Do Puppies Grow Out of Separation Anxiety?

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This article by Jennifer was originally published on FOMO Bones.

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Dog separation anxiety, especially in puppies, is a common problem that affects thousands of dog owners across the world and, if left untreated, it can become quite serious. Although we have not been able to pinpoint an exact root cause of separation anxiety, we are aware that it is usually because animals are not created to be alone. Dogs, in particular, are pack animals, so when we take a pup away from the rest of its litter, this is when we start witnessing the symptoms of loneliness. Sometimes, the symptoms can be limited to just a bit of initial barking and crying when we leave, but more often than not separation anxiety will produce destructive behaviors like chewing and biting.

It is important to recognize puppy separation anxiety, and that he is not acting out on purpose to upset you. They are more prone to experiencing separation anxiety due to their need for more human interaction and attention. They also haven’t developed the skills that older dogs have, so your puppy probably doesn’t realize that you will be coming back.

Thankfully, there is a whole range of tools and techniques that you can use to get your puppy’s separation anxiety under control, and this is what will set them up for good behavior and habits for the rest of their lives.

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Only Leave Your Puppy Alone When it is Appropriate

Puppies simply can’t be left on their own for long periods of time. It is likely that you are still potty training your puppy if he is young, so you will need to make sure that you are taking him out frequently enough to get a good routine down. During puppyhood, dogs will absorb everything they notice going on around him and a lonely, bored puppy can result in an insecure and unhappy adult dog. If you work full time and you have recently added a puppy into the mix, then you may want to consider paying a dog sitter or friend to come over every few hours to check on them.

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Consider Crate Training

Crate training is recommended by dog behaviorists, as it one of the most effective ways of tacking separation anxiety in dogs. Contrary to popular belief, crate training is not just a matter of shutting your dog into a cage. If you follow the correct methods when introducing your dog to his crate, he will start seeing it as his safe place where he can go to feel comforted and secure.

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Try CBD Treats

Not only will he benefit from the soothing therapeutic benefits of these all-natural treats, but he will also learn to form a positive association with being left alone. Many people prefer using CBD treats over any other treatment, especially when their dog is demonstrating severe symptoms of anxiety. You can help alleviate some of the terror that a small dog feels by having a special treat they get only before you leave. This can help them get something great out of your leaving and helps make the process a little less stressful.

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Ease Your Puppy into a Routine

Just before leaving, pick up your keys and put your shoes on. Start by stepping out the door and then come back almost immediately (if they are being quiet) and reward them with a treat. You can gradually extend the length of time you leave your dog and always remember that you should never reward negative behavior (like barking, whining, etc.) or your dog will learn that that will get them attention. Stay away for a little longer each time you go out and before too long, your pup will get used to it and even learn to accept it.

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Will My Pup Grow Out of Separation Anxiety?

Sadly, if you don’t act to correct the symptoms of separation anxiety early on, it tends to get worse. Puppies will not just miraculously grow out of separation anxiety as they get older because it has little to do with their age. If a puppy is left on its own from day one and never learns to feel safe about being alone, then they will never be able to have a positive association with you going out.

Many rescue dogs have extreme separation anxiety, due to the abandonment they have previously experienced. As our dogs are not able to speak to us and tell us what they need and how they feel, we need to step up and be responsible dog parents and do our best to ensure that we raise a well-balanced and confident dog. Due to their tiny size, puppies can’t do that much damage even if they try… but imagine what they could do once they are fully grown and suffering from a harsher degree of anxiety. Suddenly we are dealing with a whole different ball game!

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Can I Give My Dog Anxiety Medicine?

If your dog is demonstrating severe anxiety, which could include destructive behavior, being too anxious, house soiling, or never being calm, even if you just walk out of the room for a minute, then a trip to the vet or animal behaviorist is always a good idea. Many people, however, prefer not to give their dog any kind of chemical medications and instead would rather take a natural approach. Not only is it better for your pet in the long run, but it can also be less expensive. For example, giving your dog a totally organic CBD treat will not only bring his anxiety levels right down, but the treats also offer a whole load of other benefits, like improved health, shinier coats, and pain relief. We always recommend taking a natural approach where possible, and many vets now advocate and even promote the use of CBD to help separation anxiety in dogs.

