Does your dog sometimes act up when he’s left alone? Perhaps he chews things, or goes through the trash. This type of behavior is definitely bad petiquette, but it is often rooted in something far more complex than poor manners. In fact, this is often a sign of separation anxiety. A Helotes, TX vet discusses canine separation anxiety below.
The signs of separation anxiety vary from pup to pup. Some dogs will chew inappropriately, soil inside the house, or destroy things. Others may pace, bark, or whine. Your pooch may also try to escape, or eat things that aren’t food, which can be very dangerous.
Separation anxiety is rooted in the fact that dogs are very social animals by nature. Our canine pals are hard-wired to run with a pack, and may get anxious, sad, depressed, lonely, or distressed when left by themselves. Although many dogs suffer from separation anxiety, it’s particularly common in rescued dogs. This may be because they’ve been abandoned by or separated from their owners before.
Separation anxiety can be tricky to manage. After all, you can’t really send your pup to a therapist. The exact steps you’ll want to take will depend on the severity of your pet’s anxiety. Ask your vet or a professional dog behaviorist for advice. That said, there are some general rules of thumb to follow. Avoid making a big fuss over your dog when you’re coming or going. This may just reinforce his bad behavior. Also, never punish your canine buddy for misbehaving … even if he did chew your new shoes. Dogs don’t really understand the concept of punishment, so this may make him even more anxious. That’s the last thing you want! Instead, focus on offering great care. Make sure your pet is getting plenty of exercise, and offer him lots of toys. (Note: puzzle toys and Kong toys are great for this.) You may also want to hire a dog walker, at least for days when you’ll be gone longer than usual. If your pooch often tries to escape, or tends to chew, eat, or destroy things, you may want to puppyproof a specific room. Leave your furry friend in there with toys, food, water, and comfy bedding.
Please contact us, your Helotes, TX vet clinic, anytime. We’re dedicated to offering great veterinary care!