Dogs are social creatures by nature, and as such, they generally don’t do well when left alone for extended periods of time. While it’s natural for dogs to form close bonds with their owners, if your dog becomes anxious or destructive when you’re not around, it’s likely that they’re suffering from separation anxiety. There are many ways that you can help calm your furry friend, including providing them with fun activities to distract them while you’re away, such as doggy daycare.
Here’s what you should know:
What Is Dog Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety is a serious condition that can have a significant impact on both dogs and their owners. Dogs with separation anxiety become stressed and anxious when left alone, often experiencing severe distress. This can lead to destructive behaviors such as chewing, digging, and excessive barking, as well as toileting indoors. In some cases, dogs may even try to escape from confinement in order to find their owner. Separation anxiety can be difficult to manage, but there are a number of strategies that can help to reduce stress and promote a sense of calm. With patience and commitment, separation anxiety can be overcome, leading to a happier home for both dogs and their owners.
Signs of Separation Anxiety in Dogs
Dogs can exhibit stress in many ways, so there is no one defining sign of separation anxiety. Instead, as mentioned above, there are a variety of symptoms such as excessive barking, panting, pacing, destruction of property, and elimination accidents. While any of these behaviors can be normal on occasion, separation anxiety is characterized by an overly intense reaction that is out of proportion to the trigger. For example, a dog with separation anxiety may bark excessively when left alone for only a few minutes or pace obsessively back and forth. In severe cases, dogs with separation anxiety may injure themselves in an attempt to escape from their confinement. If you suspect that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, it is important to consult with a veterinarian or behaviorist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. With patience and consistency, most dogs with separation anxiety can learn to cope with their fears and live happy and healthy lives.
Possible Causes for Separation Anxiety in Dogs
The exact cause of separation anxiety is unknown, but there are several possible contributing factors. One theory is that separation anxiety is caused by a lack of socialization early in life. Dogs who do not have regular opportunities to interact with other people and animals may become anxious when left alone. Another possibility is that separation anxiety is a residual fear of being abandoned or rehomed. Dogs who have previously experienced traumatic episodes may become anxious when separated from their owner as they fear being separated again.
Due to the recent Covid-19 closures, we’ve encountered much higher rates of separation anxiety between dogs and their owners. Why? During the closures, people were couped up with their family pets all day, every day. So when everything opened back up again, and pet owners began their normal routines again (work, trips, etc.), it’s no surprise that pets, especially dogs, began displaying signs of separation anxiety.
What You Can Do to Help With Your Dogs Separation Anxiety
If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, there are a number of things you can do to help ease their anxiety. First, it’s important to create a calm and relaxed environment when you leave the house. Dogs with separation anxiety often become agitated when their owners start to prepare for leaving, so try to avoid making a big deal out of it. Instead, calmly put on your coat and say goodbye as you head out the door. Secondly, provide your dog with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation during the day. A tired dog is often a more relaxed dog, so take them for long walks or runs and give them plenty of time to play. Finally, make sure to spend some quality time with your dog when you return home. This will help them to associate you leaving with positive experiences. By following these tips, you can help your dog to feel more secure and relaxed when you’re away from home. Your veterinarian can also provide you with further suggestions.
Your Local Dog Boarding Company
Safe Journey Dog Boarding is Portland, Oregon’s premier place for dog overnight cage-free boarding and doggy daycare. At Safe Journey, your four-legged friend will always be free to roam, play, and socialize 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. With us as your daycare providers, you don’t have to worry about the quality of care your pet is receiving after drop-off. Our dog boarding and dog daycare facility provides a safe, comfortable, relaxed, home-style environment for your dog. This minimizes your and your dog’s stress and anxiety while you are away. Our high-frequency dog visitor clientele helps ensure that your dog is able to hang out with a well-mannered dog pack. Many of your dog’s playmates at Safe Journey have spent hundreds and even thousands of days here with us. Check out our website for our daycare packages.
What we offer:
- A cage-free environment
- A fun environment for your pet
- A comfortable environment for your pet
- An outdoor space for your dog to play
- Indoor facilities
- Off-leash, open-play environment
- Overnight boarding services