Dog Blog

Don't Let Your Dog Fall Back: Autumn Can Trigger Separation Anxiety In Pets

With the crisper air and bustle of activity, fall is an energizing time for humans. But autumn's arrival often has a less desirable effect on dogs. Pets may find themselves spending more time alone in an empty house as kids go back to school and family members resume social events, clubs and other activities that have paused for the summer. Some animal behaviorists say summer-to-fall is the most stressful seasonal transition for pets. Here's how you can help your dog get through this difficult period.

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Make Leaving Fun

Train your dog to associate your leaving with a good experience. Each time he's left alone give him a special puzzle toy stuffed with tasty treats (we recommend Crazy Dog Organic Train-Me! Training Rewards). Extracting the treats from the toy will keep him mentally occupied and reward him with delicious goodies for his efforts. Remove the puzzle toy when you return, so he'll regard it as an extra-special indulgence he gets only when you go away.

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Break The Anxiety Cycle

Many pets pick up "cues" that they're about to be left alone, such as seeing their parent get her briefcase or shut the windows. This anticipation of a parent leaving can make the dog's separation anxiety even worse. Eliminate anticipatory anxiety by engaging in the stress-triggering event (picking up a purse etc.) and then NOT going away, but instead playing with your dog or taking her for a walk.

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Send Your Dog Back To School

Everyone's off to school this time of year-so why not Fido? Enroll your pup in a refresher training course (family members can juggle transport duties) or send him to doggie day care once a week, even if it's not absolutely necessary. Participating in a new experience and having fun socializing with other dogs will improve his entire mental outlook and break the monotony of being left home

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Create a Calming Environment

Make your home's atmosphere relaxing during times your dog must stay there alone. The silence of an empty house can be unnerving to canines, especially after an active summer. Leave soft music playing, or turn on the TV and pop in a video made for dogs. Engage your pup's strongest sense - smell - with Remedy+Recovery Calming Lavender Mist, a soothing aromatherapy spray for dogs. It's also available in the Remedy+Recovery Calming Lavender Kit , which includes disks you can spray with the mist and attach to your dog's bed or favorite pillow.

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Extra Attention And Activity

Your schedule may have shifted into higher gear, but be sure to spend quality time with your pet when you are home so she won't feel neglected. Take her on outings, even if it's just a car ride to do errands. Make time for play and exercise - the physical activity will keep your pet calmer and less prone to anxiety. A jog or bike ride before work will get both of you off to a better day!