Dogs love spending time with their owners, so it’s not surprising that some can feel anxious when left alone for extended periods. If you’re going on a trip and planning to leave your pooch in a dog boarding facility, you may be wondering how to ease their nerves. Here’s a closer look at how you can address this issue.
How to Identify Signs of Anxiousness in Dogs
Separation anxiety in dogs can be triggered by different factors, but it generally stems from feelings of abandonment when left alone. This behavior can be hard to deal with, however, particularly when you’re leaving them in a dog boarding facility.
Pacing, trembling, whining, howling, and persistent barking are all signs of separation anxiety. Excessive salivating, drooling, and panting are indications of anxiety as well. Some dogs may also exhibit destructive behavior, like scratching doors and windows, chewing on objects, or making repeated attempts to escape the house.
How to Address Separation Anxiety
Fortunately, separation anxiety can be managed. Start by speaking with your vet to make sure their stress isn’t caused by a medical condition like an infection or a hormone issue. Once medical issues have been ruled out, try crate training.
Teach your pet to associate a crate with positive items and actions, like treats and toys. Once they like the crate, they will feel more comfortable staying inside when left alone. For dogs with mild separation anxiety, rewarding them before you leave is the perfect way to counteract their stress. Give them a special treat, like a puzzle toy filled with peanut butter or cream cheese, but only when you go out.
What to Avoid When Easing Stress in Dogs
Dogs are quick to pick up on signs that you are about to leave. When they observe pre-departure rituals like getting keys or putting on shoes, they become nervous. Try taking these steps without leaving once and a while to teach them that such cues don’t always mean your departure is imminent.
You should also refrain from giving them too much attention when leaving or returning so they won’t feel anxious. Tire out your dogs with physical and mental exercise as a way to combat anxiety. Before dropping them off at a dog boarding facility, play with them or take them to the dog park first to get in some last-minute quality time.
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