It is no misnomer to call dogs our best friend. Indeed, they are capable of being the most affectionate companion pets. Dogs can get overly attached to their owners in ways that humans cannot fathom. While this is part of what makes the furry fellows so likable, it also comes with an unfortunate side effect.
When dogs get too attached to their owners, they may suffer from severe stress when left alone – a condition known as separation anxiety.
Let’s take a look at a few key things to note about dog separation anxiety.
Sign of Separation Anxiety
A dog with separation anxiety will ‘act out’ when left alone. They will bark or whine excessively, chew or scratch up things at the house and even go to the bathroom despite being potty trained. The dog may pace around excessively or be unusually lethargic, besides acting restless when you leave or come back home.
Do note that some signs of separation anxiety may overlap with an underlying disease. These could be over-aggressiveness, lack of appetite, digestive issues (such as constipation or diarrhea), and changes in sleeping patterns. If your dog has any of these problems, it would be best to visit a dog clinic or animal hospital to get a correct diagnosis. To find a vet clinic, just run a Google search with “vet near me” and you will get a list of vets.
What Causes Separation Anxiety in Dogs
We tend to keep our dogs close almost all the time when they are little pups. As a result, they get used to being around people. When we start leaving them on their own, they get nervous, stressed, and start showing signs of separation anxiety.
Another thing that can cause separation anxiety in dogs include changes from the norm. For example, a change in routine, loss of a family member, and going from a previous owner or shelter to a new owner can cause separation anxiety in dogs.
How to Manage Dog Separation Anxiety
Making a big fuss about leaving or coming back home will fuel your dog’s separation anxiety and should be avoided. As hard as may be, ignore your dog for a few minutes after you get back. Leave your buddy with a special treat or toy when you leave to associate it with an enjoyable experience. It is also a good idea to leave your furry friend with an item you’ve touched or your cloth, so the dog can smell it and miss you less while you are away.
It would help if you left your dog alone for shorter periods at the start, such as when going to the supermarket, before you start leaving them on their own for long hours. It is also crucial for you to fulfill your duty as a dog owner by exercising and training them. If you can’t do so, at the very least, you can hire a dog walker to walk your dog while you are away.
Dog separation anxiety is a prevalent problem that forces many pet parents to give up their pups. However, in most cases, it can be easily solved with some research and effort. If the problems are persistent, make sure to visit a New Hamburg Vet Clinic to determine if any underlying illness is causing the issue.