Whichever approach you decide to take, if your dog has separation anxiety, always remember that consistency is key, and you won’t see a sudden improvement overnight. Stick with whichever training method you decide on and give your pet the chance to be the best dog they can possibly be.

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Author bio: Jennifer is the voice behind the FOMO Bones blog. She’s pretty sure she was a Great Dane in her past life, but her team at FOMO pegs her as more of a Labrador. Regardless of her breed, she’s a dog enthusiast with 15 years’ experience training dogs and owner.


Severe Separation Anxiety in Dogs: When Is It Time to See the Vet?

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This article by Jennifer was originally published on FOMO Bones.

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If your dog has started acting out or is visibly stressed out when you leave him alone, then you are more than likely dealing with one of the most common issues when it comes to having a dog: separation anxiety! It is essentially defined as a problematic type of behavior that is accompanied by symptoms such as whining, pooping, excessive barking, scratching the walls and doors, chewing things up, or other destructive behavior. In more severe cases, separation anxiety could cause your dog to try and escape through the room they are in at any cost! Even crate training may not always work.

If you are among the thousands of devoted pet parents who have to deal with the negative effects of your dog’s separation anxiety, then you will be pleased to hear there are several highly effective remedies you can try at home to soothe your pup.

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Why Do Dogs Get Separation Anxiety?

What the majority of pet owners don’t realize is that separation anxiety in dogs, especially when left for longer periods, is often encouraged by overly adoring dog owners. Because we love our four-legged friends so much, it is just too tempting not to make a huge fuss and smother them with kisses and cuddles when we get home after being at work all day. And while we think that this will give them the reassurance they need to know that we will always come back after a few hours, dogs do not have the ability to rationalize as humans do. Every time your dog experiences the anxiety of being away from you and you reward this stress with attention on returning home, you are provoking him to continue acting out. Also, dogs are pack animals and they see us as their pack leader which they want to be with 24/7, so leaving them in a crate while you go to work for short periods may have a serious effect on the pet.

The root cause of separation anxiety in dogs can’t be pinned on one general factor. Some experts indicate that a lack of exercise and overall boredom can cause our dogs to become more stressed, while many others believe that some breeds have an inherently nervous disposition compared to others. Regardless of the cause of the separation anxiety, it is something that needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later with behavior modification.

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How to Overcome Separation Anxiety in Dogs

A change in routine including mental stimulation is thought to be one of the factors that contribute most to your pet experiencing an onset of separation anxiety. In order to start minimizing these bouts of stress, you have to establish a balanced sense of confidence, patience, and obedience in your dog. This happens by ensuring you take a consistent approach to never rewarding negative behavior. For example, if every time you leave, and you hear your dog whining and go back to comfort him, it is going to teach him that by barking and whining more, he is going to get you back quicker. Any kind of discipline and training involves patience and consistency and the same is true of helping your hound to feel better about being left home alone.

There is also a range of entirely natural and healing products you can use as tools to accompany your chosen “training” regime, such as CBD dog treats. These organic treats are infused with just the right dose of CBD oil to ease your dog’s anxiety and many dog owners who found that nothing seemed to work with regards to their dog’s separation anxiety are having excellent results. Not only will the CBD dog treats calm your dog down, but they also work to cure ailments like arthritis, epilepsy, and pain.

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When Is It Time to See the Vet?

Separation anxiety in dogs is a common issue that almost every pet will experience to some degree, thus it is usually normal. However, there are some warning signs that indicate you might need to go and see the vet or veterinary behaviorist. These include…

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Aggressive Behavior

If you notice that your dog is demonstrating aggressive or possessive behavior all of a sudden, then it could be he is experiencing severe separation anxiety. Many dogs try to overcome their feelings of being left alone by clinging to our sides during the time we are with them. In theory, there is nothing wrong with this, but if your dog starts guarding you and showing aggressive behavior or similar problem behaviors to others wanting to get close to you, then you need to see the vet as soon as possible in order to rule out any underlying illness. Your vet should also be able to recommend an animal behaviorist who can help you get your dog’s attitude in check.

