If you have any experience with children, especially babies and toddlers, then you are familiar with the term “separation anxiety.” This syndrome does not only occur in people, but also in animals. Our puppy becomes a part of our family, and when we leave them behind they may have feelings of sadness.
How can you tell if your puppy is suffering from separation anxiety?
- Your puppy acts up, is destructive, and eliminates in inappropriate areas of the home when you are away.
- Your puppy blocks the door and tries to stop you from leaving.
- Your puppy gets very excited or anxious when you begin closing the house shades or picking up your car keys to leave.
- He follows you everywhere around the house scared to miss a thing.
Why does one dog suffer from anxiety and another does not?
- A big event may have occurred such as a home break-in, a severe thunderstorm or a move to a new home
- You went on a vacation and left the puppy alone with a dog sitter checking in
- You left the puppy at the kennel for an extended period of time
- You and your spouse recently went through a divorce
- One of the children moved away to college
- You were self-employed at home, and have recently gone back to an office job
What Symptoms Will Your Puppy Begin to Show?
- barking or whining
- having accidents
- chewing destructively
- biting patches or hair off
- loss of appetite
- throwing up or diarrhea
What Can You Do to Help?
- Start leaving your dog alone for short bursts throughout the day. This lets your dog know that you won’t always be there, but you will always come back.
- Make sure that your dog has everything they need while you are ways, such as water, food, and toys.
- Make sure to walk your dog or let them run around for a while before you leave for an extended period of time.
- If your dog is housetrained already and they have a way to eliminate while you are gone, try leaving them their big meal to eat before you go. This will help kill some time for them.
- Consider adding another pet to your family. Many animals want a companion home with them.
- Leave your pup in their crate or another secure area.
- Make sure that your dog has had obedience training. This helps them learn how to control their emotions.
- Pay a neighbor or a friend to stop by and let your pup out and play with them in the middle of the day
- Leave the TV or radio on so there is noise in the house.
- Leave your pup with a special treat that they love and only get when you are leaving. Soon they may want to push you out that door to get something yummy for their belly!
There are a lot of methods that you can try to ease your dogs suffering. If none work, your dog may have a more severe case of separation anxiety and you should consult your vet. There are medications and treatments that can be prescribed.