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Snapshot: If you have a dog and he is suffering from separation anxiety. You might want to know the ways to prevent it. Let us find that out in the article below.
The owners of the dog usually e-news a common phrase to describe their dog whenever the dog appears stressful- is separation anxiety.
The separation anxiety is reflected in the behavior of the dog with symptoms like barking, scratching the walls, excessive salivation, destroying the items in the home, attempting to get escaped and others.
If your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, you would want to know the causes of it and as well as the ways to prevent it from happening. The article below would provide you the answers to your unanswered questions. Read the below article for more knowledge on the same.
What does separation anxiety exactly mean?
The separation anxiety that is found in the dogs is a type of condition, wherein, the dog exhibits behavioural problems or distress when the dog is separated from the owner or the handler.
The separation anxiety is visible within the moment the dog is separated from the handler. But then not all dogs suffer from this problem. Some dogs get separation anxiety whenever the handler departs while some dogs do not.
The behaviour of the dog might be the result of a certain type of medical condition as well and not necessarily when the dog is separated from the owner. With the chronic distress, the impairments to the physiological help could manifest.
The increased distress in your dog might alter the levels of hormone which then might decrease the natural immunity of the dog resulting in varied health-related problems. It is as always recommended to visit a veterinarian to understand the cause of the behaviour of your dog. The separation anxiety of the dog is visible in his behaviour.
They tend to shake excessively, vomit, excessive salivating, destructive chewing, self-harm, and others. This might be due to the change in routine or even the traumatic events in the life of the dog. It is very important to take care of your dog in this situation as separation anxiety might also lead to several health problems like decreased appetite and others.
As you have understood what exactly does separation anxiety in dog means. We can now move on to understand what are the causes or the source of this separation anxiety in your loving dog. The next section of the article explains the causes of separation anxiety in dogs.
What are the causes of separation anxiety in dogs?
If your dog is suffering from anxiety then it gets reflected in his behavior. But, to understand this, you should know exactly why your dog suffers from separation anxiety. The following are some of the reasons for the same:
- Sometimes, the dog owners themselves encourage unknowingly separation anxiety in dogs. You might reward your dog for concern about you in your absence which might encourage your dog to get stressed in your absence.
- When the dogs are young, you might take them everywhere you go but as they grow old, you might find it difficult to take them with you every time. You may thus leave them at home all alone.
But, at some point they feel the need to be with you, and in such a situation, where you are their source of confidence and you leave them, it results in separation anxiety.
- Another source of separation anxiety in dogs is the change in routine. A change in routine might create separation anxiety. A change in routine might also lead to the symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs but then the stress and the destruction might also be created due to lack of exercises or boredom.
So, it is recommended to hold them from that drive and instincts rather than from nurturing them.
- It is, however, recommended to always develop the behaviour of your dog in such a way that he always has the confidence in your leadership. Even if you leave him alone at home, he should know that your leadership and guidance will always be there with him, and he could trust you that you would come back home.
Now, after knowing the causes of separation anxiety, you might be very interested in knowing how exactly you could prevent this to happen. In the next section of the article, the steps to prevent separation anxiety in dogs have been stated.
How to prevent separation anxiety in dogs?
Separation anxiety in dogs is very common. But then there are ways to prevent it too. Some of the preventive steps that you could take to avoid separation anxiety in your dogs have been mentioned below:
- The first method is that you can visit the vet. The vet could prescribe some drugs that might calm the senses of your dog a bit but they are not the cure for separation anxiety.
The drugs might act as a temporary solution to eradicate the problem. You have to understand the root cause if you want a permanent solution.
- The problem starts from the moment you get yourself a puppy the puppy starts to cry whenever he is left alone in the home. Because this is the first time that the puppy is without the pack and left alone in the home.
- When the puppy starts crying, you might tend to show sympathy and pick him up which means that crying is rewarded. But later, this reward encourages him to get addicted to this kind of behaviour whenever he is left alone.
- So, it is important that from the very start, you teach your puppy to settle down and be quiet for a longer period. You also would have to teach calmness and patience and try awarding for it.
- Whenever you take your dog out with yourself, try not to constantly be in interaction with your dog and encourage him to get entertained all by himself with his toys.
- Teach your puppy to accept crate. Also, allow him for exploration under supervision and learn the boundaries and limits of the environment.
So, you have to make sure that the moment you adopt a dog, you teach him to be patient and socialize in the best possible way to entertain himself and not be dependent on others. We can now move on to the section which involves the answer to your question of how you train your dog to avoid separation anxiety.
Training for avoiding separation anxiety
If the dog yours is facing separation anxiety, you might be interested in knowing training for separation anxiety in dogs. Whenever you are at your home, try to make your dog familiar with living in the crate. Start it with the short period & then try increasing the period he would spend in the crate. A few more steps have been given below:
- Certain toys are made to entertain the dog. Try using such toys even in your presence to avoid the situation of separation anxiety.
- Try avoiding putting water inside the crate. It might get messy. The crate for the dog should be like a haven where the dog feels more secure and enjoys being inside.
- One more thing to be remembered is the size of the crate should be big enough for the dog of yours to stand upright and be able to lay down easily without your head touching the top of the crate.
- Teach your dog to be quiet in case you see your dog barking inside the crate. If you interrupt the barking of your dog, he would learn this as a reward and start being calm and quiet even in your absence.
- Another point to be remembered is, whenever you leave your dog, and then do it quietly without giving him the clue. Go through the living routine very quietly and come inside by paying no extra attention to the dog.
- You could even have more than 1 crate, if you feel so or if you want your dog to sleep next to you in your bedroom. Cover the crate with the sheet so that it gives a feeling of the den to your dog.
- You could also play music or switch on the TV so that they could enjoy your absence and get familiar with the sound and sight that gives them a feeling of being secure.
These are the ways by which you could train your dog to avoid separation anxiety. Do always remember to not give extra care and attention when you are present because it might lead to separation anxiety whenever you leave him alone at home.
Well, we hope we were able to solve all your queries. All the information regarding the causes steps to prevent and steps to train for separation anxiety has been provided. But always do remember to socialize your loving dog well. So, that he doesn’t suffer separation anxiety when you have to leave.