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Extreme Panic Attacks

Most people think that panic attacks only happen to humans who are under extreme amounts of pressure. Unfortunately, that is simply not the case, and our dogs can experience panic attacks that can cause them to act out through pooping and even eating parts of the furniture, shoes, etc. If your dog’s anxiety seems to be through the roof, then you should consult your vet about what you can do. Many vets will promote natural remedies, so be sure to ask if they think CBD treats could be a feasible option for your pup.

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Obsessive Eating

A couple of years ago, my own dog went through such a bad case of separation anxiety he ate part of the curtain. I came home to find him choking and rushed him to the vet. Fortunately, she told me that he wasn’t choking—he was having an anxiety attack. Because dogs don’t understand what anxiety is, when they feel overcome with a negative sensation, they will often take comfort in trying to eat the proverbial lump in their throat away. Some dogs will obsessively eat shoes, cushion stuffing, and toys, while others will literally try and chew their way through doors. Aside from the cost of having to replace and repair everything, if your dog ingests plastic or wood it could cause them major stomach problems.

The above points are just a few examples of when it could be time to see a vet to get further advice on how to deal with separation anxiety in dogs. As a rule of thumb, you as a devoted dog owner will sense in your gut when something is wrong, so it’s always better to get a professional second opinion from a reputable vet to help you treat your dog’s anxiety properly.

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Author bio: Jennifer is the voice behind the FOMO Bones blog. She’s pretty sure she was a Great Dane in her past life, but her team at FOMO pegs her as more of a Labrador. Regardless of her breed, she’s a dog enthusiast with 15 years’ experience training dogs and owner.


Separation Anxiety Tactics for 6 Dog Breeds

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This article by Jennifer is originally published at FOMO Bones.

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Separation anxiety is something that every dog owner will likely have to go through at some point. And while it isn’t breed specific, there are some breeds that seem to be more prone to suffering from separation anxiety according to recent studies. Just as some breeds can be more likely to have stubborn temperaments or develop ailments like hip dysplasia, some seem to be prone to developing worse separation anxiety than others.

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What Is Separation Anxiety?

Separation anxiety in dogs is basically an extreme version of missing you, and it is often accompanied by destructive behaviors like chewing, urinating in the house, or even escape tactics like trying to break the door down or bolting out the yard through a minuscule hole in the fence. The exact cause of separation anxiety in dogs hasn’t been pinpointed, but if your dog is among the breeds that are very people-orientated or he is a rescue pup that has been through abandonment, then it makes sense that he will be anxious when you are away from him as, ultimately, how will he know when you are coming back?

If you are considering adopting a puppy, or you have a particular breed in mind that you want to add to your family, then there are separation anxiety tactics for dogs that you need to adhere to. There are six breeds, in particular, that are prone to separation anxiety and fear, as well as stress, and require mental stimulation or it could have behavioral issues, such as destructive behavior or similar behavior modification. Failing to plan is planning to fail, so make sure that you are fully prepared to deal with separation anxiety before you bring a new pet into the family.

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Labradors

Many dog owners all around the world hail Labradors as the best family pet. Their temperaments are usually docile and they are known for their strong familial bonds, especially with children. Due to the fact that they love nothing more than to be at their human’s side, a Labrador can often be prone to separation anxiety. They often start demonstrating signs of separation anxiety from a young age and due to their size, as they grow their behavior can become destructive when left alone.

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Hungarian Vizsla

This stunning breed of dog was originally bred for hunting purposes and they form such a strong bond with their owners that they are known as “Velcro dogs” that are permanently glued to your side. A Vizsla is a high-energy dog, so daily exercise is an absolute must, in order to prevent continuous whining and howling and power chewing that often happens when they are left on their own.

