I had to write this blog because lately my male shih-tzu, Toby, has been going through quite of bit of separation anxiety lately . Now, Toby, has always needed my attention as so do I, but lately he never lets me out his sight or does not to be home without touching. He follows me foot by foot and when I sit down, he insists on laying on my shoulder, my abs, my legs. He is constantly kissing me. I can’t figure out why he has all of sudden became so needy. I wondered what feelings is he going through when I am not home.
There are series of emotions that your dog go through when you are there.
Dogs are very social animals, and they would like nothing more than to be by your side 24/7. But we know , we can’t be there 24/7 because we owe to ourselves to have a happy balanced life.
1st Emotion: Denial
Here is what is going through their mind.
“I’m okay, I’m fine, this is all right. Mommy will be right back. I’ll just sit right here by the door waiting for her … she’s probably just right outside. This is fine. I am okay.”
We might imagine our dogs gleefully doing the Tom Cruise Risky Business slide when we shut the door behind us in the morning, but the more likely scenario is that the dog is experiencing some level of separation anxiety. This separation anxiety might manifest itself as anything from nuisance barking or whining (unpleasant for the neighbors) to stinky surprises left for you when you return home (unpleasant for you). If your dog is one to chew his feelings, you may also find some prized possessions or furniture vandalized during your absence.
2. Anger Erupts
3. Rationalizing and Bargaining
“If I balance all these treats, will Mommy come home? I promise to never tear up another cushion again … you’re going to have to buy new cushions first, but I promise I won’t tear them up when you do, if you only come home like, now.”
Separation anxiety is a serious condition. Dogs suffering from the more severe forms may salivate, pace, bark, howl, and/or urinate and defecate in panic. They can destroy cars, homes, and possessions at an incredible rate, and dig and chew their way out of windows and doors. They sometimes resort to self-mutilation when left alone. Just think about how intensely frightened you’d have to be to lose the contents of your bowels when left alone, or to rip out the walls of a room to escape. These dogs are suffering immensely and miserably. They need help from a patient and understanding owner – and the owner needs professional guidance from an experienced, educated trainer who understands the behavior and the necessary steps to overcome it. In order to help a dog triumph over a severe manifestation of this condition, extraordinary support for his owner is absolutely crucial.
4. Depression Sets In
“Oh mighty wolf gods, Mommy is never coming back, is she? She’s gone. She’s gone. I think I am dying. I am going to die without the two-legger. My heart is breaking. I am going to lie here and never move again.”
” I acccept my new life as a lone wolf devoid of my Mommy. I accept this the way I accept trips to the vet and the cone around my neck. I accept it the way I accepted the new cat you brought home from the pound. Who will feed me now?”
Your dog is starting to accept how things are at the moment. But do we really want our babies to suffer through these stages. Our parental instincts kicks in when we see our babies suffering emotionally.
If you want a calm dog or transition your pet more smoothly , it doesn’t get any calmer than sleep. Before you leave the house, make sure you schedule time for a brisk walk or a vigorous game of fetch in the backyard or nearby dog park. Having an anxious dog home alone is bad enough. Having a dog that is anxious and hyper is a recipe for disaster. Exercise helps calm your dog down in two ways. Physically, it tires your dog out, so he might be up for a nap while you’re away; and emotionally, exercise can level out your dog’s brain chemistry in the same way a good workout can leave humans exhilarated. This is another great benefit of hiring a Professional Pet Sitter.
The best-case scenario is you can come home for lunch and spend a little quality time to break up your dog’s day. But if your schedule or commute doesn’t always allow that, it may take a village.Hiring a Professional Pet Sitter is priceless in this situation. There are other options like family or a neighbor but a more upscale option is to hire a Professional Pet Sitter to come by and provide a professional field trip.
6. Euphoria YaY! She’s home!
“What’s that? Is that the four-wheel monster I hear in the driveway? Is it — wait — let me sniff … yes! It’s mommy’s smell! SHE’S BACK OH WOLF GODS I AM SO EXCITED I WILL PEE MY PANTS.”
Separation Anxiety is a serious issues that needs to be addressed. Its best to consider some solutions to help your dog’s quality of life.
Your own behavior and feelings could be a big trigger to your dog’s separation anxiety, therefore you must make sure you are sending the right message, helping your dog to stay calm, instead of adding anxiety and overexcitement in to the mix.
Here are a few reminders of how you can help your dog by changing your own behavior:
– Don’t feel bad or sad about leaving your dog alone, your dog will feel your bad energy and associate it to being left alone.
– Avoid having any kind of interaction with your dog before you leave, no talking, hugging or petting to comfort your dog, all that adds to the anxiety levels and sets your dog for failure, just get ready and go, like it’s an absolutely irrelevant event.
– Same thing as you come back home, don’t pay attention to your dog until he has almost forgotten about you again.
– Remember excessive attention and affection is the main reason why dogs develop separation anxiety, it is not healthy for your dog, so please control yourself, and help your dog become more independent and confident.
- How to Help Dogs Suffering from Separation Anxiety (funstufffordogs.wordpress.com)
- Depression, anxiety afflict many dogs, experts agree (theprovince.com)
- How to Fight Doggy Separation Anxiety (thesmallbizreport.wordpress.com)
- Separation Anxiety: Mostly Mine (ingspirations.com)
- Dog Separation Anxiety (thedogtrainingeasy.com)
- Curing Anxiety for Dogs (baylorthepuggle.wordpress.com)
- Coping with Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety (travelguy.typepad.com)