- in Dog Health
I have been busier than the usual because of work and I haven't had enough free time to spend some quality time with my dog and recently, I noticed several alarming changes with my dog's behavior.
My Chow Chow typically follows me everywhere I go and lately she has been noisier than the usual especially when I am on my way out of the house. It took me a while to realize that my dog has been dealing with separation anxiety, thus the explanation for her weird behavior.
I immediately knew that was what she was experiencing because I know how to address separation anxiety in dogs. Nothing upsets me more than seeing my beautiful, loving pet going through such a rough time when I could be helping her deal with it!
Yes, Barking Can Be A Sign
As a dog owner, it is our responsibility to ensure the welfare of our dog whether that is physical or emotional. I believe that it is easier to address physical injuries because it is easily noticeable compared to emotional changes.
A typical scenario of a dog suffering from separation anxiety is when they are barking more than usual before you leave your house because they want to get your attention. The reason for this is because you have not been able to give much time to them as much as you used to, and they feel that barking at you will make you stay and not leave.
I believe that this is a very common action among dogs dealing with separation anxiety. We often mistook this unnatural behavior as a sign that our dog needs obedience training, but that is not even the case. Try analyzing what could have triggered this weird behavior.
Has your dog experienced a very traumatic event before adoption? If yes, that could very well be the trigger point as to why your dog is destroying things at your house. Your dog may feel alone and insecure whenever you leave and does not know how to cope with that uneasy feeling, but one of the things you can do to prevent that kind of outburst is to try to project a positive energy.
Dogs have sharp senses, and it is easier for them to pick up bad energy especially from their owners. Try to stay positive and be confident your dog will feel a sense of calmness in the air and that will ease or prevent the triggers of separation anxiety.
Scratching At Doors Or Windows When You Leave
All pets love to be smothered. If your dog is used to constant attention, perhaps leaving them the whole day is a bad idea. Have you ever seen your dog looking out of the window and scratching at the door when you leave? That is a sign that your dog wants you to stay.
But of course, all of us have work, and we can't exactly bring our dog to work. You can help lessen the separation anxiety by leaving a piece of clothing that smells a lot like you. Dogs have a strong sense of smell and giving them a shirt you have recently worn will allow them a sense of security.
Having something of yours can provide them a reassuring feeling that you will come home and that you have not abandoned them.
Escaping When You Are Not Around
This may be shocking but escaping is a symptom of separation anxiety. Of course, this does not occur when you are around. Dogs with separation anxiety might try to escape as an attempt to be reunited with the owner.
Your dog might dig through anything that is in the way which can result in severe injury. You should start by leaving your dog alone for a few minutes and increase the time each day until your dog will get used to it.
Do that every day and as time passes you will notice the huge difference. You will not be dealing with unnatural behavior because you have helped your dog cope with anxiety by allowing your dog some alone time.
Dogs are supposed to be active and energetic in nature, but if your dog seems to be always pacing around back and forth and in circles, then that is not normal. Your dog may walk around in the same area until you come home.
The cause of this behavior is the feeling of loneliness. Having quality time with your dog is always a good idea. Taking your dog for a walk will make your dog feel included. One of the big benefits of taking your pet for a walk is that your dog will want to rest afterward.
Just make sure to give your dog food and water. If you are up for a more intense walk, then you will be leaving your dog calm and well-rested. Your dog will not have the energy to feel separation anxiety when you leave for work.
Also read: Managing Cushing’s Disease In Animals
What Are The Things You Shouldn't Do
There are things that you are doing that you may think is helpful for your dog to cope with separation anxiety but it could be doing more damage that you think. Punishing and threatening is a huge no when your dog is having separation anxiety issues.
Try to address first what is causing your dog's unnatural behavior towards you and if the reason is separation anxiety you should find ways on how to make your dog feel secure instead of instilling fear.
A lot of people mistakenly think that obedience training can help prevent separation anxiety, but no it won't. The reason why your dog is feeling neglected is that of being separated from you. Lack of training is not the cause for separation anxiety.
Seeing my dog acting out deeply saddened me and I knew I had to work on it immediately. Have you also been having a hard time helping your dog deal with separation anxiety? This particular issue is very important to me because I know what emotional damage can do for us if not addressed immediately and the same goes for dogs.
Has this article helped you address separation anxiety issues with your dog? If yes, I would love to hear your stories. Please leave a comment on the box below!
You can read more about your dog's health here.