We are all guilty of spoiling our dogs, treating them like our babies and sometimes giving them all the luxury we can afford for them to have a great life. It’s not really so bad but sometimes, when we baby our dogs but fail to train them, you got there a different story.
Separation anxiety is most common to dogs that are truly attached to their owners. Dogs who suffer from this behavioral condition may be destructive in the absence of the owners. They can be clingy and disturbed; sometimes even becoming aggressive.
Signs that your dog may be having a Separation Anxiety:
- Relentless chewing of furniture, slippers or any other objects
- Excessive barking and whimpering
- Peeing and pooping at inappropriate places
- Restlessness when owner is about to leave
- Tagging along with the owner anywhere he/she goes
- Constant need for owner’s attention and touch
- Destructive behavior during the first 30 minutes after the owner leaves
Such symptoms can become a big problem not just for owners but also for the dog. In extreme cases, some dogs are given medication to relieve the symptom but this should be the last option. The best way to prevent this thing from happening is to be a responsible pet owner by doing the following things:
Have enough quality time with your dog
Play with them or take them out for a walk regularly, ideally a few hours before you leave home. This way, you are communicating with your dog that you and him/her have a special time together and that’s something to look forward to. And that leaving him/her after is no big deal since it wouldn’t affect your time together. It’s also a great way to take out all the extra energy your dog have, by having enough play or exercise, he/she will be all worked up and tired by the time you’re done. And when you leave, he or she will be too tired to make it a big deal
Leave without being dramatic
Dogs are not like human beings when you need to get all dramatic just by saying goodbye. He/she is a good dog; learn to trust that. Your dog can manage on his/her own even when you leave and make it known that you expect that from him/her. By being too dramatic, you’re making the anxiety worse. Just go out and leave: don’t say goodbye, no hugs, and even no eye contact. By making it not a big deal, your dog will feel the same about being left alone.
Practice make perfect!
Practice leaving the house every now and then for shorter periods of time, like for about 5 minutes. When your dog realizes that you will eventually come back even if you leave the house, he/she will get used to the idea and think that it’s going to be alright even if you leave. These practice leaves can make your dog more independent and confident being alone or without you. He/she will be able to perform his tasks of guarding the house or even just to be behaved at home.