My dog Lucy always feels lonely due to separation anxiety. I spend around eight hours with her and my family members also help. Can you give me some suggestions so that we can give her a good life and reduce her separation anxiety?

15

Try not to manage your dog’s separation anxiety problem by giving her even more attention—you’ll only create a vicious cycle of neediness. Do you have a set routine each day before you leave the house? Perhaps you jingle your keys, put your bag or briefcase near the door or say ‘bye’ to your spouse and kids. Your dog picks up on these cues, and associates them with your leaving. Try to mix up your normal routine by doing your usual activities in a different order. Plan some short trips that allow your dog to gradually adjust to being lonely. If your dog seems comfortable after half-an-hour of your departures, and exhibits no anxious behaviour, increase your time away. Taking your dog for a long walk before you leave will help make her too tired to misbehave after you leave. Before you leave, bury toys and hide treats where she can find and ‘dig’ them up. Keeping a TV or radio on can also provide ‘company’ for your pooch. Getting another pet is also not a bad idea.

Question by – Adithya, Mysore