Dog Separation Anxiety
If you have a dog that gets all nervous when you are about to leave and barks at you when you close the door, then he is suffering from dog separation anxiety. But that is not it. When they are left alone, they disrupt everything, urinate all over the place, and go all mischievous. Learn how to deal with dog separation anxiety. This will help your dog stoically stay at home alone until you get home.
Symptoms of Dog Separation Anxiety
There are some symptoms that are characteristics of dog separation anxiety:
- Barking and Howling. This is the kind of barking and howling that only happens when the dog is left alone;
- Urinating and Defecating. If a dog urinates and defecates even when his owners are present, he is house spoiled and is not necessarily caused by separation anxiety;
- Escaping. This is dangerous because, in an attempt to escape from the space where he is kept confined, he will damage his teeth, paws, and nails;
- Destruction. Some dogs, when they have separation anxiety, will chew on things, destroy household stuff, and dig at doors and doorways;
- Pacing. Some dogs will walk, trot, or jog along a definite path. It could be going back and forth in a straight line, or going around in circles. If this behavior is caused by separation anxiety, he will not do it when his human owners are present;
- Coprophagia. When left alone, some dogs will defecate and then proceed to eat their own feces.
Here are some practical tips of things you can do to help your dog calm down. Keep in mind that, in his mind, he believes you will not be coming back and that you’re leaving him in abandonment.
If the issue is mild, here’s what you can do:
- Give your dog a special treat before you leave;
- Don’t parade your way out with a lot of noise;
- Leave some recently used clothing at the reach of your dog.
If the problem is more serious it will take more time to try and ease the dog. What you can do here is pretend that you are leaving. Your dog will usually start getting nervous when he sees you putting on your shoes, picking up your keys, etc. Do this but then instead of leaving, sit at the couch and watch TV.
Do this many times and when you see that your dog’s anxiety has decreased, you can apply the tips above.
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