Tackling Separation Anxiety in dogs can be a tricky venture. You have to navigate the thin line between giving them enough attention that they don’t feel neglected. At the same time you have to make sure that you aren’t giving them too much attention, which could establish bad behaviors that you’re already trying to eliminate.
Some dogs’ separation anxiety even acts up at sleep time, when the bedroom door is going to be closed. Maybe it’s a new puppy, who isn’t used to your house or being alone yet. Maybe you have a new baby or a partner with allergies. Or, you’re simply trying to establish new rules for your pooch, and it can spark some insecurity in him. If you’re thinking about How To Help A Dog With Separation Anxiety At Night, here’s what you should do.
First, make sure that your dog is acting up because of this enforced distance, and not because of actual physical ailments. In some dogs, changes like moving house or losing a fellow pet or family member can trigger it, too. In some dogs, old age causes confusion and reduced use of senses, making nighttime very intimidating alone.
Once you have ruled out that your pooch is not in real physical discomfort or pain, you can spot the symptoms of his anxiety very clearly.
Dogs will whine, scratch at the door, become suddenly hyperactive, chew and/or be destructive of property overnight. Some may even howl loudly, or pee and poop on the furniture/floor. You may often be woken up by him doing this at your door or your child’s door, which will prompt you to open the door and give him attention- which is the opposite of what he needs.
The solution is more gradual separation of sleeping areas. If your dog is used to sleeping in your bed, you have to start pushing his sleeping area progressively further away from you. One week, on your bedroom floor next to your bed. Next week, near your bedroom door. In the next week, in the living room, with your bedroom door open, then closed. if you don’t want to take the hassle, separate your four legged best friend by keeping with a dog separation anxiety kennel.
And so on, till you have established his new sleeping spot. It’s harder to break the habit if your dog is used to sleeping in your bed already. Most experts recommend not letting dogs pick up this habit at all.
Your sleeping habits need to be adjusted a little as well. For example, don’t make it a point to fuss over your dog before bed time. Your dog should be comfortable with the idea of being alone by himself. When you’re working in the day, for example.Don’t forget to check out our latest review on best dog bed for large dog 2020.
Naturally, this also means that your dog should be sufficiently occupied. Dog toys which require a little problem solving, or treat dispensers inside puzzles for dogs, or leaving the TV on, for dogs who enjoy watching nature programming, all help keep your dog engaged. The point here is to establish boundaries, but while making sure that your dog is not emotionally neglected.
Another crucial component in managing separation anxiety in dogs at night is exercise. A pattern of taking your dog out for runs and walks in the evening, for example, is a very good idea. A walk that is sufficiently long will tire your dog out. This will ensure that he does not have too much nervous energy in him to fret about at night. A good workout will help him to go straight to sleep as soon as the lights are out.
In cases complicated by histories of abuse, or in a background of recent loss, it is also a good idea to ask your vet about drugs to help your dog. Certain anti-anxiety medications help calm your dog down in particularly resistant cases. It’s only a question of habituating him to the new bedtime rules, till he settles down to them.
And of course, there are plenty of herbal and homeopathic supplements that can be used as natural anti-anxiety treatments for dogs. Many of these are available as over the counter products in pet stores. It’s always good to check with your vet before starting them on your dog.
It’s important to remember that separation anxiety in dogs is not a one-time deal. If you overreact to your dog’s attempts to gain attention and affection during the day, the boundaries you’re trying to set at night will not hold. All your pooch needs is a little loving training- and plenty of love!