As much as we'd like to, we can't spend every second of every day with our four legged friend. Some dogs handle this better than others, and sadly, some can suffer from severe separation anxiety.
What is separation anxiety?
Separation anxiety is more than your dog whining a little when you leave the house and then settling down. Separation anxiety is most likely to affect a dog that is extremely attached to their owner, aka a velcro dog. They become highly dependent on their owner and experience extreme stress when they are apart. This stress can present in many different ways but the most common signs of separation anxiety is excessive barking, extreme destruction and even vomiting.
What causes separation anxiety?
Separation anxiety can happen for many reasons including over bonding, genetics, a lack of socialisation in the early stages, change in routine, a death in the family and your own behaviour. Dogs who have been rehomed have a higher chance of developing separation anxiety and for good reason, they don't know if they'll be left again.
Signs to look out for
- Howling, barking or whimpering are a clear indicator that your dog isn't very happy
- Accidents after your dog is toilet trained
- Consistent destructive behaviour such as chewing, digging and scratching
- Panting, drooling or other abnormal behaviour from your dog as you prepare to leave the house.
How to help your dog
- Create a positive association when you leave the house. Choose a treat your dog would never usually receive and take it away when you get back.
- Don't make your goodbye's or reunions too emotional or you can end up intensifying your dog's anxiety as they look forward to your return.
- Crate training from a young age can prove extremely useful when helping your dog overcome separation anxiety as it gives them a safe space and prevents them from coming to any harm whilst you're out.
- When dealing with a severe case of separation anxiety, you need to ensure your dog doesn't experience the panic stage at all. This means your dog cannot be alone. If you can't be with your dog 24/7, you might need a Tailster dog carer to help out.
- Have a way of tracking what’s going on at home as your training progresses. Furbo Dog Camera lets you see what's going on at home in real time and night vision. Furbo has a bark sensor so it will alert you when your dog is barking. It even lets you talk to your dog so you can calm them down. Your dog will love it too as you can dispense treats via your phone!
If you're away from home a lot and need help with a dog that suffers from separation anxiety, perhaps Tailster can help? We have approved carers all over the UK who can care for your dog as and when you need. For more information on our service, click here.