Dealing With Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Dog dealing with separation anxiety and destroying a pillow

Our dogs have definitely gotten used to having their pet parents around all the time due to the boom in work from home. However, the world has started regaining its rhythm now. And one of the pet parents’ greatest worries is dealing with separation anxiety in dogs. Sometimes that makes it hard to leave your dog home alone without hours of howling as a result.

This article provides you with essential tips to dealing with separation anxiety in dogs as a working, pet parent who must leave the house and go to work to provide for their babies.

Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Signs of separation anxiety vary among different dogs. But there are a few common signs that most dogs share. If you’re unsure about whether or not your dog is dealing with separation anxiety, consult your vet.

Here are some of the symptoms to watch out for:

  • Urinating and defecating
  • Chewing on furniture, carpet, clothes
  • Digestion problems and diarrhea from eating inedible things
  • Overeating or lack of eating
  • Hostility
  • Howling and barking after you leave

Why Do Dogs Get Separation Anxiety?

Of course, it’s not just that dogs have gotten used to their parents working from home! Dogs may also display signs of separation anxiety when they have been adopted from shelters or even when someone in their family unit dies (whether that is another dog or one of their humans). Some of the most important reasons include:

Adopted from a shelter

No dog loves being abandoned by their original forever home. Once a dog enters a shelter, sometimes being there for a couple of months, they can develop separation anxiety, especially once they are given to a new family that adopts them.

Moving house

Some dogs may develop separation anxiety as soon as they move to another place. The new place may be unfamiliar and scary after all! They need some time to get used to a change in their surroundings.

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Change in schedule

If your dog is always used to being around humans, they may get anxious when one of these humans suddenly goes back to work or off to college. If they never had to be alone before, this might be a tough pill to swallow, with separation anxiety as a result. Change can be hard on anyone, especially a dog that has depended on you for their daily walks and love and attention!

Change in the household

It’s an unfortunate fact of life, but sometimes someone in the house passes away. This could be a beloved pet owner or another dog playmate of your dog. These changes can also cause separation anxiety in your dog.

Prevention of Separation Anxiety in Pets

Did you know? Google searches for “buy a puppy” increased by 115% in the UK right before the lockdown was announced in March 2020. Prices for some of the most sought-after breeds reached record levels (Dogs Trust).

Establish Routine

A consistent routine is extremely important to dogs. As long as you’re staying home with them, try to create experiences that they should expect at the end of the lockdown. For example, keep them separated from you for a brief period of time at first and slowly increase the time. Create physical barriers such as a door or a child gate. Keep each other apart even when you are in the house. They need to get used to the idea of not seeing you all the time.

Consult the Vet

If you are unsure about whether or not you’re dealing with separation anxiety in pets, it’s always best to ask your vet for a routine check-up. Moreover, if your baby is diagnosed with separation anxiety and it is severe, you can always ask for medication. Do not give medication for anxiety to your pet without medical consultation! Also, Cooper Pet Care is here for you If you need any assistance with pet health insurance.

Get a Pet Sitter

For the first few days of being away from home, consider hiring a pet sitter to keep your pets company. Make sure they follow the routine of maintaining separation for a brief period of time while they’re in the house to ease things up for them! You can keep a pet sitter for merely a short period of time in the beginning.

Keep Them Busy

Get more toys for your pets that they can play with by themselves. Get them to spend more time with themselves even when you are present in the house.

In Conclusion

Separation anxiety in pets is very common. Vets are trained both behaviorally and medically to treat it. Give your pets the proper attention they need. As you ease back to your normal life and they ease back to theirs, be mindful of the symptoms and act immediately before it worsens!

video consultation with one of Cooper Pet Care’s qualified veterinarians is only a few clicks away. Fast, simple, and secure – get the answers you need.

Worried about the future? We also offer a range of great pet insurance products through our partners. Have peace of mind knowing your furry friend is covered.

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