Separation anxiety in dogs is real and can cause humans problems. Puppy separation anxiety can also crop up especially in the case of dogs that have been recently adopted or have recently spent time away from home like in a dog shelter. When you leave, does your furry friend completely destroy your house? Do you get home to find that your dog has declared war on you sofa or your clothes and completely shredded everything? No matter the cause of the separation anxiety, you do not want to have to get rid of your pet, or you wouldn't be looking for information on this subject. Let's explore separation anxiety in a bit more detail.
Causes of Separation Anxiety in Dogs
Separation anxiety for dogs is more common in families with only one dog. It is less common when there are multiple pets. It is usually caused by a change in the dog's life. This can be caused by a number of things, including the dog moving to a new family or moving houses, the owner spending more time out of the house and a new family member or the death of a family member.
Dog Separation Anxiety Symptoms
Separation anxiety can cause the following separation anxiety symptoms in your dog: howling, pacing, whining, excessive salivation and barking and even vomiting. The dog can destroy your house or your possession, like clothes and shoes. If you suspect that your dog may be suffering from separation anxiety, you should first schedule a visit to your vet to rule out any underlying causes. It could be a pathological, behavioural problem or a problem with training.
How to Treat Separation Anxiety in Dogs
You can help a dog overcome the anxiety. There are actually different degrees of separation anxiety. Of course the milder the degree, the easier it is to treat. You treat this by going in and out of the house or a closet. You can also do the things you do when you go out like get your keys and then walk to the door, but don't actually leave. You are aiming to condition your dog to your leaving. You can leave the apartment for a little bit and then for a little longer until your dog gets over it.
When you return do not greet your dog with too much excitement. This is very important because it reinforces the separation anxiety. It teaches the dog that if he or she acts out in fright, you will comfort him or her. Instead, ignore your dog for a few seconds. Then, give a command like sit or lay down and then commend the dog for obeying.
To treat separation anxiety in dogs, also exercise your dog a lot. This can help reduce stress levels. You can also consult your vet about anti-anxiety medication if your dog suffers from a more sever case of anxiety. There are natural alternatives that you can try as well. Leave some old clothes that smell like you with your dog. Also, leave the dog in a room with toys and a window but less to destroy. As a last resort you can consult a veterinary behaviour specialist for help.
Separation Anxiety in dogs is curable and you and your dog can get over it and move on.