Disaster Preparedness: What To Do in the Event of An Emergency

Disaster Preparedness: What To Do in the Event of An Emergency

When disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, floods, or fires strike a community, the impact reaches not only people but also resident livestock and companion animals. The impact on animals can include animals getting stranded and needing rescue, or permanent separation of companion animals from their owners or fosters.

Recent disasters highlighted the need for emergency response plans that include provisions for pet evacuations and to communicate relevant information to our fosters and volunteers. It is important for the Animal Emergency Preparedness Plan to be flexible and scalable, providing the protocols needed in the event of any disaster.

What To Do in the Event of An Emergency

If you have to evacuate please take all pets in the home, including foster pets. If it’s not safe for you to remain in your home, then it is not safe for the pets in your home to remain either.

Evacuate early. Don’t wait for an emergency evacuation order. Evacuating before conditions become severe will keep everyone safer and make the process less stressful.

Be Prepared!

1.    Check for and prevent any hazards that may already exist in your home such as:

  • Propane tanks – ensure they are safely kept
  • Monitor candles and heat emitting appliances such as ovens, stove, or clothes iron
  • Don’t overload electrical outlets
  • Test smoke alarms frequently to ensure they are in working order
  • Purchase a fire extinguisher and learn how to use it
  • Prevent carbon monoxide leaks by having your HVAC system, water heater, and other appliances that use gas, oil, or coal serviced by a professional every year
  • Make sure to always keep anything that gives off heat at least 3 feet away from flammable materials or items
  • If you have a fireplace, make sure your chimney is checked and cleaned by a professional once a year. Use a metal or glass screen that is large enough to prevent escaping embers
  • Check the testing labels on all major appliances that indicate you purchased them in safe working order. You may not find testing labels on older appliances, so consider whether it’s time to replace them or have them checked by a professional.
  • Avoid cluttering debris or junk near a furnace, heater or nay heat source

2.    Make sure that all information on identification tags and microchips are current and that both include your cell phone number and the contact information of a backup contact.

3.    Prepare a disaster kit that includes:

  • Food & water for at least 5 days
  • Bowls
  • Manual can opener
  • Medications and vet records
  • Litter, litter boxes and/or poopie bags
  • Harnesses, collars with tags (preferably martingale collars so your dog can’t “back out” of the collar in fear), leashes and crates/carriers

4.    In the event another foster home is needed, write down anything a temporary foster may need to know about your pet(s) and foster pet(s) including behavior, feeding times, any medical issues, medication, etc.

5.    Develop an evacuation transport plan including where pets will immediately go in an emergency (car, neighbor’s house, etc). Determine the number of crates or carriers needed, and an emergency destination (Red Cross or FEMA shelter, family or friend’s house, vet’s office, etc.).

  • Contact hotels/motels that are at least 50 miles from you to see if they take pets during an emergency.
  • Other essential supplies to store in a secure room in the home:

    • Nonperishable food
    • Bottled water
    • Battery-powered radios
    • First-aid supplies
    • Flashlights
    • Batteries
    • Duct tape
    • Plastic sheeting
    • Plastic garbage bags

Fires and Emergency Situations in the Home

In the event of a fire or emergency situation, call 9-1-1 immediately! Then:

  • Notify all people in your home as soon as possible by sounding any form of alarm- air horn, whistle, smoke alarm, or verbal.
  • Provide instructions to all occupants of the home as to where to exit and where to go once they exit the home.
  • Once all occupants including pets in the home are safe and emergency personnel have arrived on the scene, contact a friend or family member to notify them of the emergency and your location. Also provide an alternate contact number for anyone who is with you.

Under no circumstances should you attempt to fight a fire that has passed the incipient stage (that which can be put out with a single fire extinguisher), nor should you attempt to enter a burning building to conduct search and rescue. These actions should be left to emergency services professionals who have the necessary training, equipment, and experience (such as the fire department or emergency medical professionals). Untrained individuals may endanger themselves and/or those they are trying to rescue.

Evacuation Routes

Develop an evacuation route plan of your home, assign a Designated Assembly Area or Evacuation Site for your home.

