google.com, pub-1355929376209830, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa010 Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Dogs - Puppy Small
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10 Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Separation anxiety is a fairly common behavioral problem in dogs, and positively identifying the problem is the first step you should take when it comes to dealing with it. Below we discuss the common symptoms of separation anxiety, and some tools to help you cope.

And before we start, it’s important to know that you’re not alone, and it’s not necessarily caused by something you did wrong. almost 80% of dogs Find it stressful to be left alone.

From excessive barking when you’re out to overly excited greetings at the door, here are 10 common symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs.

Barking and howling

One of the most obvious signs of separation anxiety in dogs is a dog that barks or howls when you leave. They can sit by the window and howl, or they can bark while in their crate. The only thing this type of barking has in common is that it is persistent and is caused directly by being left alone.

Pacing

Pacing is another common symptom of separation anxiety. Some dogs pace back and forth near the door, while others walk around the house in specific patterns. If it is caused by separation anxiety, the behavior is only present when the owner is away.

Peeing and pooping

Some dogs will have accidents in the house when they are stressed, and this includes anxiety caused by being alone. If your dog is housebroken and only seems to have accidents when you are away, this is probably directly due to separation anxiety.

Drooling and panting

Extra drooling and panting can be signs of nervousness and anxiety, and some dogs with separation anxiety will exhibit these behaviors.

Restlessness when left alone

A general restlessness when you leave is another sign that your dog has separation anxiety. If they are constantly getting up, checking the windows, and seemingly unable to relax or take a nap, chances are they are anxious.

Trying to escape

In severe cases of separation anxiety, dogs will try to escape wherever they are confined, whether that is their crate or the house itself. They can chew through doors or possibly break windows, which can lead to serious injury.

Destructive behavior (chewing and digging)

When left alone, some dogs exhibit destructive behavior, such as chewing on furniture or the walls. If they only exhibit this type of behavior when left alone, it is likely due to separation anxiety.

Affectionate behavior

If your dog refuses to leave your side when you come home, he may be suffering from separation anxiety. An affectionate dog isn’t always one to suffer from separation anxiety, but if your dog only stays by your side after you get home, it’s probably because he’s still trying to overcome the fear he felt while you were away.

Nervousness and/or excitement when you leave

Dogs are smart and know our routines as well as we do. If your dog starts to get nervous in the morning as you get ready for work, he is showing signs of separation anxiety. That ritual of getting ready causes them fear, because they know they will be left alone.

Overly excited greetings when you get home

We all love coming home to a happy dog, but overly excited greetings can be a mild cause for concern. If your dog gets so excited that he starts urinating, or if he can’t control himself and starts shaking when you get home, he may be suffering from separation anxiety.

What to do if your dog has separation anxiety

Now that we’ve discussed the symptoms of separation anxiety, it’s time to come up with a management plan.

Unfortunately, it won’t be cured overnight and it’s not something your dog will simply outgrow over time, but there are some simple steps you can do to keep the behavior under control (as long as it is not a serious case, such as escaping through windows, at which point you should consult a trainer for assistance).

I’ve written an entire article on how to manage your dog’s separation anxiety, but here’s the TLDR version to get you started;

  • Step 1: Keep your dog calm while you get ready. If you know brushing your teeth confuses them, give them a treat while you brush to try to change that part of your routine in a positive way for them.
  • Step 2: Get your dog used to you leaving. Go away for short periods of time to get your dog used to you leaving, rather than just worrying about you being away for more than 8 hours at a time.
  • Step 3: Give your dog something to do when you leave. Frozen Kongs (a toy filled with frozen dog treats) are my favorite for this; it gives your dog something fun and productive to do, and since it’s drunk, it should last quite a while.
  • Step 4: Teach your dog independent behavior. By encouraging your dog to do things on his own, at a distance from you, you can teach him that he doesn’t need to be next to you to feel comfortable.
  • Step 5: Keep your dog physically and mentally exercised. If you keep your dog physically and mentally active every day, he is much more likely to remain calm and well behaved when you are away. There are plenty of ways to keep your dog busy indoors, and some ways to tire him out.

More resources for dealing with separation anxiety

Unfortunately, there is no magic cure for separation anxiety, but if you stick to these methods, it can be controlled over time.

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