Pugs are known for experiencing separation anxiety. It’s actually very common for a pug to feel anxious while their owner is off at work or even running a quick errand. Pugs are very social animals, they love being around other pugs and people. Unfortunately, when a pug experiences separation anxiety they can become very restless and extremely destructive. Some may be scared that their owner is never going to return and so they may destroy clothes or chew up the couch while you’re gone. Finding pug feces on the floor in your home also isn’t uncommon when your pug is experiencing separation anxiety. It can be caused by various factors such as loneliness or fear. For example, think of how scared you may have been if you were left home alone when you were a young child, you may have had a panic attack and feared that your parents wouldn’t return home. Pugs experience the same thing. Maybe they hear loud sounds that they aren’t familiar with and it puts them into panic mode. Fortunately, there are various things that you can do to help deal with your pug’s separation anxiety, here’s a list of 15 tips.
Stay calm – Coming home to what looks like the remnants of a tornado can cause anger or frustration of a pug owner. However, you need to stay calm. After all, your pug isn’t actually misbehaving. He’s reacting out of severe anxiety and fear. So when you return home and you see your house is a mess, gently pet your pug, kiss him on the forehead and tell him you love him. Maybe spend a few minutes cuddling your pug and then start cleaning up the mess. Pug owners with only one pug are more likely to come home to everything destroyed, especially if he’s still a young puppy. If you bought your pug from a breeder, he was likely always surrounded by siblings and his parents so keep in mind that it’s a huge change for him to suddenly be alone. He may feel a little abandoned. By staying calm you help reduce their anxiety. For example, if you know someone who suffers from anxiety you likely wouldn’t scream at them knowing that they’re already suffering so apply how you’d treat a person with anxiety to how you’d treat a pug suffering the same thing.
Pay attention to signs – Pay close attention to the behavior of your pug before you go out. For example, does your pug start whimpering every time you’re about to head out the door? Does your door have marks on it from your pug jumping on the door? Have you ever come home to a giant mess or found feces on the floor? These are just a few of the common signs that your pug has separation anxiety. By knowing the signs you can work towards helping your pug cope with being separated from you.
Go through a training program – Sending your pug to puppy school will help you learn the tricks and tactics that’ll help your pug reduce anxiety. For example, if your pug experiences separation anxiety from you and he’s alone with another pug that he hasn’t become fully acquainted with yet, a training program will teach your pug how to interact with other dogs. It will also allow you to train your pug to be more obedient so that he’ll know not to destroy things when he’s scared. You can also train your pug to know that no matter what you’ll always return home when you go out so that he’s never fully alone.
Take him to the vet – While I wouldn’t recommend this as a first choice, if you find that your pug isn’t overcoming his separation anxiety, you can take him to the vet who may provide some medication to help ease the pug’s anxiety. The vet may also be able to provide other useful tips that’ll make the pug feel safer and calmer while you’re out for the work day.
Create a safe space for them – By creating an environment that your new pug can feel safe in, you help make it a bit more bearable for them to be alone. If your pug is in a crate, make sure that it’s a large size so that they can roam a little bit rather than being stuck in a cage for eight hours. Have their favorite toy right beside them. Have food and water in an accessible area as well. Make sure their favorite nap spot is in the crate as well.
Go for a morning walk before work – Each morning before you head out for work, be sure to go for a long morning walk to tire your pug out. By doing this, they’ll likely be extremely exhausted and will want to drink some water then take a nice long nap. As a result, they likely won’t stay by the door all day worried about whether or not you’ll come back.
Have some white noise in the background – When you’re alone in absolute silence, it can be scary. Your pug may hear strange sounds that may make him or her more anxious. Have some white noise on in the background that reminds them of when you’re home. For example, you can have a fan on or a radio or television with just enough sound to make your pug feel like you’re home or at least provide some familiarity.
Don’t make dramatic entrances or exits – When you’re leaving or entering the house, don’t make a big deal out of it. Just act casual as if you were leaving for only thirty seconds. Don’t draw too much attention to yourself. Even when you come home if your pug is by the door wagging his tail, say hi kiss him but don’t scream and hug him. You don’t want your leaving and arrival to be this big moment, it’s important to downplay it a little bit.
Let your pug roam around the house – While your pug is a puppy you may choose to crate train him or her in order to prevent having urine or feces all over the house. However, don’t confine them to a space as that can feel claustrophobic or suffocated. Just as you may feel suffocated being trapped in a small area for over eight hours a day, your pug can also feel the same way. Give them the space to move around and play while you’re gone.
Get a puppy cam – Installing a puppy cam can be the best and worst thing you can do. It’s great because you can see footage of your puppy while you aren’t home to understand their behavior. However, if your pug is suffering from separation anxiety, watching the footage can make you feel sad and worried while you’re off at work. As a pug owner, you fall in love with your pug from day one and it can be very heartbreaking to see your pug have a panic attack while he’s home alone. However, by watching the puppy cam you can take better steps to help calm your pug because you can see what may be causing the anxiety and if there are certain peak times.
Practice leaving for short periods of time and coming back—A little helpful trick to help eliminate separation anxiety in pugs is to practice leaving frequently. You can intentionally go out the door for thirty seconds and then come back in. Then, go out for two minutes and come back in. Then, go out for five minutes and come back in. And continue increasing the amount of time you’re gone but always coming back in. By doing this, the pug slowly realizes that every time you leave you always come back. This may help your pug feel a little less anxious about you not coming back.
Leave lots of toys for him to play with – Before you leave for work, make sure your pug’s favorite toys are accessible. Maybe he has a stuffed pug that he likes to cuddle with, or something that he likes chewing that’s safe for him to chew on while unsupervised. You can also leave a ball for him to play around with. By having toys, this will help distract your pug and allow him to fill his time while you’re gone for the day.
Close the blinds – A strategic tip for helping your pug cope with his separation anxiety is to close the blinds so that your pug can’t see you leave. Every dog owner will tell you that they know their pug looks out the window as soon as you go out the door and freaks out as soon as he sees your car pulling out of the driveway. By closing the blinds your pug can’t see you leave which helps make it a bit more bearable.
Get a second pug – A great way to alleviate separation anxiety in your pug is by getting a second pug. By having two pugs, the two of them will be able to keep each other company and hopefully keep them a little less scared. They’ll be able to play with each other using the toys you’ve left for them and can spend hours just chasing each other around the house. As a result, when you come home, they’ll still be excited to see you but they likely won’t be howling for hours over your absence.
Work from home or take pug to work – If the separation anxiety is severe in your pug, you may want to choose to work from home or work in a dog friendly office. This won’t allieviate the fear of being alone, however, it is a plausible solution. If you’re entrepreneurial or are able to take your dog to the office, keep your little pug by your side will allow him to feel safe and protected by his loving owner.
These 15 tips for dealing with your pug’s separation anxiety will allow your pug to become more independent while also learning to cope while you’re off at work.