Separation anxiety in dogs is when a dog cannot cope with its owner leaving the house and with having to be left to his own devices.
It’s important to prevent separation anxiety from occurring in dogs as it can lead to concerning behavior in your dog. If you feel your dog may be suffering from separation anxiety or you would like to prevent your dog from suffering from it, this article will be of interest to you.
Separation anxiety in dogs relates back to a dogs natural instinct, which is wanting to hunt in packs and not wanting to be left to fend for himself. Being left by himself can be seen as a threat to him, as he has no pack to hunt for food with and he has no pack to help protect him from dangers or threats and that is when separation anxiety can occur.
Signs of Separation Anxiety in Dogs
If your dog is:
- Barking, howling or crying when left alone.
- Destructing or damaging things.
- Following you around, everywhere you go.
- Scratching or whining at a closed door which you are behind.
- Nervous or pacing when you are about to leave.
- Overly excited when you return, even just from collecting milk from outside the front door.
- Going to the toilet in your home.
- Not eating any treats or chews that you leave for him.
- Trying to come out the front door with you.
- Laying down and staring at the front door.
If you have notice a few of these above behaviours in your dog, your dog may be suffering from separation anxiety and you should follow the below tips and hints which will help you to treat separation anxiety in dogs.
Ways to Treat Separation Anxiety in Dogs
- Be confident when you are leaving the house and do not show any signs of concern, as your dog will sense this.
- Ignore any hyperactive or anxious behaviour.
- Reward good or calm behaviour.
- Ensure your dog gets enough exercise, so he can release some of his energy.
- Get your dog used to the sounds you make when you are leaving and repeat these sounds at various intervals of the day, whether it is opening the coat cupboard or picking up your house keys.
- Try to relax your dog by leaving the radio on while you are out.
- Do not fuss over an anxious dog, as it only makes them think that there was a reason to be anxious.
If you want to prevent separation anxiety in your dog, you should follow the same tips as you would if you were treating it.
Additional things you can do to prevent separation anxiety in dogs are; not fussing over your dog too much, not taking him everywhere with you, not carrying him around too much, not picking your dog up if he is attention seeking, creating boundaries so that your dog gets used to you going some places that he can’t go and also letting him get used to being with other people, by asking a friend to take care of him for a couple of hours every now and then.
If you follow all the advice mentioned, you should be well on your way to becoming the proud owner of a happy, confident and independent dog rather than an upset, anxious and nervous dog that is always fretting.