Dog separation anxiety solutions in 10 steps

Separation anxiety cures in just 10 steps


Work through this 10-Point Plan to remedy your dog’s separation anxiety


What is a Separation Anxiety?

A separation anxiety is a subset of the group of behaviours called anxieties where your dog exhibits signs of distress when separated from you.

While there are many signs which are well-described in this page called Home Alone and Anxious a quick summary is:-

  1. Your dog will show an emotion related to sadness, moroseness or anxiety when you are preparing to leave 
  2. It will show anxious behaviours while you are gone such as distressed vocalisation, escaping, house soiling and other behaviours
  3. And it will be over-attentive when you arrive home.

Here’s Your 10-Point Plan to Solve Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety

The solutions you employ depend on the way in which the anxiety presents and the severity of the anxiety

  1. It’s really important you ensure your dog is medically fit because medical disorders can certainly contribute to separation anxiety behaviours. Refer to this sheet – Medical Causes of Behavioural Problems. Your veterinarian will help you to determine if a medical issue is contributing to your dog’s problem.
  2. The sheet Home Alone and Anxious  is the main page you need to read. It stitches the solutions together very well and is the keystone sheet you can use to get the problem solved. That sheet is really detailed so be sure to work through it all.
  3. You can also listen to the whole collection of Dr Cam’s Separation Anxiety Podcasts (2 hours of audio) via this link.
  4. Perhaps your dog’s anxiety is mostly manifest by barking and howling in which case Solving barking when you are away contains a wealth of information and an additional two hours of podcasts.
  5. If your dog is destructive in your absence then you may be interested in our No Bored Dogs Routine. For us, boredom relief is one of the key concepts that allows the development of techniques called Trial Separations and Staged Leavings (which are also mentioned in Home Alone and Anxious ).
  6. You may also benefit from reading solutions to hole digging behaviour here and boredom-relief toys such as the Kong Wobbler can really help to create an easy separation from your dog.
  7. Some dogs develop separation anxiety when you move to a new house.
  8. Alternatively you may feel the solutions your dog needs relate to the means by which you can keep him or her happy and content so Happy Pets – It’s as Simple as ABC is what you need to read.
  9. A comfortable wolf-like Den can be important for some dogs and very comforting too, so refer to this sheet on the Denning Principle.
  10. Calming Dogs with Separation Anxiety can be lifesaving. If you are looking for means by which you can calm your dog then look at the homeopathic product called Homeopet Anxiety Relief  and also the milk-based calmative call Zylkene .

The Dog Appeasing Pheromone Adaptil can be very effective for calming your dog and there are three versions available including a power-point diffuser, a pheromone collar and a pheromone spray.

For really serious anxieties, especially those where your dog is panicking or injuring itself and your property when you are away, medications can be vital and lifesaving. Curing Panicking Pets is what you need to read in that case.

Re-assessing your progress

No matter what solutions you implement, mark a point in your diary three weeks from now when you will review your dog’s progress. You should be able to make significant progress in three weeks. If that’s not the case, contact us for assistance by completing this behaviour assessment form.