Separation Anxiety in Dogs & Dog Owners in 2021
Publish Date: Sept 14th, 2021; Author: Darren M. Jorgenson.
Pandemic has completely changed our lives upside down. Who would have thought that everyone would be sitting at their homes for an undefined period. Businesses had no option but to opt for work from home policy or completely shut down the business. Similarly, restaurants opted for home delivery instead of dining. All these situations forced us to stay at home. Though the pandemic was ruthless, it also gave us time to get close to our loved ones and have some moments of relief.
It was tough to survive the mental pressure that the pandemic put on our heads. For those living alone, it was very tough to survive. On the other hand, those living with an emotional support animal by their side had a sense of relief as their ESA’s took most of their burden away from them.
Nowadays, as we are slowly emerging from the impacts of the pandemic and getting back to our everyday lives, we have to leave our beloved pets at home while going back to work. At this time, It is a fair thing to experience separation anxiety, and not only us but our pet feels the same.
Signs of separation anxiety in dogs
We can understand our behaviour and how we feel, but since dogs cannot speak, it is hard to find how they cope with your separation. There are some symptoms that your dog can show while suffering from anxiety. Some of them are as follow:
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Unnecessary barking and crying:
Your dog must be facing separation anxiety if your neighbours complain about excessive barking and crying of your dog.
Urinating and pooping indoors:
Even after pooping in the morning, your dog might poop and urinate inside your house. If this happens a lot after you leave them home alone, there are more chances that your dog might be stressed and anxious while you stay out.
Chewing clothes, shoes, and furniture:
Dogs chew things to relieve their anxiety. You may feel angry over your dog when you see that they have chewed your clothes, shoes, or furniture items, but you should also know that they might be doing so because they miss your presence at home.
Some dogs while, alone at home, run out to find their owner. Escaping house is another sign of separation anxiety in dogs. Now, if you find your dog chasing you after you leave your home, it shows that they are influenced by separation anxiety.
Signs of separation anxiety in dogs
We humans sometimes find it hard to understand our emotions. If you feel anxious but cannot understand the cause, it can be pet separation anxiety. The common symptoms of dog separation anxiety that you may experience over time are:
You want to stay at home all the time and give dumb excuses to take leaves from the office. Dog separation anxiety can make you leave your office early.
You are always thinking about impractical situations, like something terrible may happen to your dog when you are not around.
You are finding it hard to focus on your work, and your performance is continuously declining.
Sudden nausea, headaches, nausea, diarrhea, and irregular BP levels are also signs of separation anxiety from my dog.
You find it hard to fit in social gatherings like going out with friends and family, away from your dog.
How to cure separation anxiety in dogs and dog owners?
There are various dog-friendly toys that you can find in a nearby store or on any online website that sells stuff like balls, squeak toys, ropes, chew toys and many more. These toys help to keep your dog busy while you are not with them. Dogs will chew toys instead of your stuff whenever they feel anxious.
Try to create a fixed routine for your dog and yourself. Wake up on time, take your dog to walk, and give quality time to your dog once you are back from work. On your day-offs, don’t stay with your pet all day. Although it is delightful to spend all day with your dog, try to maintain a healthy boundary. You and your dog will get used to these brief separations.
Your house plays a vital role in creating an uplifting mood and behaviour. Don’t leave your home messy, and try to keep your home clean. If possible, try adding cozy furniture to your space, as it would help your doggo to relax a little longer. Also, do not forget to ensure that every object in your house is dog-proofed so that your pup won’t harm himself whenever you are not around.
If you leave your pet with some family member or sitter at home, ask for a continuous update on whether your pet is eating on time or not. In a situation when nobody is around your pet, take help from technology. Installing cameras all around your house will always assure that your dog is safe as you can keep a continuous eye on them, and whenever possible, you can do face time as well.
You can leave your TV or music system on when you leave your pet alone at the house. Try to prefer calming and soothing sounds, as studies say that calming music can alleviate anxiety symptoms in humans and animals.
Whether it’s an animal or a human, food always works as a mood lifter. Healthy and tasty food always ensure that you stay energized all day. The same condition applies to your pet as well. A healthy diet can also help to ease your and your dog’s separation anxiety. So always make sure to feed your dog before leaving the house, and do not forget to leave their meals for the whole day. Those dogs that have a well-balanced and nutritious diet experience the least separation anxiety among all.
Leaving our dogs at home made us and our dogs feel anxious, but the pandemic made it worse. It was fine at first while staying at home all day with our dogs, but now leaving home brings separation anxiety to pets and us. However, by opting above-explained ways, you can relieve separation anxiety, and transition back to the office will be easy for both pet and pet owners.