Signs of Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Man’s Best Friend is much more than a furry roommate; he is a loyal and devoted friend and companion. In fact, Fido is such an important part of our families that it can be easy to forget that he doesn’t think the way we do. One example of this is separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is a term describing the uneasiness, sadness, and loneliness our canine friends feel when they are separated from their owners. Separation anxiety is very common, but is often mistaken for simple bad behavior. Below, a local Marietta, GA vet discusses canine separation anxiety.

Chewing

Have you ever come home to find that your furry pal chewed up the couch cushions while you were gone? Has Fido ever destroyed shoes, pillows, or other objects when left alone? If so, your pooch may be suffering from separation anxiety.

Digging

Digging is another common sign of separation anxiety in our canine friends. Fido may dig holes in the yard when left alone.

Vocalizations

Fido may howl, bark, or whine when left alone. It’s possible that this is your canine pal’s way of trying to let his pack (you) know where he is. Or, he may just be expressing himself.

Other Signs

Some other signs of separation anxiety include inappropriate defecation; destructive behavior, such as getting into the trash; escape attempts; and pacing. Fido may also engage in pica, which means eating non-food items.

Causes of Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is very much rooted in the pack mentality that is hard-wired into Fido’s brain. Your four-legged buddy thinks of you as his human pack, and may feel distressed, sad, or lonely when separated from you. Separation anxiety is a bit more common in dogs that were adopted from shelters, likely because they have lost owners before. That said, any of our canine friends can develop separation anxiety.

Treating Fido’s Anxiety

Separation anxiety is treatable. The best method to use will depend on several factors, including your pet’s age and the severity of his anxiety. Consult your vet or a professional dog behaviorist for specific advice. It’s important to know that you should never punish Fido for misbehaving in your absence: you may only make him feel more anxious.

Do you know or suspect that your furry buddy has separation anxiety? We are here to help! Contact us, your local Marietta, GA animal hospital, today!