  • Designated Assembly Area (DAA) is an outside location at least 50 feet from the building, away from roads and walkways used by emergency vehicles
  • Evacuation Site (ES) a building in close proximity to the evacuated building that will provide protection from the weather or other elements in the case of a prolonged evacuation.

If an emergency occurs while at home or work, local emergency personnel will instruct and direct you to the nearest DAA or ES.

Discuss all emergency evacuation plans with all members of your household.

  • Appoint 1-2 people responsible for evacuation assistance in your home.
  • In the event that a fire/emergency alarm is sounded or instructions for evacuation are given:

    • Everyone should immediately exit the premises/building(s) at the nearest exits, as shown in the escape route
    • Meet as soon as possible at the Designated Assembly Area.
    • The people responsible for evacuation are to check all rooms for occupants and pets.
    • Once a room has been checked and cleared, close the door to that room, but leave it unlocked. This will decrease the chances of a fire spreading.
    • Leave home exit doors open to allow any pets that may remain to escape to the outdoors. If you must, break a window to the room where you think pets may be hiding.

Securing Property and Equipment

In the event that evacuation of the premises is necessary make sure that gas mains, electricity breaker boxes and water mains are shut off.  Determine who in your home will be responsible for shutting off this equipment in your home.

Accounting for members of your household after an evacuation

Once a home evacuation has occurred to an evacuation site, an adult should account for each person and pet that was in the home and report this to emergency personnel.

Home Evacuation Re-entry

Once your home has been evacuated, do not re-enter it for any reason. All members of the home should remain at the Designated Assembly Areas or Evacuation Sites until the fire department or other emergency response agency notifies you that either it is safe to re-enter, or if relocation to a new location is discussed and determined.

Sheltering in Place: When not to evacuate

In the event of an emergency where authorities may determine that it is safer to remain where you are rather than evacuate in such instances as chemical, biological, or radiological contaminates have been released into the environment in such quantity and/or proximity to your home, please follow all instructions by emergency personnel and do the following:

  • Immediately lock exterior doors and close windows, doggy doors, and air vents.
  • Turn off, seal, or disable all fans, heating and air conditioning systems, and clothes dryers, especially those systems that automatically provide for exchange of inside air with outside air.
  • If there is a danger of explosion, close the window shades, blinds, or curtains.
  • Ensure all pets are inside.

If you have a room you can designate as a “safe room,” put your emergency supplies in that room in advance. A safe room is a room that has no windows or exposure to the outside such as a walk-in closet, bathroom, basement or underground shelter.  Bring all supplies listed above (pet crate and supplies, any medications and a supply of pet food and water inside watertight containers, along with your other emergency supplies.) If there is an open fireplace, vent, pet door or similar opening in the house, close it off with plastic sheeting and strong tape.

Write down the names of everyone in the home and inform emergency personnel outside of the building of who is in the room. Listen to the radio, monitor TV, phone or check Facebook updates. Do not come out until you know it’s safe and have been instructed to do so by emergency personnel.

Reporting Emergency Situations

All emergency situations must be reported as soon as possible. Emergency situations may include but are not limited to fires, earthquakes, floods, vehicle accidents during animal transport, injuries incurred by human or animal from bites and animal injuries incurred during physical exercise.

We want to ensure all members of your home are safe and accounted for in case of an emergency – both people and pets. For more information and tips on emergency situations, please visit the Red Cross and FEMA web sites. Also, please contact your local animal shelter and discuss their emergency plans for animal evacuations. You should also contact neighbors, family and friends to discuss emergency plans.

 

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How to Handle Your Pets’ Stress During a Crisis

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In times of crisis, there is no better companion than a pet. There are countless articles and research showing the mental and health benefits that come with caring for a pet. Pets are wonderful at helping us cope with stress, and there is no better time for the unconditional love and companionship that only a pet can provide during this time of crisis.

Pets have evolved to be attuned to their humans’ feelings and emotions. In the same way that we learn their likes and dislikes, they also learn about our emotions, behaviors, and and our stress levels. Pets can even learn our mannerisms and know what they can expect from us. Many pets can help us cope with stress and anxiety. However, because dogs and cats are the most affectionate of pets, they can reduce stress, anxiety, depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise, weight loss, and improve our cardiovascular health .

