What is Dog Separation Anxiety?
If your dog is showing signs of separation anxiety, it means they are uncomfortable being left home alone. This is an extremely common behavior in dogs and puppies. If this is not addressed when the dog first shows symptoms it can get progressively worse. There are a number of symptoms that you may not associate with dog separation anxiety at first, but the behavior can be easily identified if you are aware of what to look for. Having a dog who feels safe, calm and comfortable in the house can give great peace of mind to both the dog and the owner.
How to Identify Dog Separation Anxiety
Not every dog deals with separation anxiety in the same way. However, there are some common symptoms that could be an indication that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety. Here is a list of some behaviors you should keep an eye out for:
- Urinating and Defecating – If your dog makes a habit of urinating or defecating specifically when you are not around, it could be due to separation anxiety. If they do the same in your presence, it is probably not related.
- Barking and Howling – Constant barking and howling, specifically triggered by being left alone, may indicate separation anxiety.
- Pacing – If a dog walks in a fixed pattern when left alone, it may indicate separation issues.
- Chewing and Destructive Behavior – Chewing and other destructive behavior may be indicative of a number of problems, but if it only occurs when a dog’s guardian is not present, separation anxiety should be considered.
If you notice any of these behaviors consistently, it is likely you are dealing with dog separation anxiety and waiting to address the issue may only make it worse. Dealing with the problem as soon as possible will make the training much quicker and easier, and improve the relationship between you and your pet.