Unique Strategies for Ensuring Your Dog with Separation Anxiety is Never Alone Longer than They Can Handle
Dog separation anxiety is a challenging issue that many pet owners face. It’s characterized by signs of distress when the dog is left alone, such as excessive barking, destructive behavior, and inappropriate elimination. While training and medication can help manage these symptoms, another effective strategy is to ensure that your dog is never left alone. Here are some unique strategies to consider.
1. Doggy Daycare
Doggy daycare is a great option for dogs with separation anxiety. These facilities provide a safe and supervised environment where your dog can interact with other dogs and people. Not only does this prevent your dog from being alone, but it also provides them with valuable socialization opportunities. This could be a challenge if your separation anxiety dog also has reactivity, is hyper attached to you, or you work overnight or off-hours when doggie daycare options are typically closed.
2. Pet Sitters or Dog Walkers
Hiring a pet sitter or dog walker can ensure that your dog is not left alone for extended periods. A pet sitter can stay with your dog in your home while you’re away, while a dog walker can provide your dog with regular walks and companionship throughout the day. It’s important that any pet sitter you hire understands your dog’s separation anxiety and does not leave them any longer than they can handle. With a dog walker, it’s important they are reliable and on schedule. For example, if you dog’s threshold is three hours, you’ll want the dog walker there long before three hours elapses to ensure your dog does not go over threshold.
3. Pet-Friendly Workplaces
More and more companies are becoming pet-friendly, allowing employees to bring their dogs to work. If your workplace allows this, it can be an excellent way to keep your dog company during the day. Just make sure your dog is comfortable and well-behaved in this environment to avoid causing disruptions.
4. Take Your Dog Along
Whenever possible, consider taking your dog along with you. Whether you’re visiting friends, going on a vacation, or running errands, having your dog accompany you can prevent them from being alone and can also provide them with new experiences. Prior to taking your dog, it’s important to check that your friends don’t mind your dog coming alone. If you’ll be taking your dog on errands, check beforehand that the place you’re planning on going to is dog friendly.
5. Shared Care
Consider arranging shared care with a trusted friend, neighbor, or family member who also has a dog. Search for other dogs in the area with separation anxiety. This can involve taking turns looking after each other’s dogs, providing company for both dogs and preventing them from being alone.
6. Group Activities Together
If somebody is looking after your dog when you have to go out, group activities together whenever possible. So if you need to run to the drug store, supermarket or gym, instead of doing these at different times in the day, do them back to back so that you only need to find one person to look after your dog on that day.
7. Consider Delivery Services or Curbside Pickup
Most areas have food delivery services and grocery delivery. The cost of these items may be a little more than if you went to the place and got them yourself, but you will save by not needing to find somebody to look after your dog. In addition, most stores now have curbside pickup for online orders, including supermarkets. In addition to saving time, these services will allow you to bring your dog along for the ride to pick up your merchandise.
Remember, every dog is unique, and what works for one dog may not work for another. It’s important to consider your dog’s individual needs and temperament when choosing a strategy. Always consult with a veterinarian or a professional dog trainer if you’re dealing with serious behavioral issues or if you’re unsure about a particular strategy.
While these strategies can help ensure your dog is never left alone to go over threshold, they should be used in conjunction with other treatments for separation anxiety, such as gradual desensitization training to being alone. With the right approach, you can help your dog manage their separation anxiety and live a happier, less stressful life.