But what happens to our pets when our stress and anxiety is too much to handle?“We might see an uptick in depressive behavior like trouble sleeping, losing their appetite, not wanting to play or seeming listless.” — Ettel Edshteyn, a certified trainer at Karen Pryor Academy and owner of New York City’s Poodles to Pit Bulls Clicker Training

We are going through an unprecedented crisis with a global pandemic, social distancing, and quarantine restrictions. These are very uncertain times with heightened concerns about our health, the economy, jobs, our children, elderly family members, and if we can even get the every day necessities.

Because of the added fear and stress of it all, we may be projecting certain behaviors and emotions that our pets may be unaccustomed to.

Studies have shown that pets mirror their owners’ personalities. Researchers in Austria found that dogs can mirror the anxiety and negativity of owners. A study from the University of Vienna found that both owners and dogs influenced each other’s coping mechanisms with the human partner being more influential than the dog. So, during this time, we should expect that some dogs and even cats will be acting out in response to our current state of emotion, stress, or anxiety.

“Dogs are deeply sensitive to human emotions, especially in their particular guardians.” — Sally Morgan, a holistic physical therapist for pets and people, as well as the author of “Dances of the Heart — Connecting with Animals.”

Most of the behaviors that we can expect to see in dogs are associated with how nervous they may be feeling. Dogs do not understand why their owners are stressed, sad or angry, but they will react in many different ways. Expected behaviors associated with nervousness can include:Excessive Barking — Your dog is suddenly barking at unusual hours when he or she typically doesn’t bark such as in the middle of the night; excessive barking when someone comes to your door; or unexplained barking out of nowhere.

  • Hiding — Your pup may display increased shaking; hiding in their crate, or other secluded areas, not wanting to come out.

  • Excessive whining — This will likely occur at the most inopportune moments accompanied by excessive neediness. It is important that you do not pet your dog if this is happening as this tells your dog that he or she is being rewarded for the behavior, and you may be encouraging the behavior to continue further.

  • Aggression — Getting into scuffles and fights with other dogs in the home; unforeseen aggression towards other pets in the home and even in the most extreme cases; reactivity towards you, such as leash reactivity during a walk.

  • Destructive behavior — Chewing your things; having accidents in the house; destroying their own things like blankets or crates.

All of these behaviors are associated with a dog’s fight or flight response. Aggressive behaviors may occur out of fear, or as a way to let go of pent up negative energy.

In cats, you may see certain behaviors such as:

  • Excessive excitability- Biting or scratching when being petted, which is not uncommon during normal times, but it may happen more frequently or suddenly.

  • Hyperactivity — zoomies and unexpected chasing and pouncing on your legs or feet while you are out and about your home.

  • Destructive behaviors — extra clawing on items where they are not allowed on and excessive destruction of our most prized and cherished toilet paper.

  • Roaming — In extreme cases, your cat may want to venture in the outdoors. This is especially dangerous for indoor cats that may not be familiar with their external environment.

So, how should we handle these behaviors at a time when our emotions are running at an all-time high? Awareness is the first step. Being aware of our own feelings and being mindful of our emotions and addressing them or doing something to keep our stress and negative emotions at bay will help us to avoid unwanted behaviors in our pets.

We must realize that dogs are very intuitive and our body language alone can show stress without us even saying a word. They notice when we are tense and when something is wrong. It’s very important that you try to remain calm and do activities that help you relax and your pet relax such as:

  • Exercising and going on walks with your dog — this is a wonderful way to let go of some of the stress and to help your pup release some negative pent up energy. However, it is important that you start your walk in a calm, relaxed manner rather than the typical excitement that is often created when taking your dog out for a walk. Starting the walk from a more relaxed state will help to prevent your dog from demonstrating unwanted behaviors.

  • Meditate — taking time for yourself is vitally important all the time, but especially now when there is so much uncertainty, daily routines are off, and there’s more stress in general in the home and our world. Meditating first thing in the morning helps to create a sense of calm and clarity, which not only helps you; it can also help your pet.

