You just brought home a puppy, and you are in love!. But now you have to go to work, and now your puppy is experiencing separation anxiety!
Your new friend, has shredded your shoes, and anything that belongs to you while you were out, or is shredding the floor at the door right? These are symptoms of separation anxiety.
Many breeders and rescue centers will tell you to take a few days off of work when adopting a new puppy. You will not get much sleep that first night, especially if they have just been removed from their litter mates and possibly their mother. They have not had a chance to really bond with you just yet, you are more of a play toy in the beginning.
The first night, when your pet is alone in his or her crate or bed, and the lights go out and you climb in bed, is about the time the whining will begin. Here are a few tips for those first few nights.
1. Take a t-shirt or rag to the breeder before you pick up your pet to get the smell of home on it. This may help him with anxiety for those first few nights.
2. Make sure he can snuggle with their own blankets and a toy that they brought home with them. (many breeders will send a toy home)
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Hopefully the above tips help with anxiety those first few nights. But what about afterwards? When your puppy has bonded with you, and now doesn't want to let you go? But you have to go to work or out. You can't let your dog rule the roost. You are alpha and they will have to get used to some time on their own.
Here are a few tips to deal with puppy separation anxiety for when you go out. If you get started with some of these tips right in the beginning, then your pooch will get used to the idea that you sometimes go out, and they will be alone.
1. Don't make a huge fuss about leaving. As much as you want to give your doggy a big hug and cuddle and say goodbye, this will give them the idea that you are not coming back for a long time, and make the anxiety worse. Just grab your coat and put on your shoes and just leave.
2. If your doggy is really upset and anxiety is bad, then you will have to take baby steps. Start by leaving the house, even if you have no plans, and grab your keys and go for a walk or out for 10 minutes then come back. Say hi to them but don't make a huge fuss. Then go out again for longer, and come back. They will then get the idea that when you leave, you actually come back.
Separation anxiety is quite common for home businesses where the owner may be at home all the time, so the puppy is not used to you leaving that much. So make a point of leaving. If you have to go all day, you should arrange for someone to come in at least once during the day to let them out and play with them. Puppies shouldn't be left for super long periods of time alone. Not only will they need a toilet break, but they need some companionship. This goes for any pet really. Someone should eventually come home!
3. If your puppy is destroying your home because of the puppy separation anxiety, then you should crate train them, or give them a room that can be closed off, but don't forget to include a few really good toys, especially the ones with a little treat in the middle. This is cheaper than replacing your couch! You can purchase a few ahead of time, so that they will get a new one to keep them occupied.
4. Also, if you can, leave a radio or TV on for a bit of human comfort this will help too. This has helped many puppies that would otherwise whine, hearing a voice can help alleviate the puppy separation anxiety.
5. Try not to leave your puppy for hours on their own, but also don't make a fuss when you first get home. Take off your shoes and coat, and then pet them and take them for a walk and help get rid of excess energy. You need to give a puppy or any dog lots of exercise. They have been cooped up all day in the house, they need to get out and romp and play. Even if you go to the dog park or throw a ball for them.
If you give your puppy lots of fresh air and exercise, this will help as well with puppy separation anxiety. If you can get them out for a good long walk or even a run before you head out. A relaxed and tired puppy is much easier to leave alone then one energetic puppy that is set on destroying everything you own because they are suffering from puppy separation anxiety and pent up energy!