A dog expert has revealed the signs a dog is suffering from separation anxiety – and 5 simple ways to avoid it.
Dog behaviorist Adam Fehmi, from London, explained that some dogs can become “clingy and cry if you or their other caregivers leave them, even for a short time”.
He told FEMAIL five different ways to help a dog overcome separation anxiety, including playing classical music to create a “calm environment” for the dog.
He revealed this can be a problem for “all races,” adding: “IIt depends less on the breed of the dog but certain temperaments will be more likely to develop (separation anxiety).
‘WWith the right setup, routines and training in place, this can be avoided or overcome.
Dog behaviorist Adam Fehmi, from London, has revealed the signs a dog is suffering from separation anxiety – and 5 simple ways to avoid it.
Meanwhile, he also shared common ways your dog shows they have separation anxiety — and ways you can help prevent it.
1. Exercise your dog before leaving him
He said that “effectively exercising your dog will help reduce some of his energy that he might otherwise spend worrying about being abandoned.” »
“A well-exercised dog is also more likely to settle down and rest in your absence than one who is raring to go!”
2. Give your dog something to do!
The expert revealed: “Just like us humans, dogs can and will get bored when left alone with nothing to do.
“This boredom can foster and exacerbate any anxiety they might be inclined to feel when they are physically away from you.”
3. Create a CAcalm environment in which your dog can relax
The expert advised that the environment could have a major impact on how your dog responds to being alone, specifically citing “playing classical or soft music” as relaxation remedies for your dog.
“Music can also help drown out outside noises that might otherwise worry your dog. A nice, comfortable and welcoming bed can also help your dog relax while you are away.
4. Build a Dog’s Confidence – While You’re at Home
The expert explained: “(If we) build their independence, when they are away from us, they can feel comfortable, relaxed and satisfied in our absence rather than anxious.
“A simple way to set up and practice this is to use a light barrier such as a baby gate so your dog can still see you but is physically away from you.”
5. Be calm when you return to your dog!
Adam explained: “We want our dogs to learn that our comings and goings throughout the day are normal and that it’s not serious or something to worry about.
“By not making a big deal about leaving them or coming back to them, we can help them understand that.”
Common Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Your Puppy
SEPARATION ANXIETY: WHAT ARE THE SIGNS?
Veterinary specialist Dr Joanna Woodnutt MRCVS explained: “Separation anxiety is a feeling of panic when an animal is separated from an important ‘resource’ – usually a family member.
“It was an evolutionary advantage to stay together in a pack or group, so the feeling of fear when alone was useful to the canine ancestor. The problem is that in modern life we need our dogs to be relaxed when left alone for short periods of time.
This is often not the case, and signs of separation anxiety include screaming and whining when you’re left alone, or panicking when you leave the house.
Bad cases will see your dog pacing and engaging in destructive behavior such as chewing.
Dr Woodnutt revealed: “Dogs who suffer from separation anxiety can destroy furniture and even injure themselves.
“The situation also often gets worse without appropriate behavioral intervention; a dog who starts crying when left alone may progress to pure panic and attempts to escape for several months.
So how do you know if your dog is suffering or not? Fehmi said more extreme signs may include “physical destruction, defecation or urination, barking or howling, pacing, and shaking when left alone or separated from a particular family member or another pet in the house.
He added that “in rarer cases, a dog can also be physically injured.”
But sometimes separation anxiety can manifest in milder forms – if your dog acts like your “shadow” when you are at home, and you don’t want to take your eyes off each other,” you need to be wary.
“Your dog may also not want to rest in a room or space in the house away from you or other family members – he needs to be physically close to you or other family members at all times, or your dog sits near a door or window in your absence until you return.”
Meanwhile, the dog behaviorist explained that there are a multitude of reasons behind separation anxiety, and this is not the case.The underlying causes can be complex.
But he cited common factors like “the loss of a family member or another pet they have lived with, or a change in routine.
“For example, we have seen with the pandemic and people working from home more often that dogs have become accustomed to having more company than before.
“Dogs can also develop separation anxiety following a change in context, for example staying in a new environment such as a boarding facility or the home of a family member or friend.
“Another factor that can contribute to the development of this behavioral problem is lack of effective exercise, which can lead to the dog having excess energy which then turns into ‘anxious energy’.”