Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the Coronavirus Quarantine-Part 2
This is the second article in the series Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety during the Coronavirus Quarantine, and we will talk about The Prep Stuff – some important items and activities you may not have thought of.
During this series of articles, I will refer to puppies and dogs as “he” and people as “she” for simplicity.
We’ve all been under stress, and our dogs can sense that. They have helped us during our crisis being a source for emotional support. However, if we fall apart during a crisis, it’s likely our dogs will, too – and then when we go back to our regular routine, that will exacerbate their crises.
Puppy dog separation anxiety generally results from changes in their lives. We’re their leaders, and our behavior now can cause separation anxiety or make it worse later when things get to their new normal. When their crisis happens, we won’t have the time, money, or patience to help them – so we’ll get rid of them. I’ve sadly seen this happen during non COVID times.
The aim of this Separation Anxiety prevention program is to give your dog confidence so that he doesn’t have to be with you 24/7 and that when you leave, you will return. You will do that by promoting independence while you are home and give him something to do when you are gone.
Make sure there are no underlying medical conditions.
Whether you have a puppy, newly-adopted, or a resident dog, take him to the vet for a thorough exam, especially if you notice any behavior changes such as being more timid or nervous, physical changes such as limping, changes in bathroom habits, or any blood.
It’s always prudent to have a fecal test done, especially with a newly-adopted dog or puppy. You can see worms, but you can’t see parasites! And you don’t know if your puppy or dog has them unless he’s tested.
If he is a new puppy dog, then the breeder/shelter/rescue may have told you that he’s already been examined by a veterinarian, but these are generally cursory exams. Human equivalent – if we go to a restaurant during COVID, they’ll ask us a few questions and take our temperature. The next step up is to have an actual COVID test, and the step after that is a doctor’s exam.
Make sure all your dog’s needs are met.
You don’t want him to develop separation anxiety because he
- Is not getting enough exercise, both physical and mental
- Needs to potty and he’s stressed because he’s been trained to potty outside but can’t hold it as long as he’s left alone
- Is bored
Check his diet.
Feed healthy food with a low protein content – the higher the protein level, the more energy he needs to burn off. The minimum protein content for puppy food is 22%, and the minimum for adults is 18%. They should be AAFCO https://tinyurl.com/y55s2dj8 (Association of American Feed Control Officials which is an organization composed of pet food manufacturers, not the government “Complete and Balanced” Pet Food | FDA www.fda.gov › animal-health-literacy) approved although AAFCO does not address the quality of the ingredients or what ingredients are used.
Personally I prefer foods that do not have corn, wheat, or soy or those that contain by-products. Read the labels to see what ingredients are in your dog’s food.
Helpful Tools to Prevent Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety
It’s gonna be a lot easier if you have some tools to help you.
You will want to engage as many of your dog’s senses as you can, so there are listings of audio, olfactory, and tactile products, holistic/homeopathic products as well as products for mental stimulation, both for your dog (puzzles and chew toys) and you (books and other resources). Here’s a list of my recommendations. http://doggiemanners.com/preventing-puppy-dog-separation-anxiety-during-the-coronavirus-quarantine-resources/
The next article in Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the Coronavirus Quarantine is on things that you can do every day without a lot of effort.
Part 3 – The Everyday Stuff
Part 4 – The Training Stuff
Part 5 – The Other Stuff
for Preventing Puppy Dog Separation Anxiety During the Coronavirus Quarantine
This article is provided free as a service
and may be reprinted IN PRINT ON PAPER ONLY
in its entirety exactly as written with the following wording:
Copyright 2020 Caryl Wolff
All rights reserved.
Print reproduction is granted in entirety.
I will gladly provide you a pdf if you email me.
Wishing that you stay healthy, stay safe – and stay home.
Disclaimer: This article is for information only. It does not replace a consultation with a dog trainer, dog behavior consultant, or veterinarian and may not be used to diagnose or treat any conditions in your dog.
If you need help with puppy or dog training, we are now doing virtual online consultations which are very effective to help in puppy dog separation anxiety. Please contact us by calling or texting (310) 804-2392 or sending an email to caryl@DoggieManners.com. We would love to work with you!