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Puppy Separation Anxiety


My friend has a 5 month old puppy and it is having trouble with separation anxiety. Everytime she puts him in his kennel and leaves, he goes potty and sometimes pulls blankets into the kennel and destroys them. She doesn't know what to do and is thinking about giving him away. Any advice??

Very often dogs with separation anxiety (SA) cannot be crated. She could try leaving him in a bigger space, like the kitchen with a stuffed kong. Usually the first 30 minutes are the worst so if she can find a way to occupy him for the first 30 minutes, he may be okay. Using a DAP plug-in or collar may help as well since it emits calming pheromones. Additional exercise before she leaves can sometimes help the dog relax. True separation anxiety is best treated by consulting with a veterinary behaviorist (because they often use medication in the beginning to help him calm down). Many puppies get anxious when the humans leave so don't worry that he's definitely going to need medication. Making the departures and arrivals as low key as possible (i.e. ignore him for 15 minutes before leaving and after arriving home) so that it's not so drastic of a change. There is a good book by James O'Heare called "The Separation Anxiety Workbook" that she might find helpful.