Separation anxiety in dogs

Have you noticed weird behavior patterns from your pup when you are just about to leave? These might range from agitation, drooling, some might become anxious or depressed while others resort to continuous barking and howling even after your departure. When you are away, such behaviors might skyrocket to destruction, chewing, digging, aimless urinating, or defecating even when your dog is properly toilet trained and continuously searching for escape routes.

Some dog parents might be quick to rule this as ill-manners. WRONG. Your dog is may be suffering from separation anxiety.

What is separation anxiety?

Separation anxiety is when your puppy or adult dog exhibits extreme behavior or stress when they’re terrified of being left alone in their homes or separated from their owners. This occurs frequently when the dog owner is about to leave and the period within which they are away.

Common causes of separation anxiety

Although researchers have found no concrete proof as to why dogs suffer from separation anxieties, some breeds are considered more anxiety-prone than others. They include the Labrador Retrievers, Chihuahuas, German Shepherds, and Cocker Spaniels.

Below is a list of situations associated with separation anxiety.

Changes in routine

Sudden changes in a dog’s daily routine – or their human companion as well, can trigger episodes of separation anxiety. For instance, if you’re a work-from-home person and you abruptly start reporting to work every day.

Change of ownership

When a dog is transferred to a new family or taken to a shelter, they are prone to developing separation anxiety. Also, a sudden absence or loss of a fav family member can trigger such episodes.

Change in residence

Dogs, like humans, take time to adapt to new environments. Although adaptability may differ depending on the individual, some might take a little longer to settle in and even develop stress.

How to treat separation anxiety

Immediately you notice such behavioral changes it is crucial to get in touch with one of our vetsend veterinarians to rule out any chances of underlying medical problems. After a diagnosis is given to be separation anxiety, consider adopting the following tips to ease out your canine friend:

  • Avoid making a fuss about your return or departure. Keep it business as usual so your dog can learn that time apart is no biggie.
  • Leave an audiobook or TV on to lessen loneliness in the house. Believe it or not, a human voice can have a calming effect on your dog.
  • If you have to abruptly change your routine, start with shorter periods to help your dog acclimatize.
  • Do not show signs of remorse or guilt when you are just about to leave the house. Instead, assert calmness.
  • Say goodbye long before you walk out the door.