Separation Anxiety In Dogs: What It Is And How You Can Help

The world is big, and out of all the creations of God, dogs are the best ones. They not only make the world as a whole beautiful but also make life worth living by just being a part of it. It is their unconditional love and support that makes their human companion feel complete

Well, who does not like to see that wagging tail and those playful and exciting jumps of their little ball of fur after coming back home from a long, tough day at work? We all do. 

Although dogs are the most faithful human companions and they love their human friends unconditionally, there are times when dog parents are seen complaining about the unusual behavior of their pooch. 

You might have also had hard times when you come back home after a rough day at work, and just when you are about to unlock your front door, your neighbor comes around complaining about how your dog has been disturbing the whole neighborhood barking or howling. And that’s when you feel frustrated. 

Well, don’t!!! You might get frustrated, but you need to give it a second thought…Yeah!! And that is about your pooch!! When you feel that he might need some house manners, he might be suffering from some serious issues. Yes!!! That’s where separation anxiety in dogs comes to a role. 

Now, you might be wondering about separation anxiety in dogs. Well!! That’s okay. I know, not every pet parent knows about it.

So, here’s what separation anxiety in dogs is.

Separation anxiety in dogs

When you realize that your dog is behaving differently and you might get frustrated at such behavior, he might be in a whole lot of different worlds. Yes!! That’s when the separation anxiety is hitting him hard.

Well, it is a situation in which your dog exhibits pain-struck and destructive behavior when he does not find you around, and that’s when you take it for his behavioral issues. 

Separation anxiety is a serious concern among dogs, and it needs to be treated carefully. Unlike humans, dogs too feel lonely, and they exhibit unwanted behaviors when they do not find their human pals around. The main reason behind dogs developing such anxiety is that they, too, are social animals like humans and prefer to live in packs.

When it comes to the domestic dog, the pack is usually their owner or anyone they feel attached to. So, when they do not find their pack around (which, in this case, is you), they start feeling distressed. And, due to this feeling of distress, they start exhibiting disruptive behavior. 

Now, you must be wondering about how to know if your dog is suffering from separation anxiety or just need some polite house manners. Well, do not worry. Here are the symptoms. 

Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Dogs 

Now that you know a bit about what separation anxiety is, let us scroll down to signs that will let you know if your dog is suffering from the same or not. 

Note: If he is exhibiting these symptoms in your absence, then he sure is suffering from the same; otherwise, he is not. 

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Now, let’s move to the symptoms. 

#1. Barking and Howling

As already said earlier, when you come back home and hear your neighbor complaining about how your pooch was barking/howling, then surely he is suffering from separation anxiety. 

They usually get distressed when they do not find you around and exhibit their fear by constantly barking or howling. Well, if they do not show the same behavior when you are around, understand that they might need you. 

#2. Pacing 

You might have noticed your dog moving in the same direction, either moving back and forward along a straight line or roaming around in a circle; then, it might be a symptom that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety. 

#3. Destroying or Chewing the Furniture 

Did you ever come back home to see that damaged furniture or your favorite pair of shoes? Well, most of the parents get frustrated to see such havoc caused by their pooch and start punishing their four-legged friend for doing the same. But, you must know that punishing your dog for the same will only worsen the situation. 

So, if you happen to confront such a situation, do not panic and treat the case by being patient and considerate of your dog’s condition. 

#4. Digging the Doorways or Trying to Escape

When suffering from separation anxiety, your dog might try and dig the doorways and windows as an attempt to escape. This might also prove to be harmful to your dog, and he might end up getting hurt by having broken teeth, nails, or scraped paws. 

So, these are a few symptoms that will help you understand if your dog is suffering from separation anxiety or not. Remember that he will only exhibit these symptoms only in your absence if he is prone to separation anxiety. 

How You Can Help Your Dog to Reduce Separation Anxiety

Helping your dog reduce and treat separation anxiety does not always mean that you need help from a medical professional (of course, a vet) because, with a little care and dedication, you can do the needful yourself. 

So, here are a few things you can do to help your dog get out of separation anxiety. 

#1. Tire Your Dog Out Before Leaving 

One of the best ways to keep your dog calm and at peace while you are not around is by trying and tiring him out before you leave. So, before you are all set to start your dog, take your dog out for a walk. 

To make the walk more exhausting, you may also consider taking a dog backpack along. This will eventually shift the focus of your dog towards sleeping or taking rest just by lying down. 

#2. Keep Your Departures and Arrivals Low-Key 

People usually make a big deal before they leave their dog home alone. They usually talk to their dog, saying I will be back soon, etc. and the same is the case when they come back. They enter the house with their arms wide open to hug their pooch. 

They do not realize that this does affect their dog severely, and he starts missing his human friend more. 

So, make sure that you keep your departures and arrivals low-key by not putting much attention towards your dog. This will help him stay calm while you are not around. 

#3. Train Your Dog to Enjoy Personal Space

People usually do not realize the value of personal space when it comes to their dog. They sleep with their pooch, stay around him all the time, without understanding the fact that this will make him more addicted to his human friend. 

So, try and train your dog by allowing him to sleep in a separate area. Besides making him sleep alone, teach him to stay and enjoy time alone during the day when you are around. 

This practice will enable him to stay independent and look for you all the time.  

#4. Leave Comfort Cues Around 

You may leave laundry with your scent on it to keep your dog calm when you are not around. This way, he will know that you are going to come back home, which will keep him away from feeling distressed. 

#5. Leave Toys and Treats

You may consider leaving engaging toys for your pet when you are not around. This will keep him busy and will shift his focus from you towards the toy. 

You may also hide the treats around the house, which will also keep his focus away from missing and stressing over you.

Wrapping it Up 

Separation anxiety in dogs is a widespread concern, but not every pet parent knows about it. If you feel that your dog is showing any of the symptoms as mentioned above, then it might mean that he is suffering from the problem of separation anxiety. 

You may consider using the tips mentioned above to help your dog reduce the problem of separation anxiety, or keep the same at bay. 

Also, if you are a proud pet parent and have helped your dog overcome the problem, feel free to share your experiences in the comment box below. 

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