Just like toddlers and young children, your dog could be struggling with separation anxiety from you. Not only is it a complex issue to deal with, it can also be difficult for dog parents to perceive because of the lack of widespread awareness about it.
One important aspect to keep in mind about canine separation anxiety is that they’re not acting out because they don’t like their doggie daycare. Your dog is essentially feeling an overwhelming emotion that it is struggling to deal with, just like mental health issues that humans deal with.
Here’s a simple guide on what canine separation anxiety is, why it could be happening and what you can do about it.
What is Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety in and of itself simply means anxious symptoms that emerge when someone is separated from something or someone that they have an attachment to. Toddlers and small kids often manifest this behavior during their first few months of school or daycare.
However, dogs can suffer from it as well, and because we don’t expect animals to have complex emotions it can often go unnoticed or mislabeled as bad behavior. Canine separation anxiety also looks radically different from how humans display it.
Canine separation anxiety can manifest in aggressiveness and disobedience. Your dog may try chewing or damaging furniture around the house, as well as trying to escape or howl and bark incessantly when you’re not home. Your dog may even take to defecating around the house despite being potty-trained.
In the long run, your relationship with your dog could suffer, as well as its mental health.
What Could Be Causing It?
Since we can’t tell much about the internal mental processes of dogs, it can be hard to ascertain why some dogs tend to have separation anxiety while others don’t. It could be a matter of species, or upbringing or a genetic factor — we simply don’t know.
However, if your dog has been abandoned by its mother or previous owners, that can cause a trauma response via manifesting separation anxiety. Other factors can include loneliness, since leaving dogs alone too much can cause them to feel anxious. Death, a family member’s absence or a sudden change in routine and space could also contribute to this.
How Can I Help My Dog Through This?
There are minor symptoms of separation anxiety, which can often be resolved with proper training and adherence to a strict schedule. Eventually, a dog with minor nervousness will come to trust that you will always come back.
However, with persistent and severe behaviors, you may want to consider a drastic change. You could consider dog boarding or doggy daycare to cure loneliness while you’re at work or on business trips.
With the skilled staff and comfortable temperature-controlled dog kennels at Chappell Hill Pet Resort, you can rest assured that your beloved pet is in safe hands! Contact us at (979) 525-8432 for more information on our location and services.