As someone who loves your shih tzus, seeing separation anxiety in your dogs can be a difficult experience to deal with on a daily basis. This is because there are times that you cannot be with your shih tzu, but your shih tzu wants to be with you. Shih tzus are pretty smart, so they know when you are about to leave. And those with separation anxiety will start to pace, drool, whine, and more.
And the problem usually gets worse as the day goes on. You may find when you get home that your shih tzu has escaped from their crate, destroyed something you own, and even pooped or peed on the floor and not in their designated spot. Other signs may include scratch marks on the wall along with other things that they have destroyed all because of separation anxiety.
How to Spot Separation Anxiety?
The signs are usually pretty obvious when you are leaving the home. But it can happen when they are separated from you even when you are still there. If your shih tzu starts to panic when alone in another room or in the backyard. The typical signs of pacing, barking for seemingly no reason, and other related behavior are typical signs of separation anxiety.
Depending on the severity of the anxiety, it can grow worse over time. The trigger of seeing you preparing to leave only make the shih tzu even more anxious. Dealing with separation anxiety can be difficult as well since it can happen to any dog that becomes overly bonded to a human.
Other reasons include a traumatic event, which is often the case with rescue dogs. They have been separated from their previous owners and now they may fear the same thing will happen again. While in some cases the behavior may be from a perceived threat that is outside the home and your shih tzu becomes more fearful because you are not there to comfort it.
How to Reduce the Anxiety
There may not be much you can do about the feelings of separation, but you can reduce the anxiety levels in your shih tzu.
Reduce Boredom: The lack of something to do may promote feelings of anxiety. You may help relieve that when you are there by playing more with your shih tzu. You can also purchase toys and other objects that provide some level of mental stimulation.
Exercise: Daily exercise is a good way to help your shih tzu lower the levels of anxiety that they are feeling. A good walk or play session can do a lot to help reduce the overall feelings of anxiety and put that energy to positive use.
Day Care: You can hire a dog walker or send your shih tzu to doggie day care. This will provide some companionship for your shih tzu while they are separated from you.
You’ll have to be patient and caring during this time when dealing with your shih tzu that has separation anxiety. It may take some time before they can overcome or at least tolerate being alone. But there are effective alternatives that will help them lower the stress they are feeling.