Separation Anxiety in Dogs

By Steve Dale

When our dogs are left alone, they can experience separation anxiety. These anxious feelings sometimes lead to misbehavior, but many times they aren’t acting out on purpose or in spite – they simply have never been taught how to be left alone.

The Diagnosis
Separation anxiety is a medical diagnosis, and it’s important for a veterinarian to recognize the problem and be involved in a solution. If you think your dog is experiencing separation anxiety, try recording the events and show the video to a veterinarian. Common signs you may notice include drooling, defecating or urinating in the house or excessive barking and howling. These events may happen as you’re getting ready to leave or occur while you’re gone.

Treating the Problem
Once your dog has been diagnosed, there are ways you can help keep him calm. For example, if you have a food-motivated dog, bring out tasty treats like Vita Bone Artisan Inspired biscuits before you leave. Put a treat inside a toy so your dog is distracted while you’re heading out. Pheromone therapy products are also helpful in calming your dog.

Coming Home
If your dog has separation anxiety, he’ll most likely be extremely excited when you walk in. Wait for your dog to calm down before you say hello. Being dramatic about your entrance will make it more noticeable and may rouse your dog even more.

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