Nandini Sharma says, “Our pet pug, Cooper, seems distressed whenever we step out of the house for something. Now that he is over seven months old and very comfortable in the entire house we thought we could leave him home for a few minutes. But the last three four times we did that we have come back to notice behavioural issues. Our canine therapist said he was suffering from separation distress.”
Experts say that separation distress or separation anxiety in pets is real, especially in pandemic puppies. When left home for some time they exhibit extreme stress with symptoms that can vary. Usually the pet acts as if he’s terrified to be in the house on his own.
Animal behaviourist, Varuna Kaur, says, “For many dogs it has been absolutely fantastic that their owners are finally spending so much quality time with them, but at the same time, we need to realise that the lockdown and WFH is definitely going to come to an end at some point, and when it does, our dogs are going to suffer the most. It is very important to balance our time and take the advice of a dog behaviorist on how to deal with this unusual situation.”
Shirin Merchant, canine behaviourist and trainer who has worked with pets for many years, feels that there are quite a few tips that one could follow in order to deal with their pet’s separation anxiety.
Tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t allow your dog to follow you from room to room. If your dog has constant access to you, he won’t know how to be by himself. So, its ok to go into a room and ask your dog to wait outside sometimes.
- You should not be clingy to your dog. Don’t constantly keep talking to your dog or being with him. Even when your dog is around you, ignore him and quietly do your own thing. You do not need to keep interacting. Mentally separating will be very helpful. You cannot separate a dog’s behaviour from the pet parent’s behaviour. With a clingy dog, there is often a clingy owner. Detach mentally, keep yourself occupied with other activities which don’t include your dog like painting or cooking, dancing, anything.
- Ensure there are a few hours every day, where he gets to be by himself and rests or occupies his mind creatively at this time. Alone time is good for your dog and for you. It can rest his mind, help him enjoy his own company. It can be overwhelming to constantly be around others. Alone time can help us settle our thoughts, ground us.
- Spend your time with your dog in a positive creative way. It’s not the quantity that matters, but the quality. Play games, do training, engage in good ways. Do not play or engage all the time just because you have the time.
- Teach your dog to go to a designated place and relax. Practice a go to bed command. And slowly increase the time the dog stays there. You can eventually progress to asking your dog to stay there and going out of sight for short periods. Make sure your dog is happy by himself all through.
- Learn to read signs of stress. It’s very important that you know when your dog is getting anxious and when he is calm.
- Reduce general levels of stress. We all know stress contributes and exacerbates underlying issues. A stressed dog when left alone is far more likely to become anxious. Learn the indicators of stress
- Build confidence in your dog. Scenting games, fun training using positive methods, play tug. Confident dogs tend to be more secure about being alone.
- Understand that your dog’s difficult behaviour is not deliberate, and that punishment is ineffective, inappropriate, and will only exacerbate the behavior.
End of the article
News in Brief See All
My COVID Story: I experienced fatigue and joint pain the second day of vaccinationDr Parag Amin got himself vaccinated at a private hospital and everything was fine that day, however, the next day he experienced fatigue and slight headache and joint pain. He recovered after administering Paracetamol. Here's his story
Tara Sutaria looks like a new bride in this exquisite hand-painted lehengaThe pretty Bollywood actress stunned everyone with her recent lehenga look and we have to discuss it for its sheer beauty. Tara stunned in an Indian look for a photo shoot and boy she looked nothing less than a million bucks.
Food can bring down barriers: Claire ChambersFrom the origins of the qorma in Lucknow to cooking nadroo yakhni in Srinagar, a new book titled 'Desi Delicacies: Food Writing from Muslim South Asia' scours the Indian subcontinent for recipes and stories. Claire Chambers, professor of Global Literature at University of York and editor of the book, spoke to Sonam Joshi about how food is intertwined with politics and social life in the region.
Possible side effects of Covishield, Covaxin to be reviewedSince the rollout of COVID vaccines in India, millions have already received their vaccine jab. While it has come at a time when India is experiencing another surge in the COVID-19 cases, many believe it to be a boon. On the contrary, the post vaccination side-effects experienced by vaccinated individuals have raised many eyebrows recently.The international concern over Astrazeneca's COVID vaccine, which is said to be associated with blood clotting issues has urged the Indian government to expand their review on the possible side effects of Covishield and Covaxin.
how much exercise do dogs need
How to identify signs of stress in kids
Life StyleDisha Patani's AMAZING beauty evolution
Ugadi: Fashion cues to take from celebs
EntertainmentInteresting pictures of Shubhi Sharma
EntertainmentKhushi Kapoor's glamourous lifestyle
Life StyleHere's a look at Kapil Sharma’s farmhouse
Malayalam actors and their real names
BAFTAs 2021: Meet the best dressed stars
EntertainmentSneak-peek into Vijay Deverakonda’s social media
EntertainmentTamannaah’s jaw-dropping fashion choices in 2021