to as it sees you leaving.
A big issue when dealing with a pet’s separation anxiety is dealing with the owner’s own expression of anxiety. Your dog will just feed off that vibe for the worse. The key is to make you leave the house to seem like it’s no biggie.
If you’re emotionalizing each encounter, be it when leaving or coming back to your pet, you’re then making it harder to change your pooch’s negative behavior. Make the physical separation & encounter dynamics feel like a commonplace occurrence & your pet will model after what it’s seeing in you.
Another key aspect is becoming more aware of the circumstances under which the dog starts to experience anxiety. Once you’ve honed in on the cause, then make that activity low-key. Whether it’s turning your car on, &/or putting on your clothes to go out, even picking up your stash to go out with, change the routine.
Like, when dressing to go out, do it sooner & stay dressed doing stuff in the house before leaving. If it’s a car startup issue, the suggestion is to turn it on w/o moving the vehicle. Then, turn it off & go back to the house.
It all comes down to being aware of the little details.
In the next installment, we’ll deal with behavior modification in regards to leaving for short periods of time.