Your dog is an extension of your family. Just as you like to spend time with your spouse, parents, and kids, your dog loves to be around you. Believe it or not, many dogs suffer from separation anxiety when their owners are away.
If your dog follows you everywhere and barks continuously when you are getting ready to leave the house, these are classic signs that your dog has separation anxiety. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about separation anxiety in dogs.
What Causes Separation Anxiety in Dogs?
There’s no definitive answer as to why some dogs go through separation anxiety, and some don’t. For dogs with separation anxiety, something in their brain creates a sense of panic when you leave. Some situations can trigger separation anxiety. This includes:
- Leaving a dog alone often as a puppy
- Craving human interaction
- Previous exposure to traumatic events
- Change in routine and structure
- The loss of a family member or other pet
What Are the Symptoms of Separation Anxiety?
Generally, dogs suffering from separation anxiety display behavioral issues when they feel distressed being alone. The most common symptoms include:
- Scratching or digging through doors to try to get to owner
- Destructive chewing
- Barking and howling
- Defecation in the home despite being trained
How Is Separation Anxiety Treated?
Treating separation anxiety can be challenging. Still, you can take several steps to help your dog with separation anxiety. This includes:
- Making no big deal out of departures or arrivals
- Ignoring your dog when you first get home then giving them some affection after you’re settled
- Leaving some of your clothes with your puppy that have your scent
- Using tools and supplements to help ease your dog’s anxiety
How Can I Handle Severe Separation Anxiety?
In some cases, your dog needs extra intervention. Talk to a local dog trainer to help you teach the simple puppy commands with positive reinforcement. This can help your puppy stay happy and calm while you are around or not.
Create a safe place for your dog so they don’t ruin anything while you are away. This includes:
- Distracting toys
- A bed or blanket that gives them comfort
- A piece of clothing with your scent on it
- Confined from the rest of your home
Are There Things I Should Stay Away from if My Dog Has Separation Anxiety?
There are a few essential things that you should avoid if you have a dog with separation anxiety. This includes:
- Buying another dog as a companion
- Punishment your dog for any behavior related to separation anxiety
- Using a radio, television, or other source of sound to make your dog feel like they aren’t alone
If separation anxiety is a signficiant issue, you can enroll your dog in a doggie daycare to help ease their discomfort. Talk to your veterinarian or local dog trainer for other tips and tricks.
Contact It’s a Dog World K9 Academy Today for Help
If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, we’re here to help. Contact our Rancho Cucamonga dog training professionals to schedule an appointment.