Doggy Day Care at the Willows

Spotting the signs of separation anxiety in dogs

Doggy Day Care at the Willows

Doggy Day Care at the Willows

Spotting the signs of separation anxiety in dogsDo you worry about your dog being anxious when they’re left alone? By spotting the signs of separation anxiety in dogs, you can take the right actions to help your furry friend. There are various reasons why a dog can become anxious. Usually, it’s because they’ve never learned how to cope when they’re left on their own and this can develop into destructive behaviours.

What is separation anxiety?

Dogs should never be left alone for more than 4 hours at a time. They are instinctively pack animals and prefer to be in social groups. When dogs are left alone, they can become anxious. Many dogs will lie or sleep near doorways, anticipating your return home. But when they start showing specific behaviours, this can be a sign that they are feeling distressed.

The most typical example of separation anxiety is in puppies. Once they are at the age when they can leave their mother, they might bark, whimper or whine. Typically these behaviours can go on for several weeks, as they get used to being with you and without their mother. But it’s important to build a dog’s confidence so they can be left for short periods without you as they get older.

Common signs of separation anxiety

Below are a few different signs that your dog may have separation anxiety when left alone:

  • Howling, barking or whining
  • Trembling, pacing or excessive panting
  • Defecating, urinating or excessive drooling
  • Destructive behaviours such as chewing or scratching

How to help an anxious dog

Check whether your dog is anxious when left alone by setting up a ‘pet cam’ in the usual space where your dog spends time. There are lots of small video cameras available that can serve this purpose. You could also connect an indoor camera to your Ring doorbell system to monitor your dog when you are out.

When you replay the video, carefully watch their behaviour to see if they display any of the issues listed above. It’s worth noting that dogs might display certain behaviours due to a medical problem, so always consult your vet in the first instance.

If you believe your dog is showing signs of separation anxiety, then try the following tips:

  • Take them for a long walk before you leave and then leave plenty of toys to keep them entertained while you’re out.
  • Use desensitisation and counterconditioning approaches, get your dog used to being on their own. See our blog How to desensitize a puppy…
  • If your dog is showing signs of distress, it might be worth talking to a qualified animal behaviourist.

Socialise your dog

Dogs should never be left for long periods of time. However, in today’s busy world there are times when people need to be out all day without their furry friend. In these situations, you should arrange for someone to either dog-sit or bring them to a doggy daycare centre.

Doggy Daycare at the Willows has a team of fully trained assistants, who can help your dog to socialise with other canine companions. We provide your pooch with all the mental and physical stimulation they need to keep them happy.

Find out more about our doggy day care services, get in touch for a friendly chat with one of our team..

Thank you for reading our latest blog, Spotting the signs of separation anxiety in dogs.

Doggy Day Care at the Willows

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