Stress caused by separation anxiety is one of the most common reasons why a dog seems like he is being destructive and naughty at home.
As soon as your little fella realises you’re about to head out of the door he may get distressed and once you’re gone, he howls, barks, urinates, defecates and chews chews chews!
He actually chews for comfort, often it’s a cushion or a shoe, simply because it smells of you – believe it or not Fido likes the smell of your cheesy feet!
As tempting as it might be to get upset with him, you should take a moment and think about what is causing this behaviour and how you can help him feel more secure when you are not around.
Your dog may be worried that you won’t be coming back for him, you are his world, his best friend and the thought of being without you really makes him anxious.
Give him something to take his mind off the fact that you are not home with him.
A Nylabone will soon have him busy chewing and worrying less about where you are.
Read our recipe ideas that can help make your dog's Nylabone even more appealing and help take the attention off you leaving the house.
Get him used to the sound of you leaving the house by jingling your keys and using the front door without actually leaving the house, the sounds will soon become part of everyday life and will no longer be associated with you leaving.
Try leaving the radio playing whilst you pop out so that he is not left in complete silence.
When it does come to leaving him at home alone just head out, simply walk out of the door without looking at him.
The more you raise his awareness that something is about to change the more stressed he will become.
If you know that you will not have enough spare time in the day to give your dog the attention that he needs, you may want to consider enrolling him in a doggie daycare program or hiring a dog walker to visit with him and get him some exercise when you can’t be there.
Another way to help a dog that is suffering from separation anxiety is to try adding another dog to your household.
A furry friend can help to calm and soothe your dog during moments of anxiety. (In the wild, dogs live in packs. They use barking and howling as means of getting the pack together.
If your dog is barking and howling, he is probably lonely and trying to call in some companionship.)
Make the most of the time you have together and have some fun, check out our playtime article for some great games to play with your dog.