There are a number of issues that are likely to be prevalent following ‘Lockdown’ and separation anxiety is most definitely one of them, particularly with puppies. Your puppy or dog will love the fact that you have been around much more, but it’s important that we don’t create issues that make it difficult for your puppy or dog to adapt when we all return to some form of normality.
Getting a puppy used to being left alone, both when you are at home and when you go out, is paramount. Even with the current ‘Lockdown’ situation it is necessary for your puppy to learn to be left home alone and also, when you are home, your puppy must learn that it cannot be with you all of the time.
Here are a few tips to help if you have a new puppy:
- Take your puppy to the toilet before leaving them
- Exercise your puppy and make sure they have had some playtime and interaction, so that they are tired
- Ensure your puppy has a safe area to be left (i.e. a suitable crate)
- Leave some background noise on (TV or Radio)
- Leave your puppy with an activity toy (i.e. stuffed Kong), as this makes your absence a positive experience for the puppy
- Build up the amount of time your puppy is left gradually
- Use your puppy’s enforced rest times as practice for being left
- Avoid allowing them to constantly follow you around the house, as this will encourage the puppy to form an over attachment, which will leave them unable to cope if you are not there
Leaving your puppy for short periods several times a day whilst you pop out or whilst you work in a different room will help them cope much better on their own.
Separation anxiety can be displayed in a number of ways, some of which are listed below:
- Scratching doors
- Stress panting
It is important to understand that separation anxiety is a form of stress and can have an extremely detrimental effect on your dog, as well as having many consequences for you as the owner, other members of the household, other pets and, in some cases, your neighbours.
If you would like more information or assistance with helping to prevent or overcome separation anxiety, please contact Sally on 07789 913834.