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How to Help Dogs with Separation Stress

The joys that a puppy can bring into your home are tremendous, but sometimes, your new friend struggles with separation stress when you leave. Dogs might be in just a small part of our lives, but to them, we are their whole life. Therefore, we want to care for them the best way we know how. Plus, sometimes the separation can cause your dog to act out in a way they don’t when you’re around. You might hear from neighbors that your pup is constantly barking, or come home to your blinds being thrown about your home. Whatever the disaster, there’s some ways you can help destress your pup. 

It’s probably frustrating to spin your wheels wondering what could trigger this response. Your dog is fine when you’re around. But, suddenly the trouble starts when you’re leaving or gone. If they show signs of discomfort, fear, or panic when you’re leaving, they may be experiencing separation stress. 

What Causes the Stress?

Up to 40% of dogs go through separation stress, according to the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. But, what causes this stress? Typically, dogs experience separation stress when they’re under emotional distress. It could be traced back to genetics, with some breeds being more likely to experience stress when their owner is gone. However, it could be due to other conditions. Such as, previous owners abandoning or abusing the dog. On the contrary, thunder or storms might trigger your dog to feel uneasy if you’re not home as well. Your pup might experience the stress each time you’re away. Or, they might be fine when you leave as long as another person is around. 

Signs of Separation Stress: 

As we’ve stated above, destruction might be the very first sign you’ll see. However, it can manifest in a variety of ways. Some pups might get more emotional where they seem scared or restless. Additionally, the issue can vary in severity. Here are some of the signs: 

  • Destructive behavior
  • Cowering
  • Attempting escape
  • Scratching near doors or windows
  • Excessive barking
  • Inappropriate elimination, even when housetrained
  • Lack of eating/drinking
  • Pacing
  • Panting
  • Restless behavior
  • Eating everything in sight

On the other hand, if your pup experiences separation stress, they might get extremely excited when they see you again. Sometimes to the point of urinating or destroying things in their path. We recommend setting up a video camera to record your dog while you’re away if you’re unsure if they suffer from separation stress. Then, you can take it to your veterinarian to plan a course of action. 

Tips to Reduce Your Dog’s Separation Stress

  1. Leave the TV on: One of the best options to resort to is to turn on the television when you’re gone. It’ll help your friend feel like there is some presence around them. In fact, there are even specialized channels. Try DogTV, it cites more than 60 research studies about the positive effects of certain programming shows being shown to dogs. 
  2. Tire them out: As outdoorsmen, we typically purchase high energized dogs. While they get plenty of exercise when we’re outdoors, it might be hard to keep them entertained on a normal day. We recommend trying to expel some energy from your pup before you leave. This is also a great time to practice retrieving and commands. 
  3. Leave quietly: Classic case of sneaking out, try to make your arrivals and departures as quiet as possible. This will help catch your pup off guard so they aren’t focused on your departure. Then when you arrive home, you can wait until they’re calm to greet them. 
  4. Be calm: It might be hard to not lose your cool when dealing with a dog who is acting out. However, try to be gentle and calm in your demeanor. There was a study done in 2015 by the University of Nebraska found that owner-down emotions and stress levels synchronize. 
  5. Forgive: We recommend forgiving your dog, and yourself, for any mess or destruction. Use a calm approach to interact with your dog, this will positively impact training. 
  6. Introduce Medication: Sometimes a veterinarian will prescribe anti-stress medicine when they’ve confirmed that they’re dog suffers from separation stress. The medicine isn’t crafted to sedate the dog, but rather relax it. 

We recommend…

At Revital Outdoors, we’ve crafted the perfect product if you choose to introduce medication into your separation-stressed pet. Take a look at our Premium CBD Beef-Bacon Dog Chews. They’re filled full of good phytocannabinoids for your pup. Our customers have raved about the positive impact they’ve had on their pets. Packaged complete with 30 2MG chews, your pet will thank you for the delicious flavor! Make sure to check with your veterinarian first, they’ll be able to determine if CBD is good for your pet. 

If your pet takes a liking to our delicious dog-approved chew, make sure to check out our Subscribe and Save program. You’ll save 20% on your purchase and your Premium CBD will be automatically shipped to your door, monthly. It reduces stress on your and your pet, what a great combination.

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