Avoiding Separation Anxiety in Puppies

Separation anxiety can occur in puppies if it’s not prevented early on, manifesting itself in constant barking and panicking when you’re not home. Your puppy might urinate or defecate indoors, bark and whine nonstop, or chew up furniture and other household items. It’s easiest to prevent separation anxiety in the first place rather than deal with it after the fact—here, a Saint Lucie County vet tells you how to avoid it.

Leave Your Pup Alone

Leaving your puppy alone even while you are home is a good technique to use. This will get your dog used to the idea of being alone in the house even though he’s really not. If need be, put your puppy alone in his crate or in a separate room for a while. He may complain, but teaching him how to be alone will avoid destructive separation anxiety later. Ask your Saint Lucie County vet for more advice on this procedure.

Associate Departure with Positivity

For many dogs, the jangling of keys and opening of the door is a trigger for their anxiety. Try associating these things with positivity—jangle your keys and open the door, but don’t leave and instead give your dog treats and toys right afterwards. Eventually your pup will associate positive things with the departure cues.

Keep Comings and Goings Subdued

Making a big fuss of leaving and returning is not good for dogs’ separation anxiety. They can sense your emotional level if you’re worried and anxious about leaving them behind, which only increases their own anxiety levels. Keep goodbyes and hellos quick, short, and calm. Your dog will eventually learn that you do indeed come back every time. Your Saint Lucie County veterinarian can demonstrate good technique for talking to your puppy when leaving and returning to your home.

Exercise Your Puppy

If a dog is tired out from plenty of exercise, he’ll be more likely to rest and remain calm when you leave. Playtime, walks, and fetching games will help him burn off excess energy. Consult your Saint Lucie county veterinarian about proper exercise for the different ages and requirements of your particular pet. For advice on common training pitfalls and how to avoid them, see the article ‘Dog Training Mistakes‘.

If none of these techniques work, you may need the help of a professional animal behaviorist. Your Saint Lucie County vet can put you in touch with one. Start early, and keep things light and positive—it will save your puppy the hassle and tension of separation anxiety. For a comprehensive assessment of your pet’s behavior and health, consider ‘Veterinary Diagnostics’ services.

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