If you have a dog, then you are familiar with their behaviors when you’re at home and when you’re getting ready to leave. Some dogs get nervous at the first signs they are going to be left home alone, while others go nuts upon your return. Unfortunately, some dogs create damage while their people are away. It could be chewing up the couch, destroying shoes, scratching the door, even going to the bathroom all over the houses.
Oftentimes, these actions are indicative of separation anxiety. Read on for some information from a trusted pet hospital in Saint Francisville, LA you can use to help ease your dog’s separation anxiety.
What is separation anxiety?
Separation anxiety is seen in dogs that are overly attached to their owners. It presents as high stress when he or she is left alone for any length of time. More than periodic whining or mild curiosity while you are away, separation anxiety is a condition that leads to frustration in pet parents—some eventually give up and surrender their dog to a shelter.
Before losing your cool, consider why your dog is acting this way. For instance, your dog might be used to being around people. Is this the first time they’ve been left by themselves? Or, is the dog the newest addition to your family? Going from the shelter to a house can be stress inducing. Your dog may also be experiencing stress and anxiety surrounding the recent passing of a fellow pet or family member.
The signs of separation anxiety
While different dogs may display variations of the most common signs of separation anxiety, it’s important to know how to recognize whether your dog is stressing out when left alone. The top signs include excessive howling, barking or whining (or a mix of all three), having indoor potty accidents even though he or she is housebroken, drooling, panting or salivating more than usual, almost neurotic pacing in an obsessive pattern, trying to escape, chewing on things, digging holes and scratching at doors and windows.
While these behaviors likely won’t happen while you’re around, and often aren’t seen at all in well-adjusted dogs, pets with separation anxiety may do them nearly all the time when left home alone.
What to do about it
You might be able to work on breaking your dog of separation anxiety yourself, but consider a vet checkup to rule out a medical problem like a UTI, hormone changes or physical pain. Some medications can also cause indoor bathroom accidents.
If the problem is medical and mild, you might take several approaches: leave them with a treat puzzle, give them clothing that smells like you to snuggle up with or give them natural calming supplements. However, a more serious separation issue may require training them to feel less anxious. Start by leaving only for short periods of time, then slowing increasing your time away. Basic behavior training can also help, but dogs also need exercise every day to avoid high stress.
Looking for a new pet hospital in Saint Francisville, LA? Call St. Francisville Animal Hospital today to schedule an appointment!
Categorised in: Separation Anxiety