Marie asks:

What can I do to stop separation anxiety when I leave my dog with sitters? It doesn’t matter that he is with people who love him, he cries the whole time I am away.

Dr Jo:

Most dogs will bond strongly to their owners when given the chance and some will fret when left alone. This is separation anxiety. Your dog is even suffering when left with other people. This is rather unusual as most dogs will quickly adapt to their new situation.

Make sure that your sitters are carrying out your dog’s routine as much as they possibly can. Perhaps try and alter your routine to mimic the sitter’s behaviour a few weeks prior to leaving your dog. If, for instance, they walk your dog in the morning and feed at night, then get your dog used to this routine.

If this does not help your dog cope, then you may need to make more frequent and gradual separations from your dog while you are at home and in your normal routine. This will help your dog cope with being alone. Then when he is with the sitter, he will be less stressed. If possible, you could also do a few more, shorter sitter session so that your dog begins to bond with them too. There are more tips for separation anxiety on my website at


Dr Jo insists that no pet problem is too big, too small or too embarrassing to talk about. Even if your pet is already ‘perfect’, Dr Joanne will celebrate the joy, the fun & the love that our pets bring into our lives. So send your questions for Dr Jo to


Does Your Dog Become Anxious When Left With A Sitter?,

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