Tag Archives: separation anxiety in dogs
Dogs with separation anxiety tend to get worked up when the owner is about to leave the place. For example, some dogs with separation anxiety bark incessantly when they hear the jingling keys of their master. One of the biggest frustrations of dog owners is when their dogs urinate on an inappropriate place when the dog is left alone, even if it is toilet trained. Some dogs also chew things to bits and pieces. When the owner is home, it follows its master around. It may cry or whimper when it can’t be near the master. Finally, dogs with separation anxiety get overexcited when their master comes home. It may take a while before the dog calms down. Other symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs include appetite loss, destructive chewing, digging, and even vomiting.
All of these problems have to be addressed immediately, especially if the dog’s owner is a busy fellow. It may be cute to see that the dog is attached to the master but overdependence should certainly not be tolerated. The master cannot be there for the dog all the time so the dog has to be rehabilitated of separation anxiety. Canine separation anxiety is a “lose-lose” situation for the dog and the master.
When dealing with canine separation anxiety, always remember that dogs are creatures of habit. Dog owners that have gone on a long vacation and have spent a lot of time with their dog should be ready to deal with separation anxiety when they get back to work. At this point, the dog is already used to having the master around. Any change in the routine is disconcerting for them.
The owner can start addressing separation anxiety by gradually lowering the dog’s anxiety level before the owner’s departure from the room. Before leaving the room, the owner should not mind the dog for about 15-30 minutes. Leaving the room should be as uneventful as possible to avoid triggering anxiety. For instance, you should take your keys quietly so the dog won’t hear the sound that they make. Leave the room quietly and try leaving the dog for an hour or two. Upon coming back, avoid grand greeting gestures. Ignore your dog when it is jumpy and overexcited. Only attend to it when it has finally regained its composure. This training takes away the predictability of your leaving and departure routine, so the dog no longer associates being alone with certain stimuli.
Keep the dog busy to reduce anxiety during the day. Take it out for a walk in the morning to temper its energy levels (with a dog walking bag and dog poop scooper, of course). Leave ample toys in the room so it can keep itself busy while you are away. You can also take the dog to a “Doggie Day Care Center” if your place is small and there is not much room for the dog to run around and play.