Separation anxiety

What is Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is a common problem we see in both puppies and adult dogs. If your dog becomes too dependent on you, separation anxiety can occur when you and your dog are apart. It can be seen as anxious behaviour such as getting worked up or distressed when you are preparing to leave the house. It is also seen as inappropriate behaviour such as excessive barking, urinating inside or destructive behaviour.

A change in routine, a new event (new baby), a traumatic event while on his own and moving house are all ways in which separation anxiety may begin. Puppies introduced to new home environments may also experience it. The cause and severity of separation anxiety varies and so does the treatment.

The golden rule is that you must educate your dog to accept the fact that sometimes you will need to be apart from each other. The earlier you start getting your dog used to this fact, the easier it will be, for both of you.

Top Tips:

  • Provide plenty of fresh water and clean, warm bedding for your dog.
  • Give your dog plenty of exercise when you are around.
  • Provide some appealing dog toys to help occupy his time. Kongs stuffed with frozen treats are a favorite.
  • Leave your dog a blanket or piece of clothing that has your scent on it.
  • Try feeding your dog his main meal just as you are leaving the house.
  • Leave the radio on while you are away.
  • Leave your dog in a safe and secure crate or kennel run – it provides a comfortable “den like” area where your dog will feel comfortable.
  • Give your dog some obedience training.
  • Drop your puppy or dog off at a doggy day care centre.
  • Don’t let your dog become too “clingy” and dependent on you every second you are together. Little by little teach your dog to be on his own when you are home.

There are also a variety of products that are available here at Palmerstown Veterinary Hospital that can help with anxiety in dogs.

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