If you’re a dog owner, you’re familiar with dog separation anxiety. In fact, 20-40% of dogs who see a behavioral specialist suffer from separation anxiety, which negatively affects their health.
Most dog owners don’t know what their dog does at home when they leave the house. Some dogs bark and cry for hours, some destroy furniture, and some have housetraining accidents as a result of stress.
Not sure if your dog suffers from separation anxiety? Read on to discover the 4 most common signs of separation anxiety in dogs and what you can do to help your pup feel better.
1. Barking and Crying When You’re Leaving
Opening the front door, grabbing your keys, or putting your shoes on should be normal events in the house and not cause any issues with your dog. However, if your pup starts barking and crying as soon as you’re headed out the door, this is one of the early signs of separation anxiety in dogs.
You can change this behavior by showing the dog mixed signals. For example, put your shoes and jacket on, but instead of leaving, sit on the couch. Grab the keys but don’t open the door – just play with them for a while. This will teach the dog to not get upset and stressed during these events.
2. Destroying Things While You’re Gone
One of the most common signs of severe separation anxiety in dogs is destroying things and furniture when you’re not there. If these incidents happen every day or several times a week, but the dog doesn’t behave the same when you’re home, it might be separation anxiety.
3. Extreme Excitement When You’re Back
If your dog shows extreme excitement as soon as you’re back, this might be a sign of separation anxiety. A little excitement and tail-wagging are normal, but if your pup can’t calm down even after you return, it might be a sign of relief that you’re finally home.
This might be especially difficult for pups who got used to your presence during the Covid-19 quarantine, so whenever you leave the house, they feel extremely stressed. To find ways to alleviate your dog’s anxiety, this article has some great tips.
4. Housetraining Accidents While You’re Not Home
If your dog constantly urinates or defecates around the house instead of outside or in its litterbox, this might be a sign of separation anxiety. These incidents will only happen when you’re not home as stress hormones cause chaos in the dog’s bladder and intestines so they’re unable to hold it in.
Make sure to rule out other health problems with these symptoms and visit a vet to make sure the dog is otherwise healthy.
Watch Out for These Signs of Separation Anxiety in Dogs To Recognize It Early
Whether you’re a new dog owner or an experienced one, these signs of separation anxiety in dogs are easy to miss if you don’t know what your dog is doing while you’re gone. By noticing these behaviors, you can discover if your dog is lonely and stressed so you can provide relief.
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