How to Help Your Dog with Separation Anxiety

One of the most common frustrations of dog owners is that their pup can be destructive when they are gone. It is possible that there are behavioral issues that need to be addressed, but it could also be because they are experiencing separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is a condition in which dogs suffer severe mental or emotional distress when separated from their owner or primary attachment figure. Even if you wanted to, you can’t be home at all times, so here are a few tips, and a couple of products that can help to reduce separation anxiety for your dog when you are gone. As always, check with your vet to make sure nothing is going on medically first.


Introduce Your Dog to Short Periods of Alone Time When You Are Home

  • Have your dog spend some alone time when you are home, that way you can practice for short periods of time
  • Start small - close the door when you use the bathroom, leave your dog inside when taking out the trash, or close your office door while you work for a while
  • Make sure to not give into your dog when you are practicing. If they are whining, do not go to them or let them back in until they stop and are calm

Exercise Your Dog Before You Leave

  • A tired dog will have less energy to get into trouble, and may even just nap while you are gone
  • Wrap up your exercise session at least 30 minutes before you leave so they have time to calm down

Try to Take the Emotion Out Of Leaving and Arriving

  • Often times, dogs emulate your feelings, so if you make a big deal about leaving, they also think it is a big deal
  • If your dog jumps on you when you get home, try to ignore them by turning your back
  • Once they have calmed down, greet them calmly

Distract Your Dog with Toys or a Treat Before You Go!

  • You could try a bone, or chew toy that is safe for them to chew unsupervised
  • This can help to keep them occupied, give a positive association to alone time, and make them not as aware that you aren’t there because they have something to do!

Try ThunderEase for Dogs - Calming Pheromones

  • ThunderEase for Dogs is powered by Adaptil, and is proven to help your dog cope while alone
  • A ThunderEase mimicks a nursing mother dog's natural pheromones, which helps your dog to feel safe and calm
  • ThunderEase is vet recommended, and over 90% effective in reducing anxiety in dogs


"ThunderEase has made a world of difference! Our rescue would bark and scratch at the door from separation anxiety. Two weeks into using ThunderEase, he is calm and quiet!"


"I am so thankful for this ThunderEase! I have a chiweenie that has major separation anxiety. Her just hated being alone. He has calmed down so much within an hour of plugging in this diffuser. He can actually relax and sleep when we aren't home!"


"Amazing product! This has helped my dogs who suffer with separation anxiety so much. Our vet recommended it, and we are so happy we discovered it. We will absolutely continue to buy refills!"


Experience a Whole New Calm

How to Help Your Dog with Separation Anxiety?

If you return home to find that your dog has destroyed anything or eliminated in the house, DO NOT yell at them or punish them in any way. This only increases their anxiety and will make the problem behavior worse.

If all of the above approaches fail to adequately address your dog's separation anxiety, be sure to speak with your veterinarian or seek out assistance from a board certified Veterinary Behaviorist. You can find one at

Here are a few signs that could indicate your dog is experiencing separation anxiety:

  • Urinating and defecating in the house (if they don’t normally)
  • Chewing, digging, and overall destruction (especially to windows and doors)
  • Escaping / running away
  • Other behavior problems can result in these signs as well so if you are unsure if your dog has separation anxiety, speak with your veterinarian.

If the separation anxiety is new, here are a few things that could have caused your dog to develop separation anxiety

  • Change in owner
  • The loss of a family member 
  • Change in schedule
  • New home