How to Help Your Dog Cope with Separation Anxiety

puppy looking out the window.

So many dogs suffer from separation anxiety. You are their whole world, and when you leave, it falls apart—even if just for ten minutes. Tell them not to fret, though. Learn how to treat separation anxiety in dogs from your pet experts at South Seminole Veterinary Hospital

Recognizing Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Us humans aren’t always as readily able to speak dog as we would like to be. Would you know if your dog was experiencing anxiety? The signs can present very differently from animal to animal, and it isn’t always totally obvious. 

You should consider that your pet might have separation anxiety if they:

  • Bark or whine when you leave
  • Urinate or defecate in the house when you are gone
  • Destroy items or property
  • Salivate excessively
  • Pant a lot when you leave
  • Refuse to eat while you are gone
  • Avoid going in their crate
  • Pace or act agitated
  • Attempt to escape from their crate, enclosure, or room

Most of the time, these symptoms will be most noticeable when you leave the house or even the room. Of course, they can also indicate other problems. Please contact us to get to the root of this behavior. 

How to Treat Separation Anxiety in Dogs

If you think that your pet may suffer from separation anxiety, it is important to act. Untreated, anxiety can worsen and your pet can seriously harm themselves or your property. 

There is, unfortunately, no quick solution to fix this problem. Instead, your family and veterinary staff will need to work together to help your dog. 

Important steps include:

  • Building confidence: Often pets bond very strongly to people when they lack self confidence or are fearful of the outside world. Work to help your dog be comfortable with you leaving their sight, even for just a few seconds. Distraction with a toy or special treat can be a great tool. Training sessions with different people and a consistent schedule can also be helpful. 
  • Creating a safe space:  A crate or other space in your home where your dog feels safe is important. Use things like white noise, pheromones, and toys to make it special. Teach your pet to voluntarily utilize the space without fear.
  • Enriching your pet’s environment:  Putting a little effort into increasing your pet’s exercise and mental stimulation can be very helpful. Consider having a dog walker come into your home during the day, adding a daily training session to your schedule, or enrolling in an obedience class. Adding interactive toys to your pet’s environment and getting them out of the house can be very beneficial as well.
  • Outside help:  There isn’t anything wrong with a little outside help. Working with a knowledgeable trainer can really give you a leg up on some great techniques. Over the counter anti-anxiety supplements also have a place. Sometimes, you may need our help with a prescription anti-anxiety medication. These, when used in conjunction with other techniques, can be very helpful. 

Separation anxiety can be a tough problem, but we are here to help you. If you think that your pet might be dealing with this common issue, please schedule an appointment to talk with us. We want your pup to live their best life, and are happy to help however we can.