ahIt can be stressful for pet owners who have a dog with separation anxiety to take a vacation. If they must leave their dog behind for a week or so while they are away, their beloved pet will need to spend time at a kennel or other type of dog boarding facility. Unfortunately, this can cause a considerable amount of distress for an anxious dog as well as his owners.
Separation anxiety is a common problem among canines, and it can occur in dogs of all ages. Experts do not have concrete evidence as to why puppies and dogs develop the problem, but there are a variety of situations that are believed to trigger this type of anxiety. Here are some of the conditions which can cause anxiety in dogs:
- Born with anxiety issues
- Taken from their mother at a very young age
- Being abandoned by owners or going through another traumatic event
- Being left alone for long periods
- Lack of exercise or boredom
If your dog is experiencing anxiety, you may notice some of the following behaviors:
- Excessive barking, whining or salivation
- Scratching the floor, walls or doors of your home
- Destroying items
- Attempting to get out of the dog pen or crate
If your dog is exhibiting these sorts of behaviors, do not despair. You can still go on vacation without having to worry about your dog suffering while you are gone.
Consider Alternative Options
Dog boarding kennels are not the only option available for your pet. Some dogs are much happier staying in the home with a full-time pet sitter. If you are worried about hiring someone unfamiliar, you can ask family members or friends if they are willing to look after your dog while you are away. In-home boarding is another excellent option for anxious dogs, or going to a dog daycare Coquitlam facility will work too. These boarders take care of a smaller number of dogs in their own home. These options work well for dogs who have separation anxiety and will allow pet owners to relax while they are away.
Teach Your Dog How to Cope Better
Before you leave your pet, work on helping your dog to develop coping skills. You can ask a dog trainer or your veterinarian for advice and tips. Once you know the best ways to reduce the anxiety your pet experiences, you can try leaving your dog for short blocks of time and then gradually increasing the amount of time you are away.
Pet Packing Tips
When packing for your anxious pet, remember to pack all of his most loved things, so he is reminded of his family and home. He will find comfort in being able to play with his favorite toys and sleep in his dog bed. Do not forget to pack his food and water bowl as well as his favorite treats. These everyday items will reduce his stress level. It is also wise to pack a piece of your clothing or a blanket you use that has your smell on it. He can snuggle with these items when he is missing you.
Choose the Right Place to Leave Your Pet
Make sure you choose a safe and loving place to leave your dog while you are gone. Dogs with separation anxiety require extra care and patience. It is essential that the person caring for your dog knows that he suffers from separation anxiety and may exhibit a variety of anxious behaviors. Experienced pet caregivers will know how to comfort your dog while you are away.
Socialization and Exercise
If you leave your pet with someone who makes sure your dog receives plenty of fresh air and exercise each day, it will help reduce the anxiety and homesickness your pet experiences. When choosing a pet boarding facility, make sure they walk your dog each day or allow your dog to run around in a large fenced area. If the facility allows friendly pet guests to socialize with one another, it will give your dog a chance to play with some new furry friends.
Keeping Your Dog Busy
Your dog will be much happier if he has plenty of interesting things to do each day. Chew toys and dog bones will keep your dog busy and provide comfort. Try to find a dog boarding facility or in-home boarder that spends time playing with your dog. Bring dog puzzles, balls, or other exciting toys for your dog to play with during their stay. The busier your dog is, the happier he will be.