Does your dog gnaw your shoes when you’re away? Does he destroy furniture or carpets in your house when you're not around? All these undesirable actions can mean that your fur-baby might be suffering from separation anxiety.
Today, we will deal with separation anxiety in dogs, what causes it, and what we can do to manage it and help our fur-babies stay calm whenever we leave the house.
CAUSES OF SEPARATION ANXIETY IN DOGS
Separation anxiety causes can differ from one dog to another. Unknowingly, one reason your dog might develop separation anxiety is that you unknowingly encourage it. We make leaving and coming home such a big deal. This provokes him to feel stressed when you leave.
A change in your dog's daily routine can also cause separation anxiety. It can be that your dog has been so used to going out and socializing with other people and dogs. When this suddenly changes, it can create a lack of exercise and boredom.
Separation anxiety can also be because your fur-baby's natural drive is suppressed. Terriers are born to dig, German Shepherds to protect, Border Collies to herd, and so on. In some instances, we hold back our fur-baby's natural instincts instead of nurturing them and so this causes separation anxiety.
Other causes of separation anxiety include change of pet parents (particularly in dogs who have been in and out of shelters and rescues), new socialization patterns, changes in their environment, heredity, death of a pet parent or a pet friend, and many more.
SIGNS YOUR FUR-BABY MIGHT HAVE DOG SEPARATION ANXIETY
You'll know your dog is suffering from separation anxiety when he shows the following signs whenever you're away from home or simply out of his sight:
- Extreme salivating
- Excessive barking, howling
- Panting, pacing, trembling
- Loss of appetite
- Destroying items at home
- Destructive scratching of furniture
- Heightened urge to escape whenever kept inside a cage or inside a room
HOW TO PREVENT SEPARATION ANXIETY IN DOGS
There are a lot of ways to be able to prevent separation anxiety from happening to your fur-baby.
Have a brief exercise. Before leaving the house, take your fur-baby to a short walk but make it intense. Give him water and some of his favorite treats after the walk. While you're away, your fur-baby will be on rest mode.
Don't make leaving and coming home a celebration. It should be a celebration, right? But to be able to prevent separation anxiety in your fur-baby, don't get emotional when leaving and don't get too excited when arriving. These overwhelming emotions will only trigger your dog's fear whenever you're not around as they are very in-tune with emotions.
No hugging and petting. When you're about to leave, keep in mind to avoid any physical contact with your pet. Avoid any hugging, belly-rubbing, petting, and or making eye contact. This will signal your dog that today is just an ordinary day and there is nothing he needs to worry about.
Only reward desired behavior. All too often when your fur-baby is left alone and begins to cry, you pet him, rewarding his crying. If he tries to escape his crate and whines, you let him out, rewarding his crying. This will increase his anxieties. Remember to only reward desired behavior.
Provide calming treats. Calming treats will help reduce your fur-baby's anxiety and will help keep him calm and relaxed. Provide high-quality ones, especially the ones from Pet Parents®. It contains Suntheanine®, a pure form of L-Theanine that promotes relaxation without drowsiness & soothes brain waves before adrenaline kicks in and Organic Hemp (Seed Powder and Oil) that is rich in healthy fats, proteins, & antioxidants that help calm your fur-baby’s body & support tension relief when anxiety kicks in. These soft chews can also be implemented when rewarding that good behavior as treats! Please look at the label for the amount that can be given.
Separation anxiety in dogs is something you can always prevent and manage. Remember that our fur-babies don't want to be separated from us, lets be honest we don't want to leave them! But we as their pet parents we need to assure them that everything is going to be okay and take action to try to prevent anxiety for a happy and healthy life.