How to know if your dog has separation anxiety and how to support them

Written in collaboration with Emily Turner -  Resident Field Day Vet 


Does your dog bark, whine or cause complete destruction in the yard when they are home alone...

These are all common signs of separation anxiety, a common behavioural issue that can become very distressing for both the pooch and the owner. Your dog can become a ball of stress and anxiety every time you are gone throughout the day or night. 


A key way your dog navigates their day is by watching your daily routine. They remember every move you make before you leave for the day, and the exact noise of your car pulling up or footsteps coming down the driveway when you come home.


While this is super sweet and a very excited dog when you get home is as good as it gets. Your dog is becoming more and more stressed as the days go by, waiting for your return. 


The best thing you can do to help them relax during the day and not just wait for you to come home is to mix up your daily routine that they know so well. 


Maybe put your shoes on before breaky and not just before you leave the house or go out the front door as if to leave and then come back in for a minute or two now and then. 


Little changes will help your dog stop focusing on when you are coming back and enjoy their day at home. 


Equally, when you come home try not to give your dog too much attention right away. They will see an instant pat and hug as a sign that you want them to be waiting anxiously for them all day. Pop your bag down, do a few things, and then give your dog a big hello.


Toys can also help your dog stay occupied during the day, try using slow feeder lick mats sprinkled with the Field Day Cool Calm & Collected meal topper to keep them occupied for a little longer.