There’s nothing quite as aggravating as coming home to a note from the neighbors about how your dog has been barking all day. Again. Or finding the remains of what once was your beautiful, custom-made couch. The worst is taking your shoe off after a long day and finding a wet spot with your foot, or worse, a soft stinky spot.
Just why is your dog acting this way? You’re not alone. Most dog owners have gone through something similar. Either in the puppy days or the early days of bringing your dog home or after a life change.
You are most likely looking at a case of separation anxiety. Don’t worry, there are ways to reign in destructive behavior. You can improve your relationship with your dog and bring the destructive behavior to a stop. Let’s learn about what to do if your dog has developed separation anxiety.
What Is Separation Anxiety?
Just like people, dogs can suffer from different forms of anxiety. One of the most common forms is separation anxiety. Separation anxiety occurs when your dog is overly attached or reliant on you for stimulation and socialization.
Separation anxiety can come on after a life change, for example, if you have worked from home and recently gone back to the office, your dog may be confused and anxious. Similarly, when kids head back to school after the summer break, you may start to see more destructive behaviors from your dog.
Stress, fear, and boredom are what cause your dog to go on a destructive rampage. Other symptoms of separation anxiety are vocalization, shaking when you attempt to leave, defecation inside in an otherwise potty-trained dog, and following you around the house.
How To Combat Separation Anxiety
Once you and your vet have confirmed that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, you need to decide how you will tackle the problem. It’s possible to train your dog in order to limit the symptoms of their separation anxiety. While many trainers believe that it does not fully go away, you can absolutely reach a place where it’s manageable and both you and your dog are happy.
In addition to training them to be calm when you leave, exercise and mental stimulation play an important part in managing separation anxiety in your dog.
This is where the Pros at PetProGo come in. Our services can help to alleviate your dog’s separation anxiety symptoms by providing them with both physical exercise and mental stimulation.
A long walk might be just the thing your dog needs to help them feel more at ease. Your Pet Pro will take your dog to walk around a Los Angeles neighborhood where they can sniff to their heart’s content. Sniffing, believe it or not, is a form of mental stimulation for our dogs, so letting them explore and learn about new areas is a great way to work their brain muscle!
Some dogs get anxious if they are left alone for too long. We can come in and spend some time with your pup. They’ll get play-time, a potty break, and of course, lots of praise and affection. These check-in visits are also good for puppies who are too young to be vaccinated and aren’t quite allowed to walk the great outdoors.
Some dogs are shy; we get that. We won’t increase your dog’s anxiety by diving right into a solo visit. We will schedule a getting to know you session, so your dog is comfortable with their Pet Pro. Your dog will get the same Pro every visit. Our aim is to get your dog into a rhythm that will break the cycle of anxiety.
Some work schedules can be challenging for both the owner and the pet. Going from lots of time together to long hours at work can leave your pet feeling confused and you feeling guilty. Some of our clients are teachers at LAUSD, Los Angeles Unified School District, and when school starts back up, it can be challenging for them to ease their pet into a new schedule.
That was the case for one of our clients, a Los Angeles teacher, who had to explain to her 6th-grade class that the dog ate their homework. Her dog, who seemed well adjusted when she adopted him, had started getting on the kitchen table, tearing up the carpet, and just wreaking havoc when she wasn’t home. He shredded the curtains, and she’d started to be in a constant state of stress over what he’d destroy while she was at work.
After enrolling her dog in some basic obedience classes, she gave us a call. We worked out a schedule that would work well for her. We take her dog out for walks three times a week, and he’s still attending obedience classes. His behavior has improved, and she finally feels like she and her dog are bonding.
Another client who held an office job was having problems because he was forced to stay home for work. When he was able to return, his dog did not take it well. She was barking incessantly, and his neighbors were starting to get tired of it.
That’s where we come in. We come by daily to visit with his pup and take her for a walk in a park near his Los Angeles condo.
Book A Service With PetProGo
Los Angeles pet parent, don’t let your pet suffer through their anxiety. And don’t let your shoes take the brunt of it. Whatever your work schedule looks like, we’re here to help. We’ll work with you to create a routine that is both beneficial for you and your dog.
P.S. Cats can deal with separation anxiety too! Have a kitty that’s seeming a little needy? Cat visits are a great way to give them the attention they need while also exposing them to new people.
If you have a question about any of our services, reach out and contact us! We are happy to provide services throughout the Los Angeles area.