Are you disappointed that your puppy panics every time you go to the bathroom? While it is normal to worry, it is worth noting that dogs are pack animals, and their survival depends on communities. In this case, you represent the puppy’s pack. So, the main reason it barks and exhibits signs of anxiety is the fear of being alienated.
Separation anxiety is also caused by factors other than the dog’s mindset. For detailed information on puppy’s psychology — and how they think — Off-Leash K9 Phoenix has a great post to read.
How Do You Handle Puppy’s Panics?
Even though the panic is due to their psychology and understanding of life, you have a role to play in making the puppy relaxed every time you go to the bathroom. Some of the things that you can do include the following.
Be Patient and Wait
Like humans, puppies learn and adjust. If you have a new puppy that is making it hard for you to do normal chores such as going to the bathroom, you should be patient and give it time to adjust. However, there are some things you should be doing while you wait for the puppy to adjust.
For example, you should create an assurance bond with it and show the new puppy you mean well. So, when you close the bathroom door, it may not misinterpret it but view it as a regular change.
Give Your Puppy Their Favorite Snack
One of the biggest advantages of dogs is associating scenarios with foods. You can make the puppy associate your bathroom visits as a snack time for them. You may experience some challenges such as barking and aggressiveness for the first few days or weeks. However, if you are consistent, they will start associating separations as a snack time for them.
Ensure Your Puppy Gets Enough Exercise
One of the probable reasons why your puppy panics every time you go to the bathroom is due to a lack of age-appropriate exercises. While the activities do not treat anxiety associated with separation, they help in different ways.
For example, if you take your puppy on walks, it will burn off the excess energy, allowing you to do chores at home without interruption. Besides normal walks, you should ensure the dog has enough puzzles and cognitive games.
These two options keep your puppy preoccupied, allowing it to worry less about separations. However, if it panics, even after exercises and playing sessions, consider counterconditioning.
Counterconditioning is a solution that works for many puppies. It involves creating short separations with the puppy, which increase in duration over time. In the process, the puppy will start to view separation as a norm. However, it is advisable to work with a behaviorist or a veterinarian for maximum results as puppies are unique.
If the puppy shows signs of improvement through counterconditioning, start prolonging the separation period. However, if the puppy still panics after trying the remedy, consider involving a professional.
The professional will help you create a realistic separation timeline and, more importantly, assist you in understanding patterns and progress interpretation.
Consider Professional Training
If you have a busy schedule or your patience is running low after a few sessions of counterconditioning, you should consider professional training. There are tons of programs available for big dogs and puppies. So, finding a program based on your schedule and needs is easy.
When you take the puppy for training, the trainer will first evaluate the puppy and create a training program based on its level of anxiety. They will then use their experience to assist the puppy in overcoming anxiety due to separations.
Contact A Vet For Supplements And Medication
Just like humans, there are medical solutions for separation anxiety. Talk to your vet about the condition, and they will recommend the best medical approach. In some cases, they may recommend natural supplements to help the dog handle anxiety and panic disorders.
While most of the medication and natural supplements are safe for all dogs, you may need prescriptions. However, regardless of the medical intervention, it is worth noting that you may need to try out other options, such as giving the puppy enough time to play and involving a professional.
Even though the causes of panic and anxiety in dogs are many, most cases are reversible. You can start by giving your puppy more exercise and ensuring it has enough toys. You can also consider counterconditioning or involving a trainer to help it handle separations better. In severe cases, you can contact your vet for medication and supplements, especially to assist the puppy in handling anxiety and panic disorders.