separation anxiety

Separation Anxiety in Dogs

If you’re a dog owner, you understand why dogs are affectionately named “man’s best friend.”  We welcome them into our families for that reason, companionship. These days, we have more than likely been home with our pets much more than average.  

As we try to find a new sense of normalcy, leave home more, return to the office, and travel, don’t forget your dogs may be struggling with the transition. If you noticed a difference in your furry companion, they could be dealing with separation anxiety.

Here are some signs that Fido may not be adjusting well to you not being around as often –

  1. Destructive behavior – have you returned home to discover the couch pillows torn apart or your favorite pair of shoes chewed to bits?
  2. Change in eating habits – If your pup is feeling sad or anxious, they will possibly eat less
  3. Excessive barking or howling – Just like humans, dogs need outlets to express their emotions as well. This could turn your normally quiet pet into a bit of a noisemaker. Pay attention to new sounds.
  4. Going Potty in unusual places of your home

You could also see your vet for an accurate diagnosis if you notice concerning behavior. Have no fear; separation anxiety is manageable. A few ways to help ease your dog’s mind are –

  • Leave them with a toy that will keep their mind occupied, like a puzzle toy with peanut butter inside.
  • Over-the-counter calming supplements
  • Use positive reinforcements when using the “sit” or “stay” commands.
  • Leave recently worn clothing out that smells like you.

It may take some time, but your four-legged friend will adjust. In the meantime, try to be a little more low-key with your comings and goings.

If managing your dog’s separation anxiety becomes overwhelming, it may also be an excellent idea to enlist the help of a dog counselor or trainer.