  • Maintaining a routine — With more people working from home and kids out of school, your normal daily routine is likely “off”. This is not only a big adjustment for you; it’s also a big adjustment for our pets. Pets, especially dogs are more settled when they have a routine and structure. Try to keep your routine as close to ‘normal’ as possible especially when it comes to walking and feeding times.

  • Keep them entertained — In a time of quarantine, your dog’s unwanted behavior is likely due to their inability to go outside, especially if you live in an apartment or condo community. Keep your pooch entertained with puzzle toys or treat dispensers. . You can make your own puzzle toys with items you already have around your home.

Two simple puzzles that will entertain your dog:

Box Puzzle: If you have empty boxes, arrange them on the floor and hide treats in some of the boxes. Show your dog the boxes and let your pup use its nose to find the hidden treats. Rearrange the boxes with more treats.

Cupcake Puzzle: Get an empty cupcake or muffin pan and 12 (or as many as you have) tennis balls. Place treats or pieces of your dog’s kibble into some but not all of the pan’s cups, and cover all of the cups with the tennis balls. Show your dog the tray and see how long it takes for him or her to move the right balls and find the hidden food. Each time you play, change where you place the treats.

To address excitability in your cat, be mindful of his or her body language. You can get an idea of your kitty’s stress levels by looking into their eyes. If his or her pupils are dilated, and they flick their tail up and down, then it’s time to stop petting him or her and leave them alone.

Hyperactivity and destructive behaviors can be addressed by providing additional exercise with things such as a feathered toy, a laser pointer, or even playing fetch. Also keep you cat(s) away from the prized items by using a compressed air pet corrector, deterrent scents such as citronella, lavender, peppermint, lemongrass and orange.

Finally, when these behaviors occur during this time, don’t hold it against your pet or punish him or her for it. Be aware of the situation and remain calm. Provide guidance to your pet by responsibly correcting him or her so he/she understands that this behavior is unwanted. Help your pet by using one of the recommendations mentioned above. In the end, a tired pet is a happy and good pet.

If you are experiencing difficulties with your pet during this time, we’d love to help. Feel free to reach out to us at info@pawprintsinthesand.org. We want to make sure you and your pet(s) are happy and safe during this time and always.

Newly Adopted Dog Checklist: What You Need to Do and Buy for Your New Pet

Newly Adopted Dog Checklist: What You Need to Do and Buy for Your New Pet

Written by: Trevor James, DogLab

So you got a new dog? Congratulations! We hope it’s a rescue dog, of course. 😉

If this is your first time as a canine parent, then you should know that there are several things you need to do and buy before bringing your new pup home with you.

New Dog to Do List:

Like us humans, dogs have different habits and personalities – some good and some, well, not so good. Adopting a dog is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get! There’s no telling how your new dog will behave, so it’s best to prepare for anything and everything.

Dog-proof your home

Your new dog will be arriving soon, so you need to prep your house and make it dog-proof to avoid any accidents. Much like baby proofing a home, you should:

  • Remove all sharp and protruding objects that can injure your new dog. It helps if you go down on all fours and crawl around your house so you can see what a dog sees. If you find something dangerous, take it out. Taping cut cardboard over objects you can’t remove is a cheap and effective way to dog-proof your home.

Shopping list: Duct tape, box cutter

  • Seal all outlets that are not in use. Tuck away all plugs and cables of your electronics so your dog won’t chew on them.

Shopping list: Outlet covers, socket covers, cord shorteners

  • Assign permanent areas for food and water so your new dog will always know where to go (and keep the mess in one spot.)

Shopping list: Elevated stainless steel food and water bowls, food bowl mat

  • Keep everything you don’t want your new furry friend to chew and destroy out of reach – shoes, toys, books, underwear, everything! Dogs can and will gnaw anything because it’s fun and relieves their stress when they have separation anxiety. See our posts on ‘How To Reduce Separation Anxiety’ and ‘Tips for Crate Training Your Dog’.

Shopping list: Boxes, shelves, crate

Add “Safe Zones” and “No Fido Zones” to your home.

We know, these terms sound military!

But you need to have military precision to help train your new dog to get accustomed to his or her new home. Your home will feel foreign to your new dog, and it will take a while for him or her to adjust to her new surroundings.

