Dogs rely on their owners. This can lead to separation anxiety when they leave. Veterinarians see this especially in pups who have abandonment issues. Stress can cause your furry friend to destroy your home in your absence, urinating on carpets or chewing on furniture. If you think your pet may have this condition, you may have many questions about it. To help you care for your dog, here is more information about separation anxiety and common concerns owners have about it.
Separation Anxiety in Dogs FAQ
What triggers separation anxiety?
Change is the most common cause of separation anxiety in dogs. For instance, dogs who were given up by a previous owner then adopted often exhibit this behavior. Problems can also stem from an owner suddenly leaving the house, such as after a divorce. Changes in routine are equally distressing, as is moving to a new, unfamiliar location.
What are the symptoms?
Some dogs take to destroying their surroundings, such as chewing on door frames or digging holes in the yard. These behaviors can be an attempt to escape, which can lead to injuries. They may also howl incessantly, urinate where they aren’t supposed to, or pace until the owner returns.
Are there other causes for these behaviors?
Many of these actions can result from other problems, including health issues like incontinence. A dog may also lack stimulation and exercise, which leads to boredom and acting out. The biggest sign that an animal isn’t only experiencing separation anxiety is if it continues to act out when the owner is home. In this case, get your veterinarian’s opinion on your pup’s behavior.
How can I treat it?
Treatment for separation anxiety usually depends on its severity. With mild cases, try giving a special treat for your pet before you leave so it associates your absence with something enjoyable.
When the symptoms are severe, try conditioning your dog. Start by closing them in one room while you occupy another, then gradually increase the time you spend apart until it becomes comfortable. From here, you can try leaving your home for short periods until your dog doesn’t cause trouble anymore. If you don’t make progress, consider seeking help from a professional trainer or veterinarian.
The veterinarians at Cedarknoll Animal Hospital in Montgomery, NY, can help pet owners deal with complex issues like separation anxiety. They take a comprehensive approach to pet wellness, which includes allergy testing, spaying and neutering procedures, dental care, prescription diets, and vaccinations for many types of conditions. They also offer Saturday and evening hours and emergency veterinary care to help you when you need it the most. Visit them online for a full list of services or call (845) 361-5404 to schedule an appointment.