Does Your Dog Have Separation Anxiety? What You Need to Know
If your dog is misbehaving, they may be suffering from separation anxiety. A newly adopted dog may come with baggage from a previous life that you are working to overcome or a dog that you've had for life has never truly gotten over the fact that you sometimes have to leave them. If your dog is misbehaving and the behaviors occur just as you are about to leave to within about an hour of your leaving, there is a good chance they are suffering from separation anxiety. Here is some information you should know about this behavior in dogs.
How Do Dogs Develop Separation Anxiety?
It is not known exactly why some pets suffer from separation anxiety and others do not. Some pets are simply more anxious about being home alone than others are. A pet that has been abused, neglected or left alone for long periods of time and becomes bored is more likely to suffer from separation anxiety than other dogs, but this is not the only reason these behaviors develop.
What are the Signs Your Dog Has Separation Anxiety?
A dog who has separation anxiety becomes anxious as you prepare to leave. Your dog may begin to howl when they see you grab your keys or they may try to stick to your side, begging you not to go.
In addition to displaying signs before you even head out the door, they may also display behavioral issues within the first hour of your leaving. They often use bad behaviors, such as urinating or defecating in the house, chewing something they should not or being destructive, or howling and whining after you leave. This is their way of letting you know they are anxious and getting their anxious feelings out.
How Can You Help a Dog With Separation Anxiety?
It can be tough to break and change the behaviors a dog with separation anxiety has. To eliminate the anxiety, you may need to change your dog's routine, get medications from a vet or take your dog to obedience and training courses to learn how to deal with the behaviors that they are displaying. Because it can be tough, it is recommended you hire a professional with experience to help you train your dog to overcome their anxiety.
At Park Hills Animal Hospital, we care about your pet's wellbeing. Contact us today to discuss any concerns you may have and to talk about possible treatment options that are best for you and your furry friend.