Say Goodbye to Separation Anxiety: A Step-by-Step Guide

by | Feb 16, 2023 | Behavior

We understand how challenging it can be to leave your furry friend behind when going to work, running errands, or even traveling. Separation anxiety is a common problem among pets, and it can lead to destructive behaviors, excessive barking, and even self-injury. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide to help you say goodbye to separation anxiety and create a happier and healthier life for you and your pet.

Understanding Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Separation anxiety is a behavioral problem that occurs when a dog becomes distressed or anxious when separated from their owner or a person they are attached to. It can manifest in different ways, such as excessive barking, destructive behavior, pacing, or even self-injury.

There is no one-size-fits-all cause for separation anxiety, but some common factors include a traumatic event, lack of socialization, or a change in routine. To treat separation anxiety, it’s essential to understand its root cause and address it accordingly.

Symptoms of Separation Anxiety

If you suspect that your pet is suffering from separation anxiety, here are some common signs to look out for:

Destructive behavior: This may include chewing on furniture, digging, scratching doors or windows, or even destroying household items.

Excessive barking or howling: Dogs with separation anxiety may bark or howl for extended periods, often when left alone.

Pacing or restlessness: This may involve running around or jumping excessively when left alone.

House soiling: A dog with separation anxiety may urinate or defecate inside the house when left alone.

Step-by-Step Guide to Help Your Pet with Separation Anxiety

Create a Safe Space

Create a safe and comfortable space for your pet, such as a crate or a designated room. This space should have your pet’s bed, toys, and water bowl, making it a familiar and calming environment for your furry friend.

Gradually Increase Separation Time

Start by leaving your pet alone for short periods and gradually increase the time as they become comfortable. You can start with 5-10 minutes and gradually increase to an hour or more.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Reward your pet with treats or praise when they display calm and relaxed behavior. This will help them associate positive feelings with being alone and build their confidence.

Keep Departures and Arrivals Calm

Avoid making a big fuss when leaving or arriving home. This can increase your pet’s anxiety and make the situation worse.

Consider a Professional Trainer or Behaviorist

If your pet’s separation anxiety is severe or doesn’t improve with the above steps, consider seeking help from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Can separation anxiety be cured?

A1. While there is no cure for separation anxiety, it can be managed and reduced through proper training and behavior modification.

Q2. Can I leave my dog alone with separation anxiety?

A2. It’s essential to address separation anxiety before leaving your dog alone for extended periods. A dog with severe separation anxiety can harm themselves, destroy property, and even cause harm to others.

Q3. What are some natural remedies for separation anxiety?

A3. Some natural remedies for separation anxiety include essential oils, calming pheromone sprays, and CBD oil. However, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian before trying any natural remedies.

Q4. Can separation anxiety affect cats?

A4. Yes, separation anxiety can affect cats, but it’s less common than in dogs.

Q5. How long does it take to see improvements in separation anxiety?

A5. It depends on the severity of the anxiety and the individual pet’s temperament. Some pets may show improvement within a few weeks, while others may take several months or longer. Consistency and patience are key when addressing separation anxiety.


Separation anxiety can be a challenging problem for pet owners, but it’s essential to address it to improve your pet’s well-being and your relationship with them. By creating a safe and comfortable space for your pet, gradually increasing separation time, using positive reinforcement, keeping arrivals and departures calm, and seeking professional help if necessary, you can help your furry friend overcome separation anxiety and live a happier and healthier life.

By following the step-by-step guide we provided in this article, you can say goodbye to separation anxiety and create a stress-free environment for your pet. Remember to be patient, consistent, and seek help when necessary. Your pet will thank you for it, and you can enjoy a stronger bond with them.