Separation Anxiety in Dogs
Even a dog that is well behaved when you’re home may have issues when you leave the house. There’s a number of things a dog can do when you’re not home, and many of these are the result of Separation Anxiety in Dogs. If your dog is experiencing separation anxiety, there are quite a few things you can do to help your dog relax and learn that you will be coming home again soon.
What is Separation Anxiety?
Dog Separation Anxiety is the feeling your dog experiences when you’re out of your home, whether it’s for ten minutes or a few hours. Your dog is anxious and worried that you will not return, which can cause them to act out in a variety of ways. This can be disruptive and even damaging to your household, and can cause you quite a bit of anxiety as well.
What are Signs of Separation Anxiety?
There are quite a few Dog Anxiety Symptoms and the ones your dog exhibits will depend on your dog. If you have more than one dog, it’s entirely possible to see different symptoms in each. Some of the most common ones include:
- Destruction of the Home or Objects – This is one of the most seen ways a dog will show separation anxiety. They may destroy pillows, furniture, flooring, doors, and anything else they can. Often, it’s not just because they need an outlet for their energy, it’s because they are anxious about being separated.
- Howling or Barking Excessively – If you notice your dog howling or barking a lot while you’re gone, or if you have received complaints from your neighbors, your dog could be experiencing separation anxiety.
- Accidents When You are Not Home – Accidents can be a sign of not being potty trained completely, but if they only occur when you are not home they may be a sign of separation anxiety.
- Pacing – While this isn’t a destructive behavior, it’s not good for your dog’s mental health either. If your dog paces often while you’re not home, you may want to find help to relieve their anxiety. You can find out of your dog is pacing while you’re gone by watching them through a window or installing a security camera in your home.
What Can You Do to Alleviate Separation Anxiety?
There are a few ways people attempt to alleviate separation anxiety, with crate training and medications being the most popular. Some dogs do better with one while other dogs will need a different method or a combination of methods. It’s important to take your time and find out which one will work better for your dog. Once you do find the right method or combination of methods, your dog will be much more comfortable and happy when you’re gone.
Does Crate Training Help?
Crate training is a common method used to alleviate separation anxiety, but it doesn’t always work. Many dogs will start to see the crate as their own private space when they’re being trained. They’ll learn to love their time in the crate and look forward to sleeping there while the owner is gone.
However, you’ll want to try the crate for short periods of time at first, staying in a separate room of your home. If your dog tries to escape, chews on the crate, howls or barks, or displays any other sign of separation anxiety while you aren’t in the room, you may want to consider another method.
What Kinds of Medication May Help?
Anxiety Medication For Dogs can help them alleviate the stress they feel when you leave. One of the most common types of medication used is Melatonin for Dogs. Melatonin produces a calm feeling and helps the dog relax for up to eight hours so they won’t be as anxious when you leave. Many people use melatonin for dogs who are scared of storms, have trouble sleeping at night, or who are overactive after a surgery to help them relax and heal.
This is a natural medicine, so it’s safe for your dog to take. You will want to speak with your veterinarian to ask about the dosage for your dog and watch them carefully to determine if it helps them. If it does, a small amount of melatonin before you leave can help them relax and rest while you’re away from the house instead of exhibiting separation anxiety symptoms.
Separation Anxiety in Dogs can cause quite a bit of stress for you and your dog. It’s also one of the top reasons people rehome their dog or have them euthanized. This is something that you can work on with your dog. Even though it may take a little bit of time, you can reduce their separation anxiety and help them feel at ease when you’re gone. Follow the tips in this article and speak with your veterinarian today to create a plan to help you relieve your dog’s separation anxiety.