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Michael Dym, V.M.D.
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Michael Dym, V.M.D.
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Dr. Michael Dym
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Helping Your Dog with Separation Anxiety

Crate train your dog

Crate training your dog is helpful because it provides your dog with a private space, much like a den. With proper training, many dogs come to enjoy their area, which makes the crate a safe place to keep your dog while you are out of the house. Plus, many dog owners find crates to be extremely beneficial when housetraining a dog.

Tips to reduce separation anxiety
  • Be calm and maintain low key departures and arrivals. For instance, when you arrive home, you should ignore your dog for several minutes or until he or she calms down. The key is to not reward your dog's anxious behavior.
  • Leave a toy stuffed with food. It's important to not only reserve this type of toy for times you are leaving. Doing so could allow your dog to associate the toy with your absence, and further increase their anxiety.
  • Leave behind an item of yours that has your scent, such as a sleeping shirt.
  • Help your dog release built up energy with daily exercise.
  • Crate training shouldn't only be used for when you are away. Encouraging your dog to use the crate when you are home can help your dog become comfortable using it.
Consider medication & to manage anxiety

In some cases, dogs may become overly excited and frightened by loud noises caused by fireworks or thunderstorms. This behavior is caused by your dog's heightened sense of hearing. Even though noises may not seem that loud to us, to our dogs they are significantly amplified. In these situations, you may want to consider administering pet meds that help calm your dog's nerves. There are natural solutions like Thundershirt, Relax and Calm Chews, and HomeoPet Anxiety Relief. Prescription medications are also available, which can be prescribed by your veterinarian.

Max's Tip

For an alternative to medications and crating, try the Thundershirt.

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