Make your house feel more like your dog’s forever home by:

  • Plan where your dog will sleep. It could be your bedroom or any part of the house except the basement and garage. Make sure you give Fido space where there is interaction with other people or pets in your house to make him or her feel welcome – You don’t want your pup to experience separation anxiety!

Designating a safe space for your new dog is essential. Your pup needs to feel secure in her new surroundings, and letting her roam around in a large area may spook your dog or cause boundary issues between you and him/her. A crate with a dog bed inside is a good and safe spot for Fluffy to hang out until he or she gets used to their surroundings.

Shopping list: Crate, dog bed, pillow

  • Assign areas in your home where your new dog can go and seal off sections that are off limits. Creating different zones in your home is an excellent way to train your new dog where he can and can’t go.

A doggy gate is also a good option if you need to create a secure space for your dog, and you don’t have a crate. Zoning your home is vital if you have other pets because it gives your tenured dogs or cats freedom to walk around they are accustomed to while they get acclimated with their new housemate and vice versa.

Shopping list: Indoor dog gate or pen or baby gate

  • Make sure your home is clean and parasite free. If you have other dogs, use an enzymatic cleaner to make sure the designated areas are clear of urine. Dogs potty on places where they can smell it, so…start cleaning!

Double check the space where you want your new dog to stay and make sure it’s free of parasites, especially if you have other pets. Newborn ticks (larvae) can live up to 540 days without a host and feed for 5 straight days when they find one. Yuck! Apple cider vinegar is a non-toxic way to kill these buggers.

Speaking of cleaning, make sure you keep your cleaning products locked up. Many cleaning chemicals like ammonia and bleach are toxic to dogs.

Shopping list: Enzymatic cleaner, apple cider vinegar, spray bottle

When your new dog arrives.

  • Make sure you take things slow and steady. It takes anywhere from 3 days to 3 months for a new dog to feel at home in a new place, so please be patient. Expect to have a few accidents and hiccups along the way! Take your new dog for a walk around your house, backyard, and neighborhood so he or she can get a lay of the land.

  • If you have kids and other pets in the house, make the introductions stress-free. Try not to overwhelm your new arrival with hugs and kisses from everyone in your household or expect her to be chums with your other pets. Give any children instructions limit contact with Fido until he settles in.

  • Once inside your home, place your new dog inside a crate or sectioned off area where you want him to stay and feel secure.

  • Don’t force introductions to other pets in the home. Slow and steady wins the race, so be patient. Your resident pets are used to this being their space. Your new pup may have some anxiety in his or her new surroundings. Feel free to contact us if you need some integration tips for your new dog.

The Essentials

Now that you’ve prepped and primed your home for the arrival of your new dog, it’s time to get busy shopping. In addition to the items mentioned above, your shopping list should also include the essentials:

  • A sturdy leash

Get a leash that’s appropriate for the breed and size of your new dog. Make sure you get a strap that your dog won’t be able to chew through! Do NOT purchase a retractable leash! They are recipes for disaster! Read more on the dangers of retractable leashes: https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2014/06/11/retractable-dog-leash.aspx

  • Dog Collar and tag

Get a martingale collar to prevent your dog from slipping out of it if he or she gets excited or spooked while on a walk. Make sure to attach a dog tag with your contact information in case Rover runs off and gets lost.

  • Body harness

Using a harness is a great alternative for a martingale for walks. It is safe for your dog because it distributes the pull of the leash evenly. Harnesses are also help to prevent choking or putting pressure on their throat.

  • Microchip ID

Dog tags can come off and get lost. A microchip ID on your dog is forever. Make sure you register your dog’s microchip with the chip company so you can be easily notified if he or she is found.

  • Shots, Sterilization and Flea Control

Take your new dog to the vet and have him or her checked out. Your vet will give your dog shots (rabies, DHPP, Bordetella and Canine Influenza). If your dog is not fixed yet, make an appointment to do so ASAP! It is healthier for your dog and prevents unwanted litters. Also, purchase deworming tabs and a flea/tick preventative such as Comfortis or Nexgard.

NOTE: If you adopt a dog from a rescue, he or she should come with their complete set of shots. They also should already be spayed or neutered, microchipped and have had flea and deworming treatment.

