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Separation Anxiety: How to Help Your Furry Friend Get Over Its Fear of Separation

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has revealed that over 23 million families brought home a dog during the pandemic. The stressful period combined with isolation motivated many individuals to foster or adopt dogs. However, what happens when you have to stay away from your pooch for longer hours when the pandemic ends?

During the pandemic, you spent the entire time at home, so it won’t be surprising for dogs to have a hard time once COVID restrictions start being lifted, and people head out to work. This is where separation anxiety might rear its head if you are super close to your dog, and start spending long hours outside.

If your dog gets nervous when you are getting ready to leave or gets too excited when you return home, it might be a sign of separation anxiety. It is also evident if the dog destroys your shoes, claws the door, or chews off the furniture in your absence. 

Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious concern for pet parents. However, with the right resources, training, and knowledge, it can be controlled to a large extent. Here’s all you need to know about canine separation anxiety.

canine separation anxiety
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What is Canine Separation Anxiety?

If you weren’t already aware, dogs are known for being inherently social. This is what makes them great pets. But it also makes them more vulnerable to separation anxiety.

According to experts, a healthy dog would love to be with its favorite humans. That is why many dogs tend to develop some sort of separation anxiety.

This is a condition where the dog gets stressed when separated from their humans or a fellow pet. The issue stems from multiple factors but the most common and powerful factor is environmental.

According to vets, puppies brought up with love and affection tend to be independent and secure. That is why a majority of dogs with separation anxiety tend to come from a stray background.

Some of the most common signs of canine separation anxiety include destructive behavior, inappropriate defecation, not eating while you are away, and incessant barking. However, it is not always that straightforward, and some of these issues might just be behavioral. 

What to Do if Your Dog Has Separation Anxiety?

If you are certain your dog has separation anxiety, it is time to consider what to do to ease the anxiety. You can check out a number of products listed on PetCareRx, like Clomicalm and Amitriptyline.

There are several other products like toys and calming chews that can be given to the dog to calm him or her down while you are away.

However, before administering any calming supplement or medicine, you must first consult a professional to determine that it is indeed the case of separation anxiety that you are dealing with.

Here are a few useful tips:

  • Consult a Vet: As mentioned earlier, the symptoms listed for separation anxiety can also be caused by several other factors. Therefore, just because your furry friend is behaving in a certain way might not mean that it has separation anxiety. Therefore, it’s important to get a professional analysis from a licensed and trusted veterinarian to rule out any other behavioral or medical issues. 
  • Consult an Animal Behaviorist: Once your veterinarian has confirmed that the symptoms displayed by your dog are not caused by any underlying health issues, it’s time to consult an animal behaviorist. A trained professional will be able to provide consultation and training plans based on your dog’s lifestyle, location, and behavior. 

How to Ease Separation Anxiety in Dogs?

The first and foremost thing to do is not to ignore it. Many pet parents tend to believe that ignoring or letting them cry it out will teach them healthy boundaries. However, it doesn’t work that way for a young puppy with separation anxiety.

Ensure that you keep the puppy close, meet all its needs, and be a matter of fact about departures. Addressing and not ignoring is the best way to approach separation anxiety.

Speaking of healthy boundaries, it’s a good practice to start by staying away from your pet for shorter durations. As you make sure that your dog is comfortable with you being gone, gradually stretch the duration. After a while, your dog should be okay with your absence over a longer period. 

These are some of the tips and tricks to know how to deal with a puppy or dog with a case of separation anxiety. Remember to set your dog up for success when caring for separating anxiety by creating a safe environment for them to be in when you are gone.