How Do I Know If My Dog Has Separation Anxiety?
The signs of separation anxiety are fairly easy to spot. There are a few questions you can ask yourself to see if this is the issue you and your dog are dealing with.
- Does your dog panic when you leave the room then immediately go to follow you?
- Does she have accidents in the house even though she is fully house trained?
- If you crate him, does he try to “dig” his way out?
- Will she bark or howl as soon as you leave?
- Does he heavily pant and pace when you leave?
- Does she let out a giant yawn of stress?
If you had to answer “yes” to any of these questions, it is likely your pup suffers from Separation Anxiety. You are far from alone on this one!
Why Do Dogs Get Separation Anxiety?
Combating Separation Anxiety
There are many ways to reduce the anxiety your dog feels when you leave the house. Here are a few of the easiest methods to start out with.
Change Your Routine
Start by changing your morning routine. This is the fastest and easiest way to “throw off” your buddy. Does your
dog start acting strange the second your alarm clock goes off?
Your dog knows this is the beginning of the leaving-the-house ritual. Some things to try are:
- Get up at different times.
- Change up your alarm sound.
- Get dressed out-of-order from your norm.
- If you take them potty right before you leave, take them out a bit sooner.
- Get out your keys and just leave them out
A lot of dogs associate the sound of your keys with leaving. Show them your keys don’t mean anything. Through the day, pick up your keys and move them to different parts of the house without leaving. Any little variation will reduce your best friend’s pre-leaving anxiety. Remember to switch it up.
Don’t Reinforce It
Don’t pet them when you leave. Don’t give in when they make sad noises as you walk out. You can practice with crate training. Have them crate up for a few minutes here and there while you are home. Or put her in a separate room in your house for small intervals.
Building Up to Longer Times
Start working on leaving the house more often for shorter periods of time. You can even try leaving for a few seconds and then come right back in. You have to change your dog’s expectations for how long you’ll be gone and when you’ll be back. If they see you coming back each time, you can stretch out how long you are able to leave.
Take a Deep Breath