Dealing with stress and separation anxiety in dogs
Recognising signs of stressed dog and knowing how to manage stress levels is key in ensuring your dog is happy. Read our top tips on caring for a stressed dog.
There are a number of telltale signs that show your dog may be stressed:
- excessive panting
- tail between legs
- lip licking
- ears pinned back
- paw raises
Five top tips to manage stress levels
1. Identify the causes of stress
Try and identify the stress triggers for your dog to reduce anxiety in the home. Is your dog upset when left alone or are they frustrated out of boredom? Once you have identified the issue you can begin to address the problem.
2. Build trust
Allow your dog to interact with you or others in the household on their own terms to build trust and reduce stress in the dog's home.
3. Create a calm environment
Provide your dog with a calm and quiet environment in the home. Access to the outside can ensure your dog also has the opportunity to play and burn off energy.
4. Boost self-confidence
Reward your dog with a treat and praise them when they respond positively to training to boost your dog's self-confidence.
5. Promote independence
Discourage neediness and reduce dog stress in the long term by gradually promoting independence:
- Put a food toy such as a Kong by your feet while you are watching TV, and gradually place it further away from you over the space of a few weeks. This will teach your dog to settle down and engage in activities without you. During this time you should still go in and out of the room as normal.
- Install baby gates throughout the house so you can move from room to room without your dog always being able to follow. This will train your dog to remain calm when you are not nearby.
- Give your dog reassuring attention before you leave the house to reduce separation anxiety.