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Does you dog have separation anxiety? This quiz will find out.
When you leave your dog home alone, does he whine and pace until you come back? If so, your dog could have separation anxiety.
This is a common problem in smart dogs who are extremely attached to their owners. However, the condition can be challenging to live with, especially if it’s extreme.
Dogs with separation anxiety will be extremely distressed when their owners leave them alone and they may even panic and attempt to follow the owner out of the house or to another room. If you think your dog may have separation anxiety, read on for more information.
What is separation anxiety in dogs?
Separation anxiety occurs when a dog becomes extremely anxious or stressed when separated from his owner or another loved one. The dog may have an extreme reaction to being left alone, such as barking, whining, urinating or defecating in the house, or attempting to escape.
It’s a common problem in dogs who are very attached to their owners. It’s more likely to occur in dogs who are left alone for long periods, while they are still puppies, or if they have been previously abused or neglected. Separation anxiety is often mistaken for other behavioral issues, such as housetraining issues, hyperactivity, or over-exuberance. Although these may also be present, separation anxiety is different in that it becomes a disorder when the dog’s reaction becomes excessive.
Signs of separation anxiety in dogs
- Barking, whining, or howling for long periods when you leave the house.
- Pacing, chewing, or digging at the floor or furniture.
- Urinating or defecating inside the house when left alone.
- Urinating or defecating outside the house when left alone.
- Extreme anxiety when separated from the owner.
- Urinating or defecating in the car when left alone in the car.
- Pacing and/or panting when left alone.
How to help your dog with separation anxiety
There are many different things you can do to help your dog with separation anxiety. However, it’s important to remember that every dog is different, so you may have to try a few different things before you find something that works for your dog.
It can take a while to overcome a separation anxiety disorder, so try not to get frustrated if the changes don’t happen immediately. Try to keep in mind that you are helping your dog, not punishing him.
Here are some tips on what to do if your dog have separation anxiety
- Stay consistent with rules and boundaries.
- Maintain daily routines as much as possible.
- Make sure your dog’s environment is clean and comfortable.
- Take your dog for lots of walks.
- Try to reduce change in your dog’s life.
- Leave your dog with another trusted person.
Tips to make leaving your dog alone easier
If your dog is barking, whining, or howling in distress when you leave the house, try to go to him and calm him before you leave.
If you have more than one dog and one of them is barking when you leave the house, consider having them stay with a friend or family member while you are away.
If your dog is urinating or defecating inside the house, close him in a room during the time that you are gone.
If your dog is urinating or defecating outside the house, try to confine him to a fenced-in yard or tie him up.
If your dog is urinating or defecating in the car, try to confine him to the back seat or put him in a travel kennel.
Learn how to calm a dog with anxiety
If you think your dog has separation anxiety, it’s important to treat it as soon as possible. Anxiety disorders are very common in dogs and can be very challenging to live with. The first step in treatment is to rule out any other medical issues that could be causing the anxiety. Once you have done that, there are some things you can do at home to calm your dog and help him cope with his anxiety.
- Massage - Give your dog a gentle massage to help calm him down.
- Calm music - Play gentle music to calm your dog down.
- Calm scents - Try using calming scents such as lavender or chamomile to help your dog relax.
- Calm toys - Give your dog toys to play with, such as a stuffed Kong, to distract him while you are gone.
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