Just like humans, dogs also suffer from separation anxiety when left alone. They experience an excessive fear of you disowning them until you get back home. This is a serious condition where they suffer and be destructive around the house. It’s not the little mischief after they are alone therefore it is something they do being under great tension. Self-injury, household destruction, and destroying valuable items can happen when they try to escape.

If you end up in this article, it’s either you are facing the same issue or being a precaution to take care of a new member. Either way, don’t neglect any signs your dog shows if they show any symptoms or are dealing with separation anxiety problems.

Symptoms of Separation Anxiety

  • Excessive Barking
  • Chewing, Digging and Destruction
  • Urinating or defecating in the house
  • Panting
  • Drooling
  • Pacing
  • Escaping

What Causes Separation Anxiety?

There are various reasons that trigger separation anxiety in the dog at any age. For instance, adopted dogs develop this problem and are believed to have lost someone important in their life. However, dogs raised from puppyhood are also likely to get separation anxiety. The constant fear of being abandoned and staying in their crate is one of the major causes of it. Likewise, sudden changes in their or owner’s routine, replace of the old house, absence of certain family members, and so on leaves a major impact on them.

A dog waiting for his master to arrive home.
Image Source: The Cut

The separation anxiety only doesn’t occur through the above reasons as some get fear anxiety of loud music, going to vet, strange animal or person, car rides, and many more. These things create more stress and fear that starts their anxiety and with their guardian leaving them alone is the worst-case scenario.

Prevention of your dog from Separation Anxiety?

Everyone has heard about the quote “prevention is better than cure” that suits perfectly here. Likewise, there are certain things that help your dog from developing separation anxiety. It’s all about building their confidence whenever you are not around them. Here are some lists to prevent your dog from having separation anxiety.

Socialization and Exposure training: Early socialization is very important for every dog as it helps to interact with the world. Similarly, exposure training assists them to communicate with strangers apart from their owners. Lack of proper socialization in dogs leads to separation anxiety as the training’s main purpose is to make them gentle, positive, and confident.

Crate Training: The major point of crate training your dog is to give them a comfortable place where they feel safe. This can help in several situations when you can’t supervise your dog. Introduce the crate in a positive way where they enjoy the crate. If they don’t like a crate then create a favorite space where they feel enjoyable.

Teach Them How To Be Alone: This method is not scary as it sounds hence it helps your dog to remain calm even when you aren’t around. Dogs usually get stressed and anxious if they aren’t left alone since childhood. So, rather than instantly leaving them alone let them be alone for some time in a day. This way your dog grabs the habit of being alone and doesn’t get panicked when left alone.

What Precaution you should take?

As a dog owner make an environment that doesn’t lead your dog to have separation anxiety. Many research shows that not every anxiety is preventable as some are way more serious. Also, it’s a complicated process to treat your dog. Above all, there is a high success rate of the treatment success so don’t get stressed. A proper consultant from the vet and better treatment might reduce their suffering and separation fear apart. If your dog show any sign of anxiety consult with a vet for proper guidance.

A dog staying with his owner.
Image Source: HelpGuide.org

This is a crucial time for your dog so treat them with love and affection. The separation anxiety is all about you leaving them so, remind them that you are not. When you show signs of leaving just spare some time to play with them and repeat these over and over. If your dog’s anxiety is mild then train them to be by themself but without ignoring or getting lost for hours.

Things To Avoid With Dog Having Separation Anxiety

Since your dog is already dealing with problems related to anxiety don’t make it worse. Always remember not to use aggression with dogs even they don’t have separation anxiety problems. The use of harsh words and punishments can make things worse than you can imagine. Some might get terrified to live in their own house and might get a panic attack.

Dog getting scared by harsh words.
Image Source: ASPCApro

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