Dogs are one of the most beautiful creations of God and, indeed, a human’s best friend. Besides making the world a better place to live in, they make life worth living.
Now, who does not like to come back home to see that wagging tail and playful jumps? Well, we all do. Those who do not have a dog might find it hard to imagine this, but those who are proud dog parents know the feeling well.
There is no denying the fact that dogs make lives better, and every dog owner loves their dogs unconditional. But, on the other side, dog parents can be seen complaining about the destructive behavior of their little ball of fur when they are not around.
Well, most of the pet parents, after seeing their pooch behaving differently, feel the need to teach polite house manners to their pup, failing to realize that it might be a sign of distress in them.
Well, if you too are concerned about the changed, violent/destructive behavior of your four-legged friend, then do not worry. This article will shed light on separation anxiety in dogs and tips to treat the same.
So without any further ado, let’s learn more about the problem.
Separation Anxiety in Dogs
Separation anxiety in dogs is a severe concern and often occurs when a person a dog is attached to leaves the house or is not around. Dogs of any gender and breed may develop separation anxiety, and eventually end up exhibiting frantic and destructive behavior.
The primary reason behind dogs developing separation anxiety is that they are social animals and find it hard to live without their social circle (preferably their guardian/human friend).
Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Dogs
Dogs belong to pack, and they adore being around people. The problem arises when some dogs love companionship so much that they start behaving anxiously as soon as they are left alone.
Some of the symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs include:
Excessive Whining, Barking or Howling
Did it even happen to you that you just entered your home, and your neighbor comes to tell you how your dog has been disturbing the whole neighborhood by barking, howling, or whining persistently?
Well, this is because he cannot stand to be alone while he does not find you around.
Chewing or Digging Furniture, Doors or Windows
You might have confronted a situation when you enter the house after a tough day at work, only to see destroyed furniture, doors or windows, or even your favorite pair of shoes. You also might have ended feeling frustrated, punishing your dog for such destruction.
This, too, could be because your dog was feeling anxious while being left alone.
Did you ever notice your dog moving around in the same direction, like in circular motion or moving back and forth along a straight line? Well, this is a sign showing that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety and does not like to see you gone.
Nobody likes coming back home to a stinky surprise on the carpet or wet bed. If you have a dog who is well trained to do his business while on a walk or outdoors, their defecating/urinating inside the house might make you feel stumped.
Well, don’t be surprised because it is not the lack of obedience in them but a sign of separation anxiety.
So these were a few symptoms that show that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety.
Now that you know what separation anxiety is and its symptoms let’s move forward to the tips to treat the same.
Prefer reading: 5 common myths about dog poop.
Tips to Treat Separation Anxiety in Dogs
No doubt, dogs with separation anxiety bugs their owner a lot by exhibiting destructive behavior, but the only thing you have to keep in mind is that do not feel irritated because all they crave is you, your love, time, and support.
So, instead of feeling annoyed and punishing them, focus on helping them to get out of such a situation.
Here are a few tips through which you can help your dog get over the problem of separation anxiety:
Tire Your Dog Out
One of the best things you can do to keep your dog calm while you are not home is to tire him out. Take him out for a walk before you leave. You may also carry a dog backpack to make the trail more rigorous for your pup.
This will get your dog tired, and he will look forward to resting/sleeping rather than destroying things inside, while you leave the house.
Avoid Making A Big Deal About Your Exit/Entry
One of the biggest mistakes pet owners do is that they make a big deal while leaving/entering the house. They keep talking to their pup while going, usually telling him that they will get back home soon, or enter the home with their arms wide open to hug their pooch.
They do not realize that while they leave/enter the house by paying complete attention to their dog, he finds it challenging to spend his time when they do not find their human boo around.
So, make sure that you avoid paying attention to your dog on your entry/exit.
Keep Your Dog Occupied
Try leaving your dog with interactive toys and puzzles to keep him occupied. Giving them something to stay occupied with keeps them away from feeling anxious or stressed while you are not around.
Train Your Dog to Enjoy Time Alone
People usually love to see their dog following them from room to room, in fact, everywhere. What they do not realize is that this habit will become a problem when the dog doesn’t find his owner around.
So, you have to make sure that you train your dog to spend time alone. Allow your dog to stay in a room or crate alone and leave him alone for a few minutes. Start by doing this for a few minutes and then extend the time gradually. This technique will help your dog build confidence, and he will learn to stay alone.
Wrapping it Up
Dogs seek love, and they do not like to spend time without their owners. But, you have to act a little tough and train them to live without you. This sounds a little rude but will eventually help your dog to stay away from the severe problem of separation anxiety, which may make your dog helpless.
So, if you have a dog showing off the same symptoms, do not wait for the right time and start working on the tips, as mentioned above, to keep him happy and healthy.
Also, if you are a proud dog parent and have experience separation anxiety in your dog, and helped him get over the same, feel free to share your experience in the comment section below.