When your dog suffers from separation anxiety, spending a few days at a pet boarding facility can be difficult. Fortunately, there are techniques you can use to help your dog overcome its anxiety so that you can feel comfortable leaving your dog at a facility. If you suspect your dog has separation anxiety, here is what you need to know.
Is It Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety in dogs can be caused by a number of factors, including being taken away from their mothers too early, changes to the daily routine, and boredom. Your dog could even be born with anxiety. Pinpointing the reason for the anxiety can be challenging, but doing so can help you find ways to help your dog overcome it.
One of the first steps you should take is determining whether or not your dog truly has separation anxiety. If your dog does, it will exhibit certain behaviors. For instance, your dog will scratch at the doors and walls, excessively bark and whine, and destroy items in your home. If you take your dog to a boarding facility, your dog might attempt to escape from the room or area in which it stays.
What Can You Do?
Ideally, you should start working on your dog's separation anxiety a few weeks before you have to board it. You can start by leaving your dog alone for short periods of time. As your dog becomes accustomed to being left alone, you can gradually increase the time.
When it is time for your dog to go to the pet boarding facility, look for a place that offers plenty of time and space for your dog to exercise. Just as with humans, exercising helps to alleviate stress in dogs. If your dog does not have problems with socializing with other dogs, you can also ask the staff at the boarding facility to encourage interactions between your dog and others. Socialization can naturally calm your dog.
Your dog should also have items that reminds it of home packed up for the boarding facility. For instance, a favorite pillow or pillowcase can help your dog relax. Even packing up your dog's favorite treats for the time at the facility can help.
Before leaving your dog at the boarding facility, make sure the staff is fully aware of your dog's separation anxiety. The staff is trained in handling pets with a range of emotional problems and can help your dog deal with its emotions.