Does your Chihuahua get anxious when you leave him or her behind for any length of time? For a highly social, extremely loyal creature like a Chihuahua, being separated from the people they are attached to can be very distressing and result in a variety of disruptive, destructive behaviors.
Common behaviors associated with separation anxiety include: howling, barking, chewing, digging, urination and defecation. Extreme behaviors include escape attempts resulting in injuries to your Chihuahua and damaged property.
So what can you do to help calm your Chihuahua’s fears – and your own? The folks at We Love Chihuahuas (www.welovechihuahuas.com) suggest a few simple strategies to make partings less traumatic for everyone involved:
No long goodbyes. Making a big deal out of your comings and goings can be a sure way to trigger your pet’s anxieties. Extra attention and reassurances may work with a toddler, but not with a dog. Instead, try departing and returning with as little fanfare as possible to show your Chihuahua there is nothing to worry about.
Friend time. Chihuahuas prefer the company of human friends or other dogs, especially other Chihuahuas, to being on their own. If you are often away for long stretches, consider getting your Chihuahua a friend to play with. Or, try taking your Chihuahua to a local doggy day care center or hiring a sitter to spend time with your pet when you can’t.
Out and about. Chihuahuas are very intelligent and full of energy, and will not be content with hanging out at home day after day. Chihuahuas need plenty of exercise and socialization, so be sure to walk your pet every day to keep him or her healthy and happy. Meeting new people and dogs, and exploring new places, will help provide Chihuahuas with the stimulation they crave.
Does your Chihuahua have separation anxiety? Check out our free ebook, Separation Anxiety: A Pet360 Community Guide, for more tips and tricks on managing your dog's separation anxiety.