Separation anxiety in dogs can be a tricky affair and requires a lot of patience and understanding. Therefore we start with this blog first to describe what separation anxiety actually is to bring you in the same feeling as your dog.
Separation anxiety in dogs often occurs when the person they consider as their human parents leave them with other family members alone in their home. This can lead to destructive behaviors and other disobedient actions. Some owners think that these dogs behave rudely in spite of everything, but in reality, they are so anxious and frightened that they simply start doing something, and often it is not good for them or for the people around them.
There are many things that could trigger separation anxiety in your dog and each case is different, but there are some moments in the life of a dog that this can happen more than others.
1. Changes In Parents- When the dog is abandoned and often adopted, the dog suffers from a kind of separation anxiety due to the bad experience they had and the worry that the parents will never come back.
2. Changes In The Environment- When dogs are introduced into a new environment, they can sometimes be overwhelmed and this can lead to separation fears when no one else that they know is around in the strange place.
3. Schedule Changes- If you are at home and always together with the puppy, then you suddenly get a 9-5 job that changes the order of things. This can cause your dogs to freak out every time they don’t know when you’ll be gone and when you’re coming back.
4. Death of a Pet Friend- If someone or something special to your dog suddenly dies, this may lead to a change in behavior, where separation anxiety is a possible result. So be sure to love your dog even in these times.
Just like other negative behaviors, there are many symptoms that can show when a dog is experiencing separation anxiety. But no one knows your dog as well as you do, so make sure to talk to a vet if you have any concerns.
1. Loud Barking and Howling- If your dog barks when you go and you can hear it up to your car, then it may show a sign of separation anxiety especially if it happens repeatedly
2. Destructive Actions- If your dog is a chewing or grave robber while you’re on the road and he’s destroying furniture, wires, or anything else he gets his paws on, this could be another signal that your dog is scared when you leave.
3. Urination or Pooping- Sometimes you go to work and come home to a ‘ mess ‘ right outside the door, well, that could be Fido’s way of responding to his thoughts that you’re not returning. These can be both signs of separation anxiety and could easily be mistaken as misconduct.
4. Nervous Behavior- While you are preparing to leave, take time to see the behavior of your dog. If he keeps walking, yawning or licking his lips, he may be nervous, which is another sign that he’s going to experience separation anxiety when you go out the door.
5. Escaping- One of the more dangerous behaviors is escaping, some dogs become so anxious that they have to flee and this can lead to untoward incidents that can end up in a heartbreak. But escaping and all the other symptoms of separation anxiety can be reversed. Read on to learn how this can be achieved.
How To Deal With Separation Anxiety in Dogs
There are many ways to counteract separation anxiety in dogs, although certain dogs have special needs and each of them can react differently to every method.
1. Change your signals of leaving- Instead of just putting your shoes on then leave, try to give them a healthy reward or a fun toy to divert your dog’s attention.
2. Make sure to give your dog some exercise- The more tired your dog is when you leave, the better it is since it will promote calm behavior even when you’re away.
3. Do not exaggerate greetings and farewells- By putting too much into every greeting or goodbye, you are teaching your dog to be accustomed to it, so make sure to be calm both when leaving and upon arriving and entering your house.
4. Create a place for your dog- Make sure that your dog has a place he can go to and feel comfortable with when you’re not around. Try to add his favorite toys in this area which you both use during playtime.
5. Use comforting items and food- Some dogs respond positively to things like comfort blankets and soothing supplements, both of which are supported by research to soothe dogs.
6. Training- The most effective and popular method is the reverse training, there are instructions to help you out in doing this, but it is recommended to consult your veterinarian to make sure that this is the right cure for your pet’s separation anxiety. Trainers are often needed, so make sure you get a high-quality dog trainer.
Although this blog can help you, there is no definite way to heal separation anxiety, but with devotion and love, there is hope to reverse all the emotions that your dog experiences when you go out the door. Be sure to contact your veterinarian before you change too much in your dog’s life, as some of these symptoms may also be related to other cases.