Why do dogs develop separation anxiety?
Many dog owners (and some cat owners too!)are asking this question these days, as their dogs are becoming super anxious because everyone is getting back to work after lockdown here in Lakeland + Mulberry, Fl. Does your dog need a dog walker to help with their day to become less stressful?
Separation anxiety is a disorder that happens when a pet is separated from their owner and they feel upset. Your dog will get panic when you go out and sometimes begin to ruin things ( think ‘exploded’ couch, walls with holes in them, or even lots of pet pee/poo accidents when you are leaving the house- even just for the day. When you return home, your dog may jump excitedly, or may even follow you from room to room when you are at home.
Possible Causes of Separation Anxiety in Dogs
It is still not clear why some dogs are more vulnerable than others to separation anxiety. There are many causes, including:
• Even a single horrific experience when the owner is away, can cause separation anxiety in dogs.
• Personality also plays an important role when it comes to separation anxiety. Usually clingy dogs are more at risk of getting separation anxiety than others.
• Other factors include life changes, such as a sudden shift of routine, moving to a new place , or unexpected absence of a loved one, whether it is a kid going back to school or someone going back to their job (like most people are going back to work after lockdown) .
• Latest research has also found that a potential cause of separation anxiety in dogs is lack of physical activities.
“Since there are many possible causes for separation anxiety, it is very important to take preventive measures and to try and help it right after seeing the first sign in your dog.”
Symptoms in dogs that indicate separation anxiety
Most of the people know the usual symptoms of dog separation anxiety, like furniture destruction or excessive barking, but there are also other symptoms. Coming back to a happy dog who is very excited to see you does not mean that he did not secretly struggle when you were away. The most prominent behavioral symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs are:
• Destructive behavior, biting and breaking the furniture (mostly focused on the door from which you left the house)
• Excessive barking and howling
• Shaking or whining
• Peeing and pooping in home
• Excessive salivary flow
• Repetitive actions
Dealing with separation anxiety
•Hire a professional Pet Care Specialist- like a Pet Sitter / Dog Walker that can pop in during the day to take on a walk or play session to break up the day of boredom, give some exercise and get those endorphins running! Hiring a Dog Walker in Lakeland, Fl is key to helping you balance your life with your pets needs.
- Try not to make your arrival and departure a big thing. During the first few minutes, forget your dog and then slowly pet them to make things completely normal.
• Leave the clothes you have worn recently with your dog. Your clothes will help to keep your dog calm as they smell like you.
• Choose a specific word or gesture to use each time you leave the house. It will help your dog to learn that you are going to be back soon.
• Try to use a relaxing item that decreases dog anxiety like a puzzle toys with treats, a lickimat or stuffed kong type toy
• Use positive encouragement and train your dog with different commands like sit-stay and down-stay. This training will make him able to understand that, they should stay peacefully in one place when you go away.
• Establish a “safe spot” to restrict the tendency of your dog to be aggressive when you are out. His safe spot should be comfortable and spacious. You can also put some toys, music,or TV on, and access to water there to keep him busy and distracted.