  • Chew toys

Your dog will chew anything that he can get his paws on, including furniture. Make sure to keep this behavior in check by getting him some chew toys to keep him occupied. Don’t stick to one, get your new dog several toys because Fido also gets bored.

  • Puzzle, tug and fetch toys.

Walks aren’t enough if you want to bond with your new dog or drain her of excess energy. Playing a puzzle game with Fluffy will keep her mind sharp and is as taxing as any physical activity. Alternate between the tug and fetch toys to keep your new pal engaged!

Conclusion

The pure joy of bringing home a new family member and being a responsible dog parent is second to none. Before you embark on this beautiful journey, make sure that you dog proof your home for your new pup!

Speaking of fur, if you have a dog that sheds a lot, like a husky, a rubber pet hair broom is a worthwhile investment – sweeping up dog hair with a nylon bristled broom is almost impossible.

Don’t forget to get your new dog all the essentials she needs to feel secure and comfortable in her new surroundings. Get ready for some happy and unforgettable times!

Best of luck and happy parenting!

Untangling Pet CBD


confused_dog1.jpg

Marijuana. Cannabis. It used to be the drug of hippies and college kids. Now legalized in 30 states and the District of Columbia, it’s not so taboo any more. However, it is still very new in this regard, especially when it comes to medicinal use and regulatory issues.

Nevertheless, the increasing use of cannabis for medical purposes has spawned a budding industry. With this, comes a lot of confusion for consumers who are interested in exploring the health benefits of cannabis for both themselves and their pets.

For simplicity’s sake, we’ll break down the most common compound for medicinal marijuana: Cannabidiol (CBD).

What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a major constituent of the cannabis plant. It is a cannabis compound that has significant medical benefits, but does not make people feel “stoned” like Phytocannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

CBD doesn’t activate the brain’s cannabinoid receptors in the same manner as THC. It does however, target a wide variety of proteins in the brain and nervous system that regulate cell activities. By interacting with the brain’s signaling systems in various ways, it can provide relief from pain, anxiety, and nausea. Beyond our brains, CBD may benefit our bones and immune systems and work broadly throughout the body as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, which may help protect cells from damages associated with neurodegenerative diseases. It has proven to have the same effect on our pet.

What are the differences between 250mg, 500mg and 1000mg of CBD?
You will likely see various pet CBD products with varying amounts of CBD (in mg). What does this mean? It’s basically the potency. 250mg is a low-potency oil while 1000mg is a high potency oil. It also means the percentage of actual CBD that is in the product.

For example: A single serving of the 250mg (30 mL) bottle is equivalent to 15 drops of oil. which translates to a 7mg dose of CBD. Pet owners may not even use a full dose though, as your pet can find relief with as little as 5-7 drops of oil, which translates to about a 3mg dose. However, make sure to talk to your vet prior to starting a CBD regiment for your pet, and always check dosing amounts as it applies to the size of your pet.

While the perception is the higher the potency, the more effective the product, which is not altogether untrue; CBD product potency is really about the degree to which CBD can effect a dog’s health. It is directly related to the ability of that CBD product to be absorbed, transported and made available to individual receptor sites. This is primarily determined by the method of delivery:

  • Sublingual- under the tongue. When administered this way, the cannabinoids come into close contact with blood-rich tissues in the mouth and are immediately absorbed into the bloodstream. Because of this, sublingual administration is considered the best choice of dosing.

  • Oral ingestion from treats or on food. While not as effective as sublingual administration, putting some CBD oil in your pet’s food is less “invasive”. However, it is possible that a percentage of the original stated dose is lost due to the presence of digestive enzymes and stomach acids. This results in a much lower bio-availability of active cannabinoids and therefore, lowers the absorption rate.

Full spectrum CBD, such as PPITS Pet CBD, contains an array of non-intoxicating cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), Cannabichromene (CBC), Cannabigerol (CBG), Cannabinol (CBN), Cannabidivarin (CBDV) just to name a few. All have shown to help with conditions such as anxiety, cancer, inflammation, seizures, diabetes, arthritis, pain, and nausea to name a few. When combined, all the cannabinoids and terpenes work together in synergy, which ultimately make it a more effective product.