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Pitbull Terrier

Pitbull and Staffordshire bull terriers have unfortunately been given a very unfair reputation as highly aggressive dogs due to owner exploitation. This is simply not true, as they are naturally very loving and human orientated and they are prone to severe separation anxiety when they are forced to be apart from their owners. It is true that they are powerful dogs and can be destructive when their separation anxiety causes them to act out, which is why many owners of this breed choose to crate them when they are left alone.

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German Shepherd

When you imagine a strong and noble German shepherd, you probably wouldn’t think that they would be prone to anxiety. In fact, they are one of the primary breeds that experiences separation anxiety due to their loyalty and pack mentality. They often see their humans as their pack leader (one of the many reasons they are frequently used as police dogs) and when they are left alone, they feel as if their whole world is falling apart.

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Bichon Frise

These cute little lap dogs usually have big separation anxiety problems and issues with behavior as a result. The Bichon Frise was bred with the sole purpose of being a companion to its human counterpart, so while they are happy being snuggled up on their owner’s laps, panic sets in when they are left alone. Fortunately, there is only so much destruction a little dog can cause, but negative behavior associated with separation anxiety still needs to be dealt with, as they could cause themselves harm.

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Border Collie

This herding breed is one of the most highly regarded working dogs today. They are always up for a challenge, they learn quickly and they never seem to run out of energy. Mental and physical stimulation is of prime importance when it comes to this specific breed because, should they get bored, they can become destructive and prone to separation anxiety. Border Collies see pet owners as their leaders, which is why many farmers are always seen with their loyal companion at their side and, ironically, this loyalty can also be their biggest shortcoming as they can’t cope with being left alone for extended periods of time—even short periods at first can prove to be a challenge.

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How to Ease the Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Your Dog

Sometimes, a dog will have a valid reason for extreme bouts of separation anxiety. Either they have been abandoned in the past, they have been separated from their mother too young, or they simply just don’t like to be on their own, and the dog’s behavior is apparent. Sometimes, however, there is no explanation for it. Whatever the cause of your pup’s anxiety, you can take certain steps to minimize their “pain” by ensuring that they are well socialized, well exercised, and distracted with treats or toys. CBD oil is an effective, natural way to minimize symptoms of anxiety in dogs and many “destructive dog” parents have had excellent results from it.

Crate training can also be a good option for larger breeds, as can doggy daycare. If you feel that your dog’s separation anxiety tactics are getting out of hand, then it is time to start exploring your options and our advice would be to start giving your pup a daily dose of high quality, organic CBD oil to calm them and get them in the right frame of mind for further training that you can undertake to prevent anxiety related issues.

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Author bio: Jennifer is the voice behind the FOMO Bones blog. She’s pretty sure she was a Great Dane in her past life, but her team at FOMO pegs her as more of a Labrador. Regardless of her breed, she’s a dog enthusiast with 15 years’ experience training dogs and owner.


6 Signs of Separation Anxiety in Dogs

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This article by Jennifer was originally published on FOMO Bones.

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Most dog owners will have experienced that feeling of guilt when leaving their four-legged friend alone even for just a short amount of time. While it is completely natural for dogs to miss us and want us to come home as soon as possible, some dogs suffer severe cases of separation anxiety on a different level. Not only does this make going out on our own somewhat of a chore, but it can also cause your dog problems—not to mention your couch, shoes, table…the list goes on. Fortunately, there is now a completely natural way to ease separation anxiety and reduce the symptoms of anxiety in dogs using CBD treats.

If you are a new dog owner, keep an eye out for these seven signs of canine separation anxiety so you can manage their nervous demeanor before it becomes too severe.

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Your Dog Suddenly Learns to Sing

Well, not quite. One of the primary signs of severe separation anxiety and distress in dogs is excessive howling or barking, as well as destructive chewing. While all dogs feel sad when they see their parents walk out the door, howling and/or scratching at the door trying to desperately follow you is a red flag that you need to take notice of.

