Wanting to adopt a pet?

Adopting a pet?  Bringing a dog into your life will mean years of joy for you and your family, but comes with a responsibility.  You will need to be able to pay for things for your dog needs -- most notable food and occasional medical care.  Your dog will need to take your dog on walks and give him love and attention.  You will need to be able to arrange for your dog's care if you choose to travel.  All of these responsibilities last not just for this month or this year, but for the life of your dog -- and dogs can live for 15 years or more. (ref: adopt-a-pet.com)

A few of the top benefits of owning a dog:

  • Cuddling a pet reduces stress, loneliness, and anxiety.
  • Children who grow up in homes with pets have less risk of developing common allergies and asthma.
  • Feeding and caring for a pet encourages childhood responsibility.
  • Emerging readers often feel more comfortable reading aloud to a pet. 

Tips for Leaving your Pets...

1. Before you leave the house, take your dog for a walk.

Start your day by taking your dog for a brisk walk. To make the walk even more rigorous, use a dog backpack with extra weight in it. Then reward your dog's calm-submissive energy with food and water. Some dogs may need to rest before eating, but all dogs can benefit from hydration. The idea is to leave your dog in quiet, resting mode while you are away.

2. No touch, no talk, no eye contact.

Don't make a big deal when you leave for the day or when you return. This way, you are communicating to your dog that the time apart is no big deal. It's just business as usual! Depending on the severity of the dog anxiety, you may need to practice the rule for five minutes or up to an hour before you leave and when you get back.

3. Say goodbye to your dog long before you leave.

Having trouble practicing "no touch, no talk, no eye contact"? Take a moment to share affection and tell your dog that you will miss him way before you actually leave. Keep in mind that this display is for you, not your dog! Your dog won't have his feelings hurt if you didn't say goodbye.

4. Stay calm and assertive!

When you are ready to go to work, leave those guilty, nervous, and concerned feelings behind. Instead, let your dog know that everything is going to be okay by projecting the confident energy of a pack leader. A calm and assertive leader can ease separation anxiety in dogs.

5. Start out small by leaving your dog alone for just five minutes.

Leave your dog alone for five minutes, then extend the time to twenty minutes, then an hour. Continue to increase the time you spend away until you can leave for a full eight hours without any more dog problems!

Do you have a success story about getting your dog through separation anxiety? Share the wisdom. Tell us how you did it in the comments.