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Dogs And Separation Anxiety

Dogs are by nature social animals that love being around people. When left alone they may get lonely and sometimes act out.

Dogs with separation anxiety will show their distress at being left alone by barking, trying to scratch the door or window and displays of destructive behaviour.

Some may even get injured as they try to go out using some unconventional means such as through a closed window or even door.

Separation anxiety is a big problem for dog owners since they always have to keep the dog locked up when they are not around or go everywhere with the dog. A dog with separation anxiety is calm when the owner is around, but becomes very anxious when separated from the owner. Such dogs become distressed when they cannot find their master and may even become destructive or harm themselves trying to get outside.

Older dogs are also prone to separation anxiety. This is mostly since they are losing some of their senses such as hearing and eyesight and want to be around someone who will take care of them.

Here are some tips to help prevent or ease separation anxiety

- Separation anxiety is at times borne out of loneliness. At times this condition can be cured by getting the dog a companion such as another dog or a cat. Most times though, the dog will still become anxious when its looks like you are leaving. To ease the anxiety, you can leave some of your clothes with the dog. These have familiar smell and will be comforting to the dog.

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- When you get your first dog, it is understandable that you want to spend every minute with the dog. However, this makes the dog highly dependent on you as he matures. Give the dog some space to find something else to do and occasionally let someone else handle the dog. You may get him a toy to play with that will keep him busy.

- Ensure the dog has a comfortable place to sleep, enough water in his bowl and is fed before you leave the house.

- Though separation anxiety in dogs is not because they lack proper training, teaching the dog some basic commands such as “stay” “back” and praising him when he does the right thing is important. If the dog starts to follow you, you may tell him to stay, praise him for complying by use of verbal praise and offering a treat.

- If you are in a new environment the dog may feel insecure and will want to be with someone or something that is Take some time to get the dog accustomed to his new environment. If something at home makes the dog uncomfortable then find out what it is so that you know how to deal with it,

- Dogs are creatures of habit, if you do the exact same thing every day before you leave, the dog can predict when you are about to leave. Do things differently from time to time, that way it will be harder for your dog to know if you are leaving.

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