Separation anxiety is a common condition in dogs that can affect any breed at any stage of their lives. While there is no conclusive evidence of what causes separation anxiety, there are a few common factors that can trigger this ailment:
- Being given to a shelter or new guardian, or being abandoned by their previous owner
- Being born with separation anxiety
- An abrupt or dramatic change in their routine/schedule
- Lack of exercise
The common symptoms of separation anxiety can include excessive barking or whining, destruction of items at home, urinating or defecating when left alone, pacing a specific path or route and attempting to escape a confined area when separated from their owner.
Separation anxiety can be very traumatic for a dog, but even worse when left alone for any period of time at a boarding kennel. Below are some tips to help your dog cope with being left alone at a boarding kennel if they suffer from separation anxiety.
Help your Dog cope with their Separation Anxiety
Working on coping mechanisms can help your dog combat their separation anxiety and feel less anxious when being left alone for long periods of time. Start by leaving them for short periods and gradually increase this over time. This will help your dog be more comfortable being left alone. For information and advice on the best way to go about this, contact a veterinarian or dog behaviourist.
Inspect the Boarding Kennel and Talk to their Staff
As we’ve stated in many of our articles, ALWAYS check the boarding kennel before leaving your pet their for any length of time. Ask questions, make sure the boarding kennel is clean, safe and the staff have adequate qualifications for handling animals. Also inform the staff that your dog has separation anxiety so they are aware before your pet comes to stay with them.
Making sure the boarding kennel you have chosen is of high quality will go along way to helping your furry friend manage his separation anxiety during their stay.
Reminders of home will help your pet feel less stressed during his stay at a boarding kennel. Their favourite toys, their bed, their food and water bowls will all help them feel more at home. Sometimes a piece of clothing that smells like you can often help them feel closer to you and help reduce the anxiousness of being left alone.
Keep your Dog Busy
Keeping your pet busy and entertained will make them a lot less like to be stressed and anxious. This can be achieved in a number of ways:
- Exercise – At least 30 minutes a day (the more the better!)
- Socialisation with other dogs if they are comfortable with doing so
- Toys they can play with on their own, such as puzzle toys or hard chew toys
If your dog is able to entertain themselves and keep themselves busy, they will be less stressed and anxious when left alone and happier for it.
Separation anxiety is common in dogs but with a few simple steps like the above, can be managed, meaning you can feel comfortable leaving them alone in a boarding kennel.