Just like humans, dogs have emotions too. When you leave the house, it is normal for your dog to bark or whine as he watch you leave from the window. However, when these behaviors are extreme, then your dog may be suffering from separation anxiety.
You must take separation anxiety in dogs seriously. Do not ignore it. The following are some tips to help you better understand this condition.
Separation anxiety usually shows up in stress and behavioral problems
When left alone in the house, your dog may display stress and behavioral problems, such as excessive barking and whining. These problem may also be triggered when he sees you making preparations to leave the house.
Dogs with separation anxiety usually follows their owners around the house
If your dog is always following you around the house from room to room, he is likely to have separation anxiety.
Both short and long absences can cause separation anxiety
If your dog has separation anxiety, he will always react the same way regardless of the duration you will be away, even if it is just for two minutes.
There is no distinct cause for separation anxiety
Separation anxiety can develop in dogs from different causes and at different times during their lifetime.
It can manifest in different ways in different dogs
Some dogs just bark and whine. Others may frantically scratch at the door. Some may destroy the contents in the house, while some may even try to escape.
It can be triggered by certain scenarios
Certain scenarios have a higher chance of triggering separation anxiety in dogs. Such scenarios include moving to a new house or a family member taking on a full-time job.
Do not aggravate the problem
If the separation anxiety is mild, you may try to show him that your absence is no big deal. Try to act normal and ignore him for the first few minutes after you arrived home. Then, you can calmly pet him.
Give something to occupy your dog
Give your dog a toy or treat that will occupy him for 15 to 20 minutes when you leave the house. Take the object away when you get home. Soon, he will associate that toy with your leaving and learn to perceive it as something good.
A safe space for your dog when you are away may help
Confine your dog to a room with a window and plenty of toys when you leave the house. Also, leave a piece of your clothing with your scent in the room. This may help to ease the anxiety.
Never crate a dog suffering from separation anxiety
Your dog will continue with the stress behavioral problems while in the crate, which may include urination or defecation. Your dog may even hurt himself while attempting to escape.
Never punish your dog for this condition
It is tempting to punish your dog for urinating in the house. However, if it is due to separation anxiety, the punishment can make the condition worse.
If the condition is severe, seek veterinary care
If the separation anxiety is so bad that it has the potential to hurt your dog, then it is advisable to seek treatment from a veterinarian or animal behavior specialist.
It is normal for dogs to become somewhat stressed when they are being left alone in the house. Most dogs understand that their owners will return sooner or later.
However, dogs with separation anxiety is often fearful that their owners will never return. Do not ignore the signs of separation anxiety in dogs. And seek help if they are severe.