There is a common complaint that all dog parents have is that they are destructive or disruptive when left alone. Their dogs may defecate, urinate,bark, howl, dig, chew or try to escape. Although these behavioral patterns indicate that a dog needs to be taught polite house manners, they can also indicate symptoms of distress. When a dog’s behavior is accompanied by other distress problems, such as excessive drooling and showing anxiety when his parents prepare to leave the house, they aren’t evidence that the dog isn’t house trained or doesn’t know which toys are his to chew. Instead, they are warnings that dogs have separation anxiety. Most often it is found that separation is triggered when they are separated from their parents, guardians or people they are attached to. Escape attempts by canines with separation anxiety can be extreme and can lead to self-injury and household destruction.
Puppies need time to adjust to the new environment after adoption. So, if you brought home a puppy, consider taking a week off to help it settle in the new place comfortably. Also, be prepared to receive phone calls or find notes stuck on your door about your little pupper barking all day once you resume going to the office.
Some ways to make your furry little friend stop barking include hiring a pet sitter or leaving it at a trusted friend or neighbor’s home during the first few days of returning to work after pawternity leave. Companionship, love, care, affection, shelter, good food and hydration are all a canine fur baby initially needs from its human parent.
Apart from these basics, you must consider being prepared with dog insurance so that getting medical help need not be financially burdening during unanticipated health scenarios and emergencies. The best pet insurance covers a puppy’s testing and treatment costs for broader-ranging health conditions, which is why you must contemplate purchasing a policy.
Meanwhile, read this article to learn how to identify separation anxiety in your pet pooch.
Spotting the signs
It is difficult to tell if your puppy is just being anxious or dealing with a more chronic issue like separation anxiety. In fact, many dog owners who think their pet puppy suffers from separation anxiety may be mistaken.
Sometimes what appears like anxiety due to separation may be temporary stress a canine pet might experience in a new home around new faces. It can also seem like separation-driven stress because of pent-up energy not being sufficiently burned, or boredom. Staying alone at home for long hours can make anybody lose their mind.
Separation anxiety is typically a panic attack a doggy might experience when isolated from its human parent or favorite people/animals. In a case like this, having a friend stay with your furry friend or adopting a second dog or cat may not ease its suffering.
Isolation distress is another form of separation-related anxiety, the symptoms of which are similar to that of full-blown separation anxiety. The below-mentioned signs are common in a puppy facing one of these two problems.
- Howling while you are gone.
- Compulsive barking.
- Chewing, digging and destruction
- Dilated pupils.
- Biting or clawing things near the exits, doors, and windows.
- Not motivated by high-value treats.
- Trying to escape from home.
- Injuring itself while trying to run away.
- Tearing apart furniture.
- Peeing/pooping indoors.
Solution you can try for mild separation anxiety
If you have discovered mild anxiety in your dog, counterconditioning might resolve or reduce the problem. Counterconditioning is a form of treatment that changes a dogs anxious, fearful or aggressive reaction to a relaxed, loving and pleasant one instead. It’s usually done by Associating fear to a person or object. Over a period of time the canine learns that whatever he fears actually predicts good things for him. Counterconditioning in dogs with separation anxiety focuses on developing a positive association between being alone and good things, like delicious food. To create such positive associations, every time you leave the house, you can give your canine a puzzle toy stuffed with food that will keep him busy and will take at least 30 to 40 minutes to finish.
While these are some tell-tale signs of separation anxiety, they can also mean other potential health or behavioral issues. Lack of housetraining, and significant changes in your dog’s routine, including food, treats, games, supplements, medications, attention, walking times/routes, weather, noises, and guests, can adversely affect a fur baby’s mind.
Meet your vet to get to the root cause of the issue and understand what your dog is suffering from. Also, you don’t need to fret about unplanned vet costs if you have purchased dog insurance already. Pet insurance helps manage your puppy’s health expenses more effectively without compromising the quality of medical care, which is why you must contemplate buying comprehensive health cover.