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  • Writer's pictureAlexandra Dilley

Do I Really Have to Never Leave My Dog Alone during Separation Anxiety Training?

Recovering from separation-related problems in dogs is a journey that requires time, patience, and planning. Each dog progresses at their own pace, and as pet owners, it's important to implement strategies that are sustainable for the person and promote maximum progress during the training process. In this blog post, we will discuss various ways to manage your dog's separation anxiety, including options such as pet sitters, daycare, situational medication, and the use of emergency cues. By exploring these strategies, we can ensure the well-being of our dogs and support their progress effectively.

Exploring Management Strategies: During separation anxiety training, it's crucial to consider different options for managing your dog when you need to leave the house. Let's explore some effective strategies:

  1. Pet Sitters: A Solution for Dogs Preferring People: For dogs that who don't enjoy interacting with other dogs, hiring a pet sitter can be an excellent choice. Advertise in college forums or connect with students willing to study at your house or accommodate your dog. Having multiple options is beneficial for flexibility. Pet sitters provide individualized attention, allowing your dog to feel comfortable in their own environment while ensuring their needs are met.

  2. Daycare: Enrichment for Dog-Social Dogs: If your dog enjoys the company of other dogs, daycare can be a great enrichment and exercise opportunity. Look for daycares that offer structure and one-on-one attention, especially for more fearful dogs. Such environments provide a safe space for dogs to interact, play, and learn social behaviors. Regular attendance at daycare can help alleviate anxiety and provide mental stimulation, greasing the wheel for faster progress.

  3. Situational Medication: Professional Guidance for Additional Support: If pet sitters or daycare aren't suitable options, consult with your veterinarian or veterinary behaviorist to explore situational medications. These medications can be used during emergency situations to protect your dog's training progress from experiences when they must be left alone outside of training. Professionals can guide you in finding an effective medication that suits your dog's needs, ensuring their safety and well-being while you're away, and which wear off in a matter of hours. Monitor your dog closely during this time, using security web cameras and tracking their behavior.

  4. Emergency Situations and Safety Cues: To help your dog cope with being left alone in between training sessions, it's crucial to have emergency situation signals in place. Consider leaving your dog in a different room or using a specific object or context as an emergency cue. Use this cue only during emergencies and not during regular training sessions. Putting the cue out as the last thing before leaving and removing it as the first thing upon return helps maintain its effectiveness and lets your dog know that you are gone and will be returning.

Managing a dog's recovery from separation anxiety requires careful planning and consideration. By exploring options such as pet sitters, daycare, situational medication, and utilizing emergency cues, we can ensure the well-being of our dogs and support their progress during the training process while living our lives. Remember to consult professionals for guidance and closely monitor your dog's response to different strategies. With dedication, patience, and the right approaches in place, your dog can successfully overcome separation anxiety and thrive in their independence while continuing with your own life.

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