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Everything you need to give your puppy a great start.
Maybe it hit you as soon as your parents backed the family car out of the dormitory parking lot your first year at university and you realized you were on your own. Or, perhaps you felt it standing at the neighborhood bus stop last fall, your first born struggling to climb the oversized steps of the school bus on his way to kindergarten. No matter who you are or when you felt it, you never forget bouts of separation anxiety. The pang of loneliness is nearly visceral; the need to reach out and hang on is imperative. As human beings, we can explain to ourselves how and why the hurt is there. We understand life's beginnings and endings and are able to navigate them, usually with resolve.But people aren't the only ones who struggle with separation anxiety. Puppies do, too.
Considering she's recently left behind her momma, her siblings and the only home she's ever known, that's understandable. She might be scared. And lonely. She clings to what she knows makes her feel safe, warm and happy — you. So when you go off to work in the morning or spend an entire day at a rugby match, she mourns you. Unlike human beings, however, she doesn't have the mechanisms to cope as well. As a result, she might drool, pant, bark excessively, soil the house or engage in destructive behavior. She may try to escape from your home. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help her adjust. Here's how:
Most puppies learn to embrace their new lives soon after being adopted. Old fears quickly evaporate as they learn your household's routines. But for one in every 15 pets, separation anxiety remains acute. How do you know if your pup has a bad case? Veterinarians who see chronic cases report that the aforementioned behaviors occur within the first 30 minutes after you leave your home. Moreover, they happen consistently when your puppy is left alone.
Some pets do not outgrow separation anxiety. (In fact, breeds like the Weimarner are known for such issues in some form of it even as adults.) These animals need your utmost compassion and, perhaps, medical attention. Sedatives can be prescribed for extreme cases (though they are not long-term solutions). Moreover, professional animal trainers can help.
Like you, puppies are social creatures. It is normal for her to miss you. In time, she'll learn you're coming home, and the pangs of separation anxiety will fade. Someday soon, she'll be so comfortable with solitude you will be sure to catch her asleep — atop your favourite couch.
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