Dogs are social creatures and they form strong bonds with people. Having a furry best friend is, without doubt, the greatest thing in the world, but it is not uncommon for your pooch to feel anxious when they are separated from you.
Most dogs will adapt well to daily separation from their owners but unfortunately some dogs will become very distressed and even destructive, a problem known as separation anxiety.
Signs of separation anxiety include:
- Barking, howling
- Excessive chewing, digging and pacing
- Destruction and scratching of barriers – near doors and windows
- House soiling
- In some cases dogs can seriously injure themselves and may severely destroy property. It can also be a very distressing problem for owners.
Tips to help reduce your dog’s anxiety:
- Take your dog for a walk before you leave the house
- Don’t make huge fuss when you leave your dog or when you return
- Start small – leave your dog alone for only five minutes extending to twenty minutes then an hour, then longer
- Leave your dog with plenty of stimulating toys, chews and mind games
- Leave the radio or television on for company
Please don’t hesitate to speak to us if you think your dog is developing separation problems. We will be able to work with you to improve the situation. Our very own Dr Jim Darmody has undertaken extra training in the field of animal behaviour, and is only too happy to help!