Want to Reduce Separation Anxiety?
What is Separation Anxiety?
You may be familiar with this topic if your dog exhibits excessive barking, howling, chewing, digging, escaping, or potty accidents. Some dogs show these symptoms "when they feel they're about to be left alone or 30-60 minutes after the owner has left the house" (Talegon & Delgado, Anxiety Disorders in Dogs). Separation anxiety is defined by Dr. Karen Overall as "a condition in which animals exhibit symptoms of anxiety or excessive distress when they are left home alone."
What causes canine separation anxiety?
Separation anxiety may happen when your dog misses you or is without you for long periods of time. Other factors include "boredom, juvenile destruction, lack of exercise, poor house training, and in rare cases, its due to a medical condition" (ASPCA, Separation Anxiety). One expert claims that "10.7 million dogs suffer from separation anxiety in the United States and veterinarians estimate that more than 60% of dogs affected by this condition go undiagnosed" (Amanda Liston, Separation Anxiety Solutions for Today's Realistic Dog Owner).
There is no "cure" for separation anxiety, but there are techniques for reducing anxiety levels. A tired dog is a happy dog, so keeping them busy will be your best bet! Most of the time your dog exhibits separation anxiety because they are bored and alone. PupPod was designed to keep your dog challenged and entertained when home alone. Pet parents can create an association between playing PupPod and leaving the house so there is a fun and entertaining activity rather than boredom and anxiety. Dogs play with smart toys to earn treats or kibble from a wirelessly connected dispenser, but they have to keep thinking to keep earning rewards because PupPod evolves based on your dog's performance. After playing for a while, there is a good chance your dog will be tired, more relaxed, and ready for a nap rather than exhibiting destructive behavior.