Does your dog act crazy and hyper before you leave the house or when you’re away? Unfortunately, most people can’t be with their dogs every waking moment or hire someone else to be with them, so that leaves many dog owners wondering how to calm a dog down when they have to leave them alone.
The first step in how to calm a dog down is recognizing the signs that they are stressed about being left alone. Once you can identify certain behaviors as your dog’s way of communicating their discomfort, you can start to address that stress with a variety of techniques that will help your dog stay calm when they’re home alone.
Signs Your Dog is Stressed When You Leave
The signs of stress in dogs are usually pretty obvious, but some might be a little more subtle. While many signs of stress in dogs are relatively minor and not a cause for serious concern – such as excessive vocalization or trembling – other behaviors that can be very worrisome, like loss of appetite or aggression.
Minor or Mild Stress Signs in Dogs
Dogs can’t tell us what’s wrong, so they find other ways to communicate that they feel hyper and stressed out when you leave them alone. Some of the common, mild stress signs that dogs will use to demonstrate their feelings might be:
- Making lots of protesting noises like barking, whining, or growling
- Trembling or shaking
- Pacing back and forth
- Raised hackles
- Cowering with pinned-back ears or a tucked-under tail
- Chewing or destroying furniture and household items
- Accidents in the house
If your dog feels stressed when you have to leave them alone, you might notice some of these behaviors while you’ve been away (maybe you see them pacing or trembling on the doggie cam), or they might start to act this way when they can tell you’re about to leave. For example, if they see your suitcase out or hear you packing up the car or the jangle of your keys, you might see some of these responses to the impending separation.
Critical or Concerning Stress Signs in Dogs
Separation stress can be a very serious issue for some dogs, and your pet might be demonstrating some behaviors that can make them or the people and other animals around them unsafe, including:
- Complete loss of appetite or refusing food
- Chewing skin or fur
- Aggression towards people or other pets
- Excessive hair shedding or weight loss
Obviously, these signs of stress can severely impact your dog’s health and should be addressed with your veterinarian immediately. Most dogs won’t experience this much distress when you leave home, but it’s not unheard of for a pet to have one or two of these experiences, especially if they have trauma around abandonment.
How to Calm a Dog Down When You Leave
There are many techniques to support your dog’s calm while you’re away from them. Most dogs, even those who might demonstrate critical stress signals when their owner leaves the house, can learn to be calm while their family is away. Some of the best strategies for how to calm a dog down include:
- Background noise like TV or radio
- Fabric comfort items that smell like you
- Toys and games to keep them occupied
- A dog sitter or dog walker
- An interactive doggie cam
- A wellness routine with CBD for dogs
Leave Them with Some Background Noise
If your dog is sitting in a silent house, it’s very obvious to them that they’re alone. If you provide some background noise, like leaving on the television or radio or even a white noise machine, it can make the house seem like it isn’t empty while you’re gone.
Comfort Items Like Blankets or Clothing
A great way to calm a dog down when you’re away is by leaving them with comforting, soft items that smell like you, such as a t-shirt you have slept in or a blanket they love. These snuggling items provide something that reminds them of you and makes them feel less alone. It’s important to use fabric or cloth items that can absorb your smell, and these items also work best because they are light and transportable, allowing your dog to bring them along when they move around the house.
Use Mental Distractions Like Toys
Boredom can make your dog more hyper and crazy while you’re away, so be sure to leave them with something to do. A mentally stimulating toy or game that your dog can play while you’re gone can do wonders to help calm them down.
Consider an interactive, battery-operated toy that simulates playing with a human and makes noise. Another popular choice is the Kong, a rubber toy that you can fill with treats or peanut butter. It not only gives your dog a special treat, but they have something to focus on and work at as they try to get every last bit of the goodness out of the toy!
Provide Activity or Company with a Dog Sitter
Having some company might be the best answer when it comes to how to calm down a dog when you have to leave them alone. Hiring a dog sitter or dog walker to visit with your pet when you have to be away from them can be a great solution.
Communicate and Interact with a Doggie Cam
An alternative to hiring a dog walker is installing a pet camera in your house that allows you to speak to your dog while you’re away. Plenty of services make it easy to watch your dog and talk to them through a microphone when you can’t be with them in person. Sometimes just the sound of your voice can calm down a hyper dog.
Establish a Wellness Routine with Calming CBD for Dogs
When you are with your dog, what you do can help dictate their behavior when you have to leave them alone. Sometimes how to calm a dog down is as simple as giving it more exercise before you leave.
Establishing a solid wellness routine with plenty of exercise and attention, a healthy diet, and the support of calming CBD oil for dogs can make it easier for your dog to maintain their chill while you’re away. Our calming tinctures have the soothing power of melatonin, valerian, passion flower, lemon balm, and chamomile, while our calming CBD treats for dogs include the calming qualities of L-tryptophan. Including these resources in your pet’s daily wellness regimen can be a wonderful strategy for helping your dog cope with stress while you’re away from them.
You Can Calm Your Dog Down When You’re Gone
If your dog acts crazy when you leave the house, you’re not alone, and you’re not powerless. There are ways you can help while you’re with your dog, such as giving them plenty of exercise and introducing CBD for dogs into their wellness routine. Other strategies can be implemented while you’re away, including communicating through a doggie cam or providing your dog with comfort items and background noise. There are many techniques for how to calm a dog down when you leave the house.
It’s important that your dog feels safe all the time – not just when you’re with them – so take the time to find a system that works best for you and your canine companion!