Separation anxiety is a big problem for dog owners. While we love our dogs, and our dogs love us back, it is not helping anyone when our four-legged friends turn into a nervous wreck when we’re gone. Thankfully, separation anxiety can be fixed with time, dedication, and a little bit of love and care.
Does your dog destroy the house when you’re gone? Do they whine and cry when you reach for your car keys? If so, these may be signs that they have separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is a condition in which dogs (and other pets) become distressed or anxious when they’re left alone for a period of time. It can be a real problem for both the dog and the owner and should be resolved as soon as possible.
Some symptoms of separation anxiety include:
- Barking and/or howling
- Chewing, digging, and/or scratching
- Urinating and/or defecating
- Trying to escape
What to do about separation anxiety
Resolving your dog’s separation anxiety will depend on its severity. Minor cases can usually be fixed with desensitization and counterconditioning. This can be done by following the ASPCA’s guidelines here. For more severe cases, you may have to rely on a combination of desensitization and medication. If this is the case, you should talk with your veterinarian to see what the best course of action is for your pup.