Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Separation anxiety is a disorder that not only occurs in human beings, but also in dogs. You may find that your dog exhibits certain behaviors when he or she is left alone. This goes beyond simply whining or looking a bit sad when you leave. Instead, it is a dramatic response that occurs almost every time you leave the house. Owners may find that their dog cries, howls, chews, digs, pees or defecates inside the house even if when they are trained not to do so. They may also scratch, claw and bark.
While professionals don’t totally understand why this occurs, it is important that owners realize that the dog is really feeling panicked because the owner is leaving, and they dog or puppy is not out to be mean or to punish their owner for leaving. Some things which heighten the likelihood of separation anxiety include your dog or puppy not having spent a lot of time alone or if you or your family are gone for long period of time. For example, if you go on vacation and then come back your dog may panic when you leave the house again, because they aren’t sure when you might come back.
If your dog has had a real bad experience, for example getting hit by a car or prior abuse, then they may not want you to leave their side. If there has been some big changes in the family, such as you taking a new job and you now have a different schedule, if you have recently changed cities or if your son or daughter goes off to college, this may cause mental anxiety for your dong.

There may be other things going on besides separation anxiety. Therefore, there are some important and specific markers to look for to make sure that this is what it is going on with your dog. If your dog only acts out when he or she is left alone or if they follow you very closely while you are at home, if they are very frantic or too excitable when you come home or when you are getting prepared to leave the house, these are major clues that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety. Your dog being fearful of going outside by themselves is another big clue.
If your dog is dealing with separation anxiety, you may want to leave them with a piece of your clothing that has your scent on it. This may help calm them down. When you come in and out on the house don’t make a big fuss. You may even want to not acknowledge your dog for a few minutes and then calmly speak to him or her or pet them. When you leave the house, let them know that you’ll be right back. If you find that some of these things do not work, you may want to talk to your vet and ask them about anti-anxiety drugs. Leaving your pet with a family member or a friend when you are going to be gone for either short or long periods of time may also be beneficial.

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