Separation Anxiety, The “I Miss You Attitude”

By: Joel Allen

Hello Folks! Years ago, when I had Scrabbles(A Mantle Great Dane)he was staying with my Mom and Dad while I was stationed in Korea. Well, my parents learned real quick what a Great Dane gets like when they have separation anxiety…LOL…and I received an email full of……well you get the idea. Anyway, what had happened was Mom went into town and Dad was at work so Scrabbles had no one at home with him. Scrabbles never liked curtains and Mom had these nice expensive blinds. When those blinds were in Scrabble’s way, he would attempt to push them out of his way to look outside. Well, I guess this particular day he got the idea that if he could not get the blinds out of his way, he would eat himself a way to see. So, when Mom got home, there was Scrabbles looking at her through the window with his head sticking through a perfectly square cut hole. I promptly received an email to the equivalent of a “Harry Potter Howler” letter, LOL.

So, has anyone ever noticed their dog missing them when they were left at home? Some of the signs can be shoes or clothes pulled to their area and slept on. They might chew things up or even make a mess for anyone gone too long, in their opinion. In some cases, there might be a bathroom accident, “Clean up on aisle 9” kind of deal. Don’t scold too harshly; Drill Sergeant mode, yes, but no kicking in their teeth or drop kicking them.  Just let them know your displeasure and they will get the hint.

Let’s talk about what we can do to help our “fur-babies” while we are gone from home. I do not condone free feeding which consists of leaving a bowl of food out. They can get overweight and sometimes it can lead to other problems. What I used to do was leave mine an item with my scent on it. It could be a blanket or shirt. But don’t leave your socks because some dogs will eat socks, and I have seen a dog pass a sock (messy and not pretty). That probably solved some of my reader’s missing sock mysteries! There are other ways to help them with their anxiety. Some people have tried CBD oil and that seems to help; but I have not seen this for myself, so I cannot confirm this. I bought mine a Kong toy that I put treats in. It was built like one of those inflatable punching clowns where it stands upright from it being weighted down, but it was all hard plastic. That particular item was worth the price I paid for it. Once my pack understood that treats would pop out of it when toppled, it was game on. When it ran out of treats, it was still a distraction because my dogs would look at it, sniff it, and even try and crack it open to ensure it had no more treats. I have that Kong still to this day. Another idea I do is I leave the TV going. If I have access to a dog channel, then it is left on there but other TV shows are okay. There’s one last idea I use at times, but everyone needs to understand that treats can cause pest problems, so when I recommend this, remember to clean the uneaten treats up once you’re home(Might need a treat map for this). I place treats in hidden areas. This causes your dogs to look around the house using that “sniffer” and it keeps them busy for a while, depending on how many hidden places are done.

Folks, remember, it is becoming spring and the warm weather is returning. Keep plenty of water on hand for those darlings because we can layer on our clothing, they can’t. Be safe and have a wonderful March.

By: Joel Allen