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Separation anxiety

Your pet may show great concern and fuss when you are leaving; fearing being separated from you. Within the first few minutes of your departure your dog can become destructive, vocal or mess in the house; all done out of sense of panic. Do not punish separation anxiety related destruction. Your dog will not only fear your leaving but also your return.

Most dogs suffering from separation anxiety follow their owner around the house and are overly excited to see them when they are left alone. Some dogs begin to show signs of this behavior problem when there is a change in the family’s routine such as moving, a new addition to the family or separation from a loved one.

Adding another pet may not solve the problem.

You can try to change your routine so your dog does not know when you are leaving. The sounds of keys or seeing you pick up your briefcase or purse or opening a certain door are signals to your dog that you are leaving him. Ignoring your dog a half hour before you leave and a half hour when you return will make the whole incident boring to your dog. Pay attention to your dog when he has calmed down. Start with short departures and gradually lengthen your departure time as you see progress in your dog. Crating can help, but if he is destructive when crated, then crating may not be the answer. Try confining your dog by using a baby gate so your pet can see out. Distractions are another helpful solution. Leave something special for your dog (such as a filled treat, article of clothing, radio, etc) and take it away when you return. Also a good exercise before you go can help wear out your dog so your departure becomes a chance to get some peace and quiet. Remember the first 30 minutes are usually when the separation anxiety sets in.

An animal behaviorist may be able to help you and your dog. Supplements like Nutri Calm or Bach Remedy may help your pet. In severe instances you may have to administer anti-anxiety medication.

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This page was last updated on 10/25/2014