Hey there all, Kaitlin here. Today I’m going to discuss Daisy’s separation anxiety, her destructive behavior, and how we got through it!
When I adopted Daisy, she not only had crazy young-puppy energy, coupled with that energy she had separation anxiety. This became harder and harder to deal with, as I would have to leave for a couple hours at a time to attend class. I would provide her with all the chew toys imaginable, she wouldn’t touch them. Instead she preferred things like my laptop cord (that she pulled off tables and counters), paper towels that she could eviscerate all over my living room (I called this snow, because it looked like a blizzard came through my house), and anything else she could rip to shreds. She infinitely favored things she was not supposed to chew on.
When she was a puppy, she also had a problem of peeing in the house. Now she didn’t always do it because she had to go, but as I said she was abandon and whenever she would get scared she would pee. This wasn’t her fault, but we worked through this along with the separation anxiety. So you will hear about this too.
I do not want to discredit thunder shirts (we still use them for 4th of July and New Years) or those who use them to help with their pups anxiety, if they work for you that is perfect! They work for Daisy, but she doesn’t like to have a collar on, none the less a whole shirt so this is why you wont hear much use of them in this solution.
To start out, I purchased a crate, a size large for my little 14 pound puppy, and I made this space as comfortable as possible, memory foam bed, chew toys, a shirt that smells like me and her favorite hedgehog toy. I went and sat in the crate with her for an hour and let her know that it was a safe space, that it was her space. I got out and left treats in my absence (treats, or any kind of food is really the way to Daisy’s heart). She became really comfortable in that space which is what I wanted, so when she was anxious she would go to her crate to cope.
I also started taking her to the park every morning, previously we would run, but she gets so much more worn out at the park, so we woke up an hour and a half earlier than we used to to pile in the car before the sun was even up, to go to the dog park. We very rarely ran into other dogs there, but seeing as I have three we didn’t really need to. Athena just hangs out by me, but Daisy and Diesel would run all over the pace for the hour we were there.
This helped with the destructiveness, she was so worn out she would sleep for more of the time I was gone. Now I just had to get her to chew on her chew toys while I was gone. (Ill be doing a comparison blog post between the different solutions I tried here). By far the BEST no chew spray was Grannick’s Bitter Apple Spray. Once we found this spray the chewing practically stopped. I sprayed my cords, couch, blankets, everything I could think of (which was great because you can spray this on ANYTHING and it doesn’t do damage).
So now that we had taken care of the side effects of the separation anxiety, we had time to treat the anxiety itself. There are two things I used that have helped tremendously! I purchased calming room spray, it had a cocktail of ingredients that help calm dogs down. This worked really well, it helped Daisy relax and not fear me leaving so much. She previously would get nervous and bite my pants or skirt and try to hold me home, now she walks me to the door and lets me say goodbye, but doesn’t try to actively make me stay. The spray I used was NaturVet Quiet Moments spray, I believe that they also offer chews and treats although I never tried them personally.
On top of the calming room spray I also purchased Canna-Pet’s Maple Bacon treats. Now let me explain, these treats have CBD, and hemp so they don’t have any psychoactive effect on your dog (your dog doesn’t get “high”off these treats). These helped TREMENDOUSLY. With use of these treats Daisy doesn’t show any of the nervous tendencies she did before. (If you don’t feel comfortable giving something that has CBD, please try the other treats as mentioned above and please leave your results in the comments for others to see!)
With the activity, crate, the two sprays, and the treats Daisy’s separation anxiety is so much better! Once we had done this for about two months Daisy learned that I’ll always come back, and we were able to stop with the two room sprays. She still has her crate that she loves, and we still use the Canna-Pet treats in our morning treat routine, but she can do without everything else. (She says to not worry mom still takes us to the park, just later in the day when other dogs are there.)
I hope this helps! I know it was a nightmare coming home to something destroyed, and hopefully this helps cut out some of the guesswork.
Also check out my product comparison for the no chew sprays if you have any additional questions about that!