Solutions and Management for Dog Separation Anxiety

Dog with heart.

Some dogs suffer from separation anxiety, just as some kids do. They can display this behavior in several ways including trying to escape from the house, going to the bathroom indoors, chewing or howling. The good news is that there are some things you can do to manage this behavior. Here are some solutions and ways to manage separation anxiety in your dog.

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Minimize the amount of time they are left alone– Dogs that have separation anxiety do better in households where the people are not away for long periods of time. While no one is home 24 hours a day, every single day, is to lessen the time they are home alone. If this isn’t possible all the time, there are other options to consider such as taking the dog with you if possible or arranging for someone to stay at your house with them in your absence.

Do not scold them for behavior related to the anxiety– If and when you come home to anxiety-related behavior like urinating in the house, don’t scold or punish them. While you may be upset, scolding them will only make their anxiety worse.

Avoid using crates to curb the anxiety– Crating your dog is not the answer to dealing with separation anxiety. While you may think that this is the ideal way to prevent your dog from peeing in the house or chewing up your living room couch, they will only panic more. Not to mention that they will likely try and escape from the crate, leading to potential distress or injuries, or even both. Confining them to one room or area of the home using gates is fine, crating is not.

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Keep your comings and goings low-key– When you leave the house and return home, these events should be calm with no emotions shown. When you leave, always use the same phrase like “I will be home later.” You don’t want to hug the dog or kiss them on the nose. Making a big deal out of leaving will only increase their anxiety. When you come home, let your dog settle down for 10 minutes or so before interacting with them.



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16 Comments
  1. We put our dog in a kennel when we travel, but other than that – he’s home. He loves going to the kennel, though 🙂

  2. We used to have a dog and she was great when we left. But when we gave her to our friends, she developed separation anxiety – we think it was because of the home shift. (not for lack of love)

  3. Great tips. I actually was able to use a craft to help my dog overcome some separation anxiety. I made it her safe space so she liked going in it whenever I would leave. It became a comfort to her and sometimes I would catch her in it when I was at home.

  4. I wish I came across this information a couple of years ago. My mom had a dog named Buster. She got him when I was in middle school and had him for years. When life happened, she ended up not being at home all the time. After divorce, she started living a different life and eventually moved out of her house. Leaving Buster alone most of the time. She would go home daily to feed, water him, and so forth. But after awhile she started to notice Buster acting different. Depressed. I decided to bring him home with me, but it was too much. He could not be left alone EVER. Being a single mom, this was not a doable thing for me. So I had my mom take him back with her. Long story short, she gave him to a shelter and he was adopted out to an elderly couple. I just wish I knew how to handle that when I had him.

  5. I wouldn’t know much about this since I don’t own any dogs, but it’s nice to learn a few things. Thanks for the tips. I’m sure dogs can grow pretty attached to their owners.

  6. It’s so nice to know this awesome tips, I don’t own dog but this one is really useful, I can also used this if I have a new one.

  7. I do not own a dog, but my sister does and I can understand the concern of separation anxiety. My sis actually limits her travels because of this. Can’t blame her. But I’ll share your post because your tips are really good!

  8. My parents have 2 Scotties that do not like to be left home alone at all. I have to stay at their house whenever my parents leave to keep the dogs company.

  9. I think many dogs goes under such anxiety as they almost become a part of your family. These are some simple yet effective tips to make sure they can be active at the earliest.

  10. Dogs are like humans so treating them like one would make their lives long and will make a good relationship with the owner.

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