Has your dog gone from confident and happy to insecure and anxious? Sometimes as our pups age, they change a bit and separation anxiety sets in. In most cases, this can be a normal part of aging, but it can be caused by physical issues as well, so talk to your vet if a change happens.
Just like older people, older dogs like to stay within their comfort zones and don’t like a change in their routine (we can relate)! So, if your dog seems more stressed about being alone here are a few steps you can take to make them more comfortable.
First, make sure when you are home that Fido gets regular exercise. It not only helps to disperse excess energy but it’s healthy to keep stiff joints moving.
Sound can make your home seem a bit less lonely. Consider leaving the TV, radio, or white noise on for your dog. Try a relaxation CD; they work well at relaxing people and dogs.
Older dogs’ eyesight may decrease as they age, be sure to leave some lights on for them if you are going to be gone after dark.
Of course, your dog has a nice comfy bed or cozy spot to rest already, but make sure his toys are near it. Also, you may want to leave your scent on or near his bed. Put an old sweatshirt on his bed so it smells like you – that comforts most pets.
Because senior dogs don’t have the same “holding” power as a younger dog, be sure they get a mid-day potty break. We are happy to get your older pup outside for a potty break, a nice slow walk, and some chit-chat (and a few treats).
To keep your older companion safe, close the door to the basement and block off the upper level if they aren’t as good at navigating stairs as they use to be.
Keep them busy with a frozen stuffed Kong toy while you’re gone; many dogs will work at it for hours and snooze the rest of the day.
Keep in mind that older dogs like a routine, so try to stick to one as best you can, follow these tips, and hopefully, your buddy will chill out!
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