Many people have heard the term, but do you know what it really is?
Separation anxiety occurs when a dog is hyper-attached to their owner. When the owner leaves, the dog becomes extremely stressed and begins to act out.
Signs of separation anxiety may include:
- Excessive barking and wining
- Indoor “accidents” despite being housebroken
- Chewing, scratching, and digging in your absence
- Excessive drooling or panting
- Pacing and escape attempts
These signs most typically occur when the owner is not present, and therefore may be hard for you to spot initially.
Your dog may be experiencing separation anxiety if:
- They are being left alone for the first time
- They have had a recent change of ownership
- They moved from a shelter to a home
- They experience a change in routine or schedule
- They experience a loss
The good news is, separation anxiety is treatable, depending on the severity of the case. Before trying any at-home remedies, you should talk to your doctor to see if the symptoms are the result of a medical issue or the side effect of a current medication.
Some simple ways to try and fix this problem include:
- Give your dog a special treat whenever you are gone but take it away when you get home.
- Avoid excessive “hello’s” and “goodbye’s” with your pet. Ignore them when you’re leaving and arriving so that it does not seem like as big of a deal.
- Give your pet natural calming supplements (after consulting with their vet).
- Ensure your dog get lots of exercise and playtime every day. A tired, happy dog will be less stressed when you leave.
This problem has become increasingly common as pets that were adopted during the COVID-19 2020 shutdown are being left alone for the first times in their life. When new pet parents were surveyed, 53% of them said that they believe their dog suffered from separation anxiety.
It’s clear that dogs of hybrid workers (those who go into the office and work from home at varying times) suffer the most of all the COVID-19 adoptees. This is likely due to the fact that they have less predictability of schedule and routine in their life.
A solution that has made dogs everywhere happy is doggy daycare. This option allows you to go about your day with your mind at ease, as pet-care professionals attend to your dogs every need. In most cases, daycare facilities have cameras set up so that you can check in throughout the day, and they may even give you a puppy report card at pickup time!
Your furry friend is making friends of their own, hardly even considering what you’re up to. This allows your pet the opportunity to experience socialization that they may have yet to experience. Not only are they having a great time, they’re learning and experiencing new things at the same time.
This solution allows for peace of mind for both parties, and much less destruction to come home to.