Have you ever left your dog only to come home to a house that has been destroyed by your dog? Or barks and howls excessively after you leave? Your dog may have separation anxiety. Some signs of separation anxiety:
- Howling, barking, whining
- Scratching at doors and windows, in an attempt to get out and find their owners
- Defecating and urinating in the house
- Follow you around the house when they see you carrying your keys or bag
Causes of separation anxiety can result from being left alone for the first time after having constant human contact; having experienced a traumatic experience such as being re-homed (they were taken away from their family and other animals that they were accustomed to; or a change in your family’s daily routine, such as in the loss of a family member, to name a few.
Sometimes a dog gets so attached to one person, that it doesn’t matter that he is left with other people or animals, after his owner leaving him. They will continue to whine and carry on for that person and ignore the other person or animal they were left with. This scenario is indicative of an extreme separation anxiety.
Try these tips to relieve minor separation anxiety:
- Exercise your dog, if you can, and give him 20 minutes to rest and calm down before you leave. Exercise relieves stress and will tire your dog out.
- Use a phrase like “I’ll be right back” whenever you leave, so your dog will know you will be back for him.
- Leave a piece of worn clothing for your dog to sleep with.
- Give your dog a Kong toy packed with goodies to keep him busy and his mind off of you.
More sever anxiety problems can be addressed by bringing your dog to doggie daycare, or leaving your dog with a friend, other family member, or another dog. When you leave and return home, remain calm; don’t make a big deal. If your dog gets excited upon your return home, you should turn your back on your dog and wait until your dog calms down. After he calms down, you may pet him.
In this day and age, a lot more people work leaving their dog at home, alone. Thus, searching for solutions to behavioral problems, rather than re-homing or euthanizing the dog.
Let North Jersey Dog Walkers help you with relieving your dog’s anxiety. You may reach us at _______________