How To Stop A Puppy Crying When Left Alone
Does your new puppy often cry when left alone? In this guide, we’re going to explain the reasons behind this behavior and show you what you can do to keep your dog calm and stress-free, so they’re less prone to cry whenever you’re not around. With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at this issue.
Firstly, it’s certainly normal behavior for your puppy to cry when left alone, and this is even more likely during the first few times (because they have no experience to let them know what’s happening, or whether you’re going to be coming back!)
In most cases, this behavior is your dog’s way of alerting anyone around that they’ve been forgotten about, so they’re trying to let someone know that they’re alone and need some company to feel safe.
For a puppy to survive, they’ll need to ensure they’ve not been abandoned by whoever is caring for them. Naturally, the prospect of abandonment will provoke a lot of anxiety for your puppy, so they’ll cry in the hope that you’ll return.
Above all, this isn’t a behavior that should be “punished” because it’s a natural response. Separation anxiety is very common for puppies and dogs, but fortunately, there are many things you can do to manage the symptoms and comfort your dog.
Why Does Your Puppy Cry?
Your puppy will whine or cry when they want your attention. Usually, this will be because they’re feeling lonely or isolated, but this isn’t the only reason why they may cry.
Sometimes your puppy may cry if they’re uncomfortable in some way (either in pain, or simply too hot or too cold), so this is also something to check for.
If your puppy is restless or bored, they could also whine, too. But if you’re dealing with a new puppy who’s being left alone for the first time, then it’s usually safe to assume that your beloved pooch is feeling some separation anxiety. So let’s take a look at what you can do to help.
Teach Them That You’re Coming Back!
To start with, many dog owners make the mistake of making a big fuss over their dog whenever they are leaving the house.
While we may think this is comforting to a dog, in reality, you could be sending the message that you leaving is a ‘big deal’ and that it’s something your dog should pay attention to and be concerned about.
Of course, this elevates your dog’s anxiety even more. Just put yourself in their shoes – your owner has given you lots of positive attention and comfort, then suddenly they’ve just disappeared, and you have no idea where they’ve gone or when they’ll be back, or even whether they’ve abandoned you completely!
So the answer to this is problem is to be less enthusiastic when you leave and arrive. If you don’t make a big deal over it, then your dog will be more inclined to follow your lead as well. So always try to be calm and casual about the whole thing.
Now, treating your arrival and departure as ‘no big deal’ is important, but it isn’t going to take away your dog’s anxiety completely, especially if your puppy has never been left alone before.
So the key thing to do here is to get them used to it slowly and gradually.
You can begin by leaving your puppy in a room alone for a very short period of time.
When they begin to cry, don’t be too hasty to rush back in, or they’ll learn that crying gets immediate attention, and this could make the problem worse.
The key is to return once they’ve calmed down a bit, so they learn that calm behavior gets a better response.
If you take small, gradual steps, starting with just a few minutes, then 10 minutes, then 15, then 20 – you’ll gradually get your dog used to being alone for short periods of time.
Most importantly, your dog will have plenty of reference experiences of you leaving and actually returning, and when they understand that you’re going to be back, their anxiety and crying should be greatly reduced.
Try A Calming Product
Nowadays there is a wide range of calming products that are designed to relax and ease the stress of your dog. Unfortunately, not all of these products work in every situation – but there’s no denying that many dog owners have had great success with a few of them.
One of the most effective solutions we’ve found is a product known as Adaptil, which helps to calm your dog in a stressful situation, particularly thunderstorms and the like. However, these products can also help to relax an anxious puppy in many cases, so they’re well worth a try. While they may not work for everyone, these products do earn positive reviews quite often, and some dogs seem to take to them well, particularly puppies.
Alternatively, some dogs experience great relief when they’re wearing an item of apparel that gently restricts them with a constant pressure. Although they’re often marketed for use during thunderstorms, they can certainly provide relief in a variety of other anxiety-provoking situations, too. They’re also available in a variety of sizes, so no matter where you have a large or a small breed, you’ll be able to find one that works.
If your dog has a lot of energy and is prone to restless anxiety, it’s a good idea to take them for a walk before leaving them alone for any long period of time. As you’d expect, this can help your pooch to burn off some of that excess energy and make your dog calmer overall.
Additionally, making sure your dog has plenty of interesting chew toys to play with can keep them entertained for short periods of time, which could make the crying less of a common occurrence. Ultimately, it’s wise to have a variety of safe chew toys so your dog doesn’t become bored while you’re away.