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TIPS TO MAKE BEING HOME ALONE LESS STRESSFUL FOR YOUR DOG

separation anxiety in dogs

Dogs are very sociable and are creatures of habit. They love company. Naturally dogs love company and do not like to be alone. Domestic dogs are now perfect companions for us humans who like nothing better than to be with their human families. Given the choice most dogs would spend every second with their owners! But that is not always possible.
Because humans have busy lives with work, children etc. Dogs do have to be left on their own at times. Some dogs do not cope with this very well and develop a canine condition called ‘separation anxiety’. Which can be distressing for dogs and owners. As the name suggests, separation anxiety is a feeling of anxiousness, nervousness and fear that a dog develops when they are not in contact with their human family. Dogs can’t tell you how they are feeling but when it comes to separation anxiety they are good at showing it. They can become destructive but also show it in different ways.

Pining for you in the day -

Have your neighbours said to you they have heard your dog whining or barking a lot during the day. Maybe even scratching at doors or windows when home alone.

Very enthusiastic greetings-

We all love to be greeted by our pets when we get home but have the welcomes home become very over the top? This could be because your dogs is lonely and anxious during the day.

Destructive behaviour -

Dogs with severe separation anxiety will start to become destructive. they will chew and tear things, scratch and bite things. This is a big sign or being very unsettled.

Distressed behaviour -

Your dog becomes distressed as soon as you leave. The first 15 minutes are the worst, during which time your dog becomes extremely upset. They can start to pant and salivate. Becoming very stressed and could go to the toilet in the house because they've wound themselves up. Once you're home your dog may follow you around and not let you out of their sight in case you leave the house again.

Ways in which you can help your dog be comfortable being left alone -

It’s a good idea to teach a puppy or dog to get used to your absence for short periods of time, even if you don’t intend to leave them alone for long. At some point, you will have to leave your dog at home and if they aren’t used to it, they may become very distressed. The idea is to teach them that being alone isn’t scary at all; it’s actually a time to relax and feel comfortable.

Firstly you’ll need to decide on where you are happy for your dog to be left alone. Some people prefer their dogs to be left in a utility room or kitchen due to ease of cleaning up any potential mess. There is nothing wrong with this – however you don’t want to make the mistake of putting your dog in this area only when you are leaving them. This is because  you want them to feel as comfortable and relaxed as they possibly can, and if they only get put in this area when they are left, they may learn to only associate it with isolation.

It is good to leave the radio or tv on so the dog thinks their is company in the house. You can also leave them with a bone or chew so they are occupied. Don’t start by leaving the dog for hours. Little and often is good so your dog knows you're coming back.

TIPS FOR DRYING YOUR DOG AFTER A BATH

AIR DRYING -

IF YOU HAVE A SHORT COATED DOG YOU CAN ALWAYS LEAVE IT TO DRY NATURALLY, THIS IS GOOD IN THE SUMMER AS THE DOG WON’T GET COLD BUT NOT RECOMMENDED IN THE WINTER. IF YOU HAVE A LONG COATED OR DOUBLE COATED DOG IT IS NOT RECOMMENDED TO AIR DRY AS THIS COULD LEAD TO MATTING OR IRRITATED SKIN.

TOWELS -

Drying your dogs coat with a towel is an effective way of drying providing you don’t rub the coat too harshly. if your pup has a thick or long coat this method could lead to tangles and mats. Instead, groomers recommend that you press a towel on a wet dog's fur to soak as much water as possible, then repeat until your pet is sufficiently dry. If you're using regular bath towels, you may need to have several on hand, as they will quickly get sodden. A better way to dry your canine is to use a towel specifically designed for dog drying. The Absorber towel is much thinner than a bath towel but can draw a lot more water. It also has a smooth surface that won't cause tangles in your dog's fur. This towel can be easily wrung dry and used immediately over and over again.

HAIR DRYER -

A hair dryer can really speed your pet's drying time. However, it's important to do the following, so you won't accidentally burn your canine:

Use your dryer on its lowest setting

Keep the nozzle a couple inches away from your dog's fur

Always keep the nozzle in motion to avoid concentrating the heat in one spot on your canine

Introducing your dog to the hair dryer should be done gradually so that it can get used to the noise and sensation of having air blown on its fur.

It is also a good idea to run your hands through the fur to expose the undercoat to help dry quicker it will also help you spot any tangles to get out. The dryer can be quite daunting so make sure you have lots of treats and keep praising your dog so they think the dryer is a good thing.