Separation Anxiety In Dogs: Symptoms and Treatments

Separation anxiety is a challenging condition that many dog ​​owners try to avoid or have difficulty with.

The truth is, all dogs can easily develop separation anxiety if they don’t get the attention and affection they need. But even if you do, chances are your dog will develop it anyway!

Some breeds and personalities are often referred to as Velcro dogs, which makes their development easier Separation anxiety. Such breeds that can achieve this are the Labrador Retriever, Border Collie, Jack Russell Terrier, German Shepherd, Australian Shepherd, Bichon Frize, Australian Shepherd, Toy Poodle, Pug, Frenchie, and more.

Suppose you also adopted a dog from another home or rescue center. If so, it is very likely that your dog will be at greater risk of developing separation anxiety after relocation than dogs born in a more stable environment.

If those resettled dogs finally finding their “eternal home”, they can cling too much to their savior. But if his rescuer leaves the dog alone for even a short period of time, the dog can relive his previous trauma in the form of separation anxiety – the often overwhelming fear that he is on his own again.

Why do dogs develop separation anxiety?

The main reason dogs develop separation anxiety is that it all goes back to their wolf ancestors. Dogs are pack animals and feel most comfortable when they are with their pack, regardless of whether their pack consists of fellow dogs, humans, or both.

Several triggers can develop this type of anxiety in your dog, such as: For example, moving house, routine change, family death, separation from brother, sister, mother, and many other factors.

To be alone is not a matter of course for them and therefore it can be very traumatizing to feel abandoned by their pack. Dogs can also develop different types of anxiety, such as:

Fear fear

Leaving your dog alone in a noisy environment for long periods of time can become stressful. In particular, loud popping noises such as fireworks, loud music, strange atmospheres and much more can trigger this. Anxiety can be made worse when you are not around to help your dog adapt to such environments.

Age-related fear

As your dog gets older, he may develop age-related anxiety as well. This usually happens when they have a cognitive decline and their brain is not working properly. In these scenarios, the combination of separation anxiety and age-related anxiety could make your dog even more uncomfortable. So it is always best to be around your dog for comfort.

Finally, the difficulty with separation anxiety is that not every dog ​​exhibits the same separation anxiety; There are different signs and symptoms that they can show. As a dog owner, you need to recognize them before they manifest into anything worse as they can cause serious harm to your dog.

What are the signs of separation anxiety in dogs?

To keep your dog’s separation anxiety from manifesting itself in something much worse, here are common signs and symptoms to look out for:

  • destructive behavior such as clawing and digging on door frames, window frames, carpets and floors, etc .; chew on objects around the house, such as soft toys or shoes, or even bite or scratch yourself; Urinating or defecating around the house, even if it was correct Potty trained. This destructive behavior shows up whenever it is left alone, even for a short time. It can be so severe that it causes significant harm to yourself and your home.

  • When he returns home, your dog is almost hectic and overly emotional.

How do you cure separation anxiety in dogs?

If you’re looking for a canine separation anxiety treatment, there are a few solutions:

Exposure therapy

One of the most common ways Reversing separation anxiety, especially in mild to moderate cases, is sometimes called. designated Exposure therapy. This just means slowly increasing the amount of time you are away from your dog until he is calm and comfortable on both your departure and your return. Exposure therapy won’t work if you don’t also pay attention to the next three points:

  1. Exercise and appropriate walks

This can help greatly reduce your dog’s energy and anxiety levels. Consider hiring a local dog walking company run and train your dogespecially if you cannot take your dog for long walks on weekdays. Most dogs don’t get enough exercise or socialization with other dogs, which can make separation anxiety much worse in dogs.

  1. Always keep calm

Keep calm when you leave and return home. Do not react to your dog’s emotional and / or hectic behavior. If you answer you encourage behavior.

  1. Be patient with your pooch

Always be patient with your dog, and make sure your home environment is calm, non-threatening, and stable. NEVER hit, yell at, or otherwise punish your dog. Dogs are much more responsive in stable, consistent environments.

For very severe cases of separation anxiety, when your dog has become a threat to himself, some veterinarians recommend the use of anti-anxiety medication. If you choose this option, it should be used as a last resort.

  1. Give toys to your dog

To help your dog, you may want to give him toys or treats every time you leave the house. This will get them excited and distracted to play with new things and keep their minds occupied while you are away.

  1. Talk to your veterinarian

If you feel like your dog’s separation anxiety is getting out of hand, you may want to speak to your local veterinarian. If you do, your vet may recommend an over-the-counter sedative or specific medication to help relax and relieve your dog during your absence.

What doesn’t help with separation anxiety

While we’ve covered what will help, it’s important to know what not to do during those moments that could make your dog’s separation anxiety worse. You should avoid:

  • Punishment: This will only make your dog’s separation anxiety worse.
  • Buying a new dog: The reason your dog has separation anxiety is because he has developed fear of being away from you and not another dog.
  • Boxes: Your dog will still show separation anxiety symptoms and may poop, howl, and injure himself in a crate. You need to create a safe space.
  • Loud noises: Noises from the radio, television, or anything else will only make your dog sadder.

Final thoughts

Separation anxiety is a condition that many dog ​​owners face and that is sometimes difficult to avoid. After all, there are more races than others. The reason dogs face this is because they are pack animals and treat their owner as one of their pack members. Typical signs of separation anxiety are self-destructive behavior, barking, whining, crying, chewing, scratching and many more.

If your dog is showing symptoms of separation anxiety, you can give them toys to play with, give them exposure therapy, and talk to your veterinarian if they get out of hand. Overall, as a dog owner, it is your duty to ensure that your dog is not left alone for too long and that he gets the affection he deserves.

frequently asked Questions

Do dogs stop eating when they are stressed?

In most cases, if your dog is suffering from chronic stress, he may experience loss of appetite and digestive problems. When your dog does this, the first thing to do is to review any recent changes to their routine and environment and try to help them adjust. If your dog still won’t eat, seek the help of a veterinarian.

How can I help my dog ​​with car anxiety?

If you notice your dog getting stressed while out and about, you should consult your veterinarian about motion sickness and anxiety. It is very likely that your dog will be prescribed anti-anxiety medication to help him or her during car journeys. You may also want to exercise them a lot before the trip and tire them out before you see a vet.

Does Benadryl Help Dogs With Anxiety?

Dogs can be given Benadryl to treat anxiety. One of the main side effects of this drug is that it makes dogs tired and helps alleviate their anxiety. Anytime you want to give this to your dog, you should always speak to your veterinarian first.

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