A Separation Anxiety Tip

The more we connect with our dogs, the more we need to be aware of separation anxiety. Several years ago, I was on a tough schedule and had to be away at work for long hours. Each morning I would give my dog a biscuit, as I left for the day. Like most dogs, he loved biscuits. My reasoning was that the treat would distract him and give him a little enjoyment while I was gone. To my surprise he would leave the biscuit on the floor, not touching it the whole time I was gone. Only on my happy return would he gobble it down. Day after day it was the same routine. Eventually I realized that he was so sad over the separation that he lost his appetite. Dangling a biscuit only seemed to aggravate his feelings. So, I stopped.

I have found that the best policy is to casually walk away and completely ignore my dog. I know it sounds like a rotten thing to do, yet it’s more selfish to make a fuss. Why should I emphasize my departure? If my dog was human, I could explain exactly how long I would be away and where I was going. I could even give instructions about activities to keep my dog occupied.

Leaving a dog alone and leaving a human alone are different experiences and should be handled accordingly.