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You Come Home to An Accident

If your dog is already potty trained and provided you are meeting their bathroom needs and taking them out frequently, they shouldn’t feel the need to pee inside. Understandably, if you are gone for hours and hours, then an accident here and there is bound to happen. However, if you are normally only gone for an hour or two and you always come home to a pee or poop on your white sheepskin carpet, then something is definitely up. This is a common symptom of separation anxiety in dogs and we suggest consulting a dog behaviorist or professional dog trainer for further advice, treatment, and possible medication.

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Destruction and Devastation

The strongest warning sign of separation anxiety and distress—and without a doubt one of the worst—is destructive behavior while you are out, even for short periods. If you regularly come home to find your furniture chewed up and your shoes destroyed, it won’t be hard to pinpoint the culprit. Many dog owners choose to crate train their dogs and they still often come home to find that Fido has broken free and destroyed his crate and everything around it.

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Frantic Panting

Dog lovers will all agree that fireworks and thunderstorms are two things that the world could do without when it comes to the effects they can have on dogs. Think back to the last time you snuggled up by the fire with a glass of red wine in hand, all ready to settle in for the night to the sound of thunder… and then your dog just completely freaked out, panting excessively, hiding, crying—all of the things a pet parent never wants to see! The same is true with many dogs when they experience separation anxiety; they start panting like crazy usually just as they see you putting your shoes on to leave.

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Pacing

Another sign of anxiety in dogs can be repetitive pacing in the same pattern. Your dog might sometimes do this when you are home. However, if you notice that your pooch is frequently pacing more often than normal, you need to address it.

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Clingy Behavior

There is a saying about dogs that goes something like this: “you will never pee alone again!” This is definitely true for the majority of us dog lovers and is usually completely normal behavior. What isn’t normal is if your dog suddenly starts being ultra-clingy and possessive. While almost every dog wants to be by our side, most do have a small degree of independence at times. This can be something as simple as laying by the side of the bed instead of on it (and on top of you!) or in their own bed while you are sitting on the couch. A major telltale sign of separation anxiety is if they have to be on top of you all the time or they start barking or crying.

If you’re realizing that your dog has separation anxiety, here are a few pointers to try and soothe them so you can leave the house with a clear conscience and not worry about leaving them alone in the future.

  • Speak to a dog trainer about crate training and overcoming problem behavior
  • Start by leaving them alone for just 15 minutes before returning and increase the time gradually so they know you are coming home
  • Consult your vet to rule out any underlying health issues
  • Ensure they get plenty of exercise every day
  • Make sure they have their own “safe” place to comfort them
  • Try leaving an item of your clothing in their bed while you are out

The above list is quite basic and, of course, there is no guarantee that any of those things will work and if your dog’s separation anxiety is getting worse, then keep reading.

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Using CBD to Treat Anxiety in Dogs

Fortunately, if your pup is experiencing separation anxiety for long periods and you have tried everything under the sun but nothing works, there is a solution—and a downright effective one at that! Along with mental stimulation, CBD treats are a tasty way to curb your dog’s separation anxiety. It has been proven that giving your dog a treat as a part of positive reinforcement can hugely strengthen your already rock-solid bond while also giving him an all-natural, therapeutic way to ease his nerves and anxiety. CBD oil has been proven to treat a wide range of emotional and physical ailments. These natural and completely organic CBD dog treats are worth checking out, as thousands of dog owners around the globe are tuning into the fact that CBD dog treats actually work when nothing else seems to.

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Author bio: Jennifer is the voice behind the FOMO Bones blog. She’s pretty sure she was a Great Dane in her past life, but her team at FOMO pegs her as more of a Labrador. Regardless of her breed, she’s a dog enthusiast with 15 years’ experience training dogs and owners.


4 Steps to Treat Canine Separation Anxiety

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This article by Jennifer was originally published at FOMO Bones.

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As a dog owner, dealing with canine separation anxiety and distress can sound like a daunting task. When you become a dog parent, you never think about the potential behavioral issues that might arise. The thought of having a dog that struggles with anxiety might even seem slightly absurd. The reality is: At one point or another during doggy parenthood, you are going to have to deal with some issues, and one of the most common is learning how to correctly and effectively treat separation anxiety.

