Some dogs experience separation anxiety when they are separated from their owners for a period of time. In some cases, dogs that are so anxious to be away from their owners wind up in animal shelters because of the separation anxiety itself. But, why do dogs develop separation anxiety? This article shall discuss the causes, symptoms and treatment of dog’s separation anxiety.
In general, separation anxiety occurs when the dog feels distressed because of separation from its owner.
Some situations that may give the dog a feeling of separation include the following:
Sudden change of schedule: If you used to be a stay home dad and you suddenly took a 40-hour job, your dog may feel anxious because you no longer spend a lot of time together.
Alteration in home situations: If a family member leaves the house it becomes very troubling for the dog especially if that person was close to your canine pet. Moving to a new place, divorce, death of a family member, or change of working hours may give the dog a feeling of separation.
Traumatic experience of being alone: Dogs that have experienced stressful situations while they were alone may associate its owner’s absence to the stressful event. So, every time you leave the house, your dog may fear that the same event will happen again.
Signs and symptoms
Some of the signs and symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs include the following:
• Chewing objects or digging on doorways or other places
• Eating its own excrement
• Persistent howling or barking
• Trotting or walking in circular, or straight patterns
• Urinating in inappropriate places
Take note that all these symptoms must be triggered by the separation from their guardians and manifested in their absence.
Practice gradual separation. If you used to allow your dog to sleep on your bed, you can let him lie on your bedside sofa and soon after, in a safe and comfy kennel run or crate. This will minimize your dog’s clinging behaviors.
Do not reward your dog’s untoward behaviors. If you come home, be sure to pay no attention to your dog for several minutes. In this way, you will let your dog realize that its untoward behaviors were not the reasons you came home.
Dog training: Educate your canine friend that temporary separation is indispensable. Obedience training is also important because it will teach your dog to respect and follow you. Obedience will also enable your dog to respect your right to be away from each other for a while. At the same time, your dog will feel safe and comfortable while you are away.
For more information and treatment options, you can bring your dog to a Vet. Some cases require medication especially if your dog’s behaviors become self-destructive.
Published in: Pets