Is your dog anxious or sick? The signs of separation anxiety can mimic an illness. As a pet owner, you can probably tell if your dog has separation anxiety or if they have an illness that requires a visit to your veterinarian.
Since our pets are our family members, we want to do everything we can to reduce stress and anxiety. Fortunately, we have tips to help your best friend out.
Here are some signs of separation anxiety.
Make sure to contact your veterinarian if you notice changes in your dog’s behavior to rule out an underlying health issue:
- Behavior changes. If your normally calm dog becomes aggressive towards other animals or people, it can be stressful.
- Digestive problems. When your dog is constipated. Diarrhea or vomiting, it could be stress.
- Isolation. If your dog is hiding under the bed or spending more time in his crate, or doesn’t crave your company, stress may be the cause.
- Loss of appetite. A dog with a strong appetite that is now foregoing food may do so out of fear.
- Sleep disorders. If your dog sleeps more than usual or doesn’t sleep as much as usual, stress and separation anxiety can be causing the change.
Drastic changes in your dog’s behavior can warrant a visit to the vet.
Let the medical staff know if your household’s routines have changed as this will help you determine if your pet is sick or anxious.
A dog suffering from separation anxiety might also:
- Bark a lot
- Chew inappropriate items
- Lick his skin raw
- Go to the bathroom in the house
- Be lazy
- Become a “Velcro Dog”
- Act frantically when you leave or when you come home
Dog separation anxiety: tips to help out your best friend
How can you help your furry best friend deal with separation anxiety?
Dog enrichment is one of the best ways to help Fido or Fluffy feel less lonely when you are not around.
Here are our favorite tips to keep your dog happier and less anxious:
- Playtime is important! Play with your dog before you leave home. If the weather cooperates, go outside and play fetch, run, go for a walk, or let him zoom around the yard.
- Safe spaces. If your dog is running the run of the house it could lead to their fear. Large spaces could make a frightened dog even more nervous. Give her a box with a comfortable bed or a corner with a blanket, bed, and toys that she can name herself. Dogs need safe spaces where they can relax and unwind.
- Quality time. If your household routine has changed and you are now away more than before, make time for the two of you to be together. Snuggle up on the couch. Take a car ride. Give your pup your undivided attention.
- Hire an animal sitter or dog walker. Your dog can benefit from a visitor during the day when you are not around. Invite a friend, family member, or animal handler to visit your dog and take him for a walk or play with him.
- Relieve your puppy. If you’ve worked from home because of the coronavirus and you know you’ll be back to work or school soon, get your dog used to the change in routine that is about to happen. Get out of the house on dry runs to get your dog back in the habit. Don’t make a big deal of going or coming home – doing so will fuel your dog’s anxiety.
- Switch on DOGTV. There is nothing like dog enrichment technology to keep your pet company and stress relieved.
Never leave your dog alone at home. What?! What can a pet owner do if you have to leave the house
Turn on DOGTV! This scientifically developed programming is an ideal companion for your furry family member. DOGTV alleviates separation anxiety and prevents your dog from being lonely.
Did fortification contribute to separation anxiety in your dogs? Tell us in the comments below!
Robbi Hess is the DOGTV blog editor and a mother dog.