Just like raising a child, everyone has different styles of parenting when it comes to their dog’s behavior. Some people prefer to crate train their dogs to get them used to being in a safe place while their human is away, while others believe that separation anxiety is due to a lack of mental stimulation or exercise. Despite the differences in doggy parenting styles, when it comes to treating severe separation anxiety, distress, and behavioral problems, everyone has one thing in common: The desire to overcome it.

Here are four steps to help your dog to overcome separation anxiety so you can feel completely at ease when you leave them home alone.

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Step 1: Decide on a Strategy and Method

The very first thing you need to do is to determine when your dog’s unusual behavior or distress increases (i.e. is it right about the time you are getting ready to go out?). This is so you can pinpoint if your pup is acting out due to separation anxiety or if there is something else going on. If you are concerned, then you should contact your vet and schedule a check-up. Once you have been given the all clear, it’s time to create a strategy that you feel comfortable with. The most important thing to account for when it comes to treating separation anxiety in dogs is that you must be consistent, and you need to have patience. You won’t necessarily see an improvement overnight but stick with it and, before too long, things will get better.

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Step 2: Create a Safe Place

As humans, when we feel alone or panicked we may seek refuge in our safe place. Some people will retreat to their man caves for long periods while others will seek comfort in their favorite chair, and many people instantly start to feel better when they are snuggled up in bed with their favorite pajamas on. If your dog doesn’t currently have her own bed, feeding area, or toys, then she may feel unsettled. To create a safe space for your pup, find a cozy and warm corner where you can set down a few blankets that have your scent on them to reassure her when you aren’t there. Many people are massive advocates of crate training, as it not only keeps your dogs out of trouble when unsupervised, it can actually be beneficial for their safety. If you do choose to look into crate training, please make sure that you seek professional guidance to ensure you do it right, or it could backfire.

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Step 3: Natural CBD Treats

Cannabinoid-based products are appearing in media headlines every day thanks to therapeutic capabilities. With so many people starting to take CBD oil to alleviate a range of illnesses and issues, it’s no wonder CBD dog treats have also become extremely popular over recent years. The healing treats have been proven to significantly decrease the symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs, as well as having a range of positive benefits such as:

  • Reduces nervous or hyperactive behavior
  • Treats epilepsy and seizures*
  • Relieves pain*
  • Effectively treats arthritis*
  • Promotes a healthy immune system
  • Promotes organ health

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Step 4: Doggie Cinema

Many dog owners report that their dog is less anxious and displays fewer problem behaviors, such as destructive chewing, when left alone if they have some background noise to keep them company. And while it might sound a little ridiculous, leaving the TV or radio on while your dog is alone can help her to feel less alone. The next time you are getting ready for a night out, try putting on a movie to distract and entertain your dog, allowing you to enjoy your evening without the fear of coming home to chaos and destruction.

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Final Thoughts

Helping your dog overcome separation anxiety is not only going to allow your dog to have a well-balanced approach to life, but it will also benefit you as an owner. And if you want to successfully treat separation anxiety for good, then it is important to create a routine and stick to it. The good thing about natural remedies like CBD treats is that they can be used alone or in conjunction with any other method you choose. CBD is pretty much the only natural remedy that will allow you to see positive improvements fast, and the fact that there are so many other benefits means that your dog’s overall health will improve.

Separation anxiety in dogs will progressively get worse over time, which is why it is so important to take action as soon as you notice that something is awry. And as responsible dog owners, we should always approach the methods we choose with love and care, as changes won’t happen overnight. Patience and persistence is a key factor in ensuring that you are reinforcing a bond with your dog that is based on discipline and trust.

*Medical disclaimer: Clinical studies and research for these claims have not been provided. Please speak to your vet if your pet is having medical issues.

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About the Author: Jennifer is the voice behind the FOMO Bones blog. She’s pretty sure she was a Great Dane in her past life, but her team at FOMO pegs her as more of a Labrador. Regardless of her breed, she’s a dog enthusiast with 15 years’ experience training dogs and owners.