Search Scollar

Helping Your Dog With Separation Anxiety

Helping Your Dog With Separation Anxiety

Do Dogs Get Depressed?

Separation anxiety is the fear of losing or getting detached from something, especially something or someone you love. Dogs also experience separation anxiety when they are separated from their owners. Many articles have already highlighted the unconditional bond that dogs and their owners develop quickly. Remember Dug from "Up"? For humans, dogs prove to be one of the most valuable companions, and we place a lot of trust and affection in our relationships with our furry pals. Dogs also exhibit great empathy in times of sadness, which deepens our understanding and bond with them. They are part of the family. Just like with any other loved one...when a dog is separated from its owner, it may experience sadness and even depression.

 

young man skateboarding on a country road with his brown dog running along side him. Photo by Chris Osmond

 

I Just Want To Be With You

Separation anxiety is a common behavioral issue in many dogs, especially if they are accustomed to being with their owner a lot. And with most of us working at home since the beginning of COVID, leaving them unattended can intensify depression and lead to destructive behavior. Excessive barking, howling, destructive chewing, excessive salivation or panting and confined attempts to escape are all symptoms of separation anxiety. This may also be caused due to sudden changes in the regular schedule or moving to a new home.

Dealing with separation anxiety can sometimes become challenging for busy pet owners. The demands of family and work cause us to need to leave home without our furry pal knowing this will likely make him feel bad. In many cases vets prescribe medicines that can help in reducing anxiety however it is just a temporary solution. You need to treat the root cause.  

Photo by James Lacy of brown and white dog with bone in mouth being held by a human hand.

 

Dealing with Separation

When your dog exhibits anxiety symptoms and your respond, you are subconsciously helping reinforce this behavior . Dog parents usually reward dog crying by showing sympathy, usually from the very first day you bring them home. However, from a very young age, if you can train your dog to stay quiet and calm by positive reinforcement and giving them a treat or their favorite food. You can find a Collection of Calming Products for Doggies right here in our Scollar personalized pet marketplace. In addition to this, let her learn the art of entertaining herself.

Provide your dogs (and cats too!) with interactive games or toys that can keep them busy for longer periods. You might also consider getting a companion for your pet so they will have each other when you are home AND when you are gone. Making changes in your and your dog’s daily routine will help you change his behavior. Instead of going for walk in the evening, get up 1 hour earlier in the morning and bring your furry pal with you. Working out releases stress hormones and it will also make them tired, which will make your departure less noticeable.

Golden Doodle laying in a round dog bed with her head resting on stuffed animals.  Photo by Alison Pang.

 

Another tool is to crate train them from early age, which gives them a cozy place to curl up when you are gone. When you are home, get them used to the idea that their crate is a safe place for them to rest.  If you don't like the idea of a crate, create a place in the house that has their bed and toys and something that smells like you, and train them to go there to rest. The idea is to get them used to relaxing when you are out of sight

Author Bio: Wendy is a self-employed beauty therapist, mother of two; life-long pet parent and lover of dogs who somehow manages to squeeze in the time to satisfy another of her loves - writing. Wendy is the founder, main contributor to and editor of TotallyGoldens.com