When you leave your dog home alone for long periods of time, does he wreak havoc in your home? Separation anxiety is a real condition that dogs suffer from and one that many dog owners have experienced themselves. Dogs get bored and try to find activities to occupy their minds and many of these activities are inappropriate but this does not necessarily indicate that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety. In fact, separation anxiety is associated with distinct and identifiable symptoms.
The major symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs include:
- Refusal to leave your side when you’re home
- Destructive behavior
- Inappropriate toileting, especially defecation inside the house
- Constant barking and whining
- Behavioral problems when your dog is isolated, even if you’re home.
Imagine how you feel when you get anxious about something and then try to understand how a dog suffering from separation anxiety must feel. This condition is not simply a case of loneliness so you should need to make some changes if you suspect your dog is suffering from separation anxiety.
First of all, try to move in and out of the house without giving your dog excessive attention. You don’t want to leave the house without saying goodbye but you also don’t want to make a big production that may trigger the separation anxiety. In fact, by giving your dog a lot of attention before you leave the house, you may be inadvertently rewarding your dog’s inappropriate behavior. Also, it is vital that you exercise your dog regularly for numerous reasons but keep in mind that if your dog is tired he’s much more likely to sleep than destroy your house. Finally, try to leave your dog some interesting activities when you’re not at home. Leave the TV or radio on or get some toys so your dog will be occupied while you’re out. Still, serious separation anxiety may not be easily cured and you might have to turn to a vet visit or hiring a pet-sitter.