International Dog Day: Top tips to overcome separation anxiety in dogs according to Hemel podcaster
International Dog Day celebrates all dogs!
Today (August 26), is officially International Dog Day - a designated time to celebrate our four-legged friends in all of their glory, and to mark the occasion The Gazette spoke to local podcaster Sarah McLaren, who is a separation anxiety specialist.
Sarah, from Hemel Hempstead, along with two of her colleagues - Stacey Bell, based in the USA, and Ness Jones, based in Australia - record a weekly podcast all about separation anxiety in dogs.
Tails from the Dog House: Separation Anxiety Explained - three global specialists delve into the dos and don't of training a dog to feel safe and comfortable when left home alone. The podcast comes out every Friday.
The 54-year-old, who has a poodle and a Labrador-cross-boxer, said: "We started the podcast as we wanted to find a way to get good evidence-based information out to the general public in an accessible format.
"We pick a different topic every week and have special guests and clients.
"We all did the same training course with Julie Naismith, who is a professional in her field and an experienced, certified dog trainer.
"The podcast has been going for about 18 months, and I joined in December.
"It is fabulous, and I really enjoy doing it.
"We all have a really good time, and I think that does come through when you listen to the podcast."
Here are their top tips:
> Use a camera - in order to know your dog has issues you need to be able to see them when you are out of the house. Most people find out there is an issue when they get a note from their neighbours.
> Speak to your vet - if your dog suddenly develops isolation issues it could be related to illness or pain.
> Manage absences - Only leave your dog for as long as they can comfortably handle. Can you utilise friends, neighbours, family, dog sitters etc? This will help your dog develop confidence.
> Is confinement the issue? - some dogs find confinement difficult; try leaving them with the run of the house or the downstairs - because you have that camera you will be able to see if they do better
> Seek specialist help - separation anxiety is a real anxiety issue, not something caused by too much cuddling! Most separation anxiety specialists will be happy if you get in touch.