How to Reduce Separation Anxiety in Your Dog

How to Reduce Separation Anxiety in Your Dog

Written by: Duncan Kingori, AuthenticDogs

Like humans, our pets also experience separation anxiety. In dogs, separation anxiety is characterized by agitation, upset, and even destructive behavior. These behaviors are exhibited by dogs when they are separated from their pet parents. You may misinterpret your dogs’ actions for disobedience and a lack of proper training, yet your dogs’ behavior may be an exhibition of separation anxiety.

Your dog is used to you being around and is dependent on you, and any change may cause them to experience anxiety. There are other behaviors exhibited by your dog that may be attributed to separation anxiety, and you need to help your dog reduce his or her separation anxiety or have no anxiety at all. This is to ensure that he or she may be at peace and happy- and well behaved. Here are some recommendations to help ease your precious pup’s separation anxiety:

1. Engage your dog in exercise before you depart

A dog that is tired tends to be calmer as opposed to one that is still energized. Therefore, one way to reduce separation anxiety in your dog is by engaging your dog in exercise for about half an hour before you depart. You may take part in outdoor or indoor activities and exercise with your dogs. For instance, throwing a Frisbee or tennis ball across the yard and letting your dog play ‘fetch’ is a great exercise. It also offers mental stimulation, which helps with calming. When you do this for about 30 minutes, your dog will be exhausted by the time you leave. Their attention will be towards food and sleep, and they will hardly notice that you are gone, or when you are leaving the house.

2. Teach your dog to get used to being alone when you are at home

Help your dog to get used to being by themselves, even when you are in the same house. Have your furry baby to remain in a certain room in the house (or crate if crate trained) while you go to another room in a different part of the house. If your dog’s separation anxiety is severe, you could do this in short intervals of about 20 seconds. In time, you can work this 20 seconds up to about 30 minutes. It will help reduce your pooch’s separation anxiety. They will learn to spend time away from you even when they are conscious of your presence in the house.

3. You need to change the signals of your departure

Like humans, your dogs are conditioned to associating certain signals with a specific behavior, thus your dog knows your routine before you leave home. Therefore, you need to break the routine so your dog will not associate certain signals with your departure. For example, put on your shoes 30 minutes to an hour before you leave and sit on the couch and watch the television, or maybe change the place where you store your purse and hang your keys.

This will break your dog’s association of specific actions with you leaving, and thus their separation anxiety will not be triggered. You can also give your dog treats to calm them and distract them as you go. Eventually, they will view your departure in a positive light, and see that it is not a scary thing to be all alone.

4. Minimize the level of emotions when saying your hellos and goodbyes

Completely abstain from getting very emotional when you are leaving your dog and exhibiting a lot of excitement when you get home. The extra attention and excitement increases your dog’s fear of being alone. Be calm when you are bidding your dog goodbye. When you arrive back home, in a quiet and collected manner, say hi to your dog, but don’t show too much affection or excitement until he or she has calmed down. By remaining calm when you return, you reduce the level of separation anxiety in your dog.

5. Get your dog his or her personal space

Rather than sharing your bed with your dog, get them their own bed or crate. In addition to separation anxiety, crate training is a great tool for resolving many other behavior issues such as pottying or marking in the house and destructive chewing. Plus dogs are den animals, so they like to have their safe haven. Train you dog to remain in his or her personal space by making it a positive experience with petting, playing, treats, toys or bones. This teaches your dog to be independent and to love their own space. When your dog enjoys their own company, they will be less anxious when you are away from them.

6. Leave some comfort articles and background music playing for your dog

Leave items that will comfort your dog, such as dirty clothes in the laundry bin that have your scent. This will help the dog to relax, as they will remember that at some point you will be returning home. You could also remove the stress factors from your dog’s body. Also, hide treats in the house so that the dog can enjoy hunting for these treats while you are away. Or, give your dog a Kong or deer antler to distract them while you leave. Remember to leave some soothing  music for your dog, so that when they are tired, it can help soothe them to sleep and relax. YouTube has great videos to help with separation anxiety.

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 Helping your dog get over his or her separation anxiety requires dedication and a commitment to finding a safe and long lasting solution, so that your dog may be happy, calm, and a good dog!