Oct 22, 2021 7:29:55 PM
In this article, we will discuss separation anxiety in dogs along with all related facts and figures under the light of scientific literature. Dogs are members of our families, so it is our utmost responsibility to take care of the emotional and psychological needs of our beloved canine friends, as well as their everyday requirements.
Dogs are such loyal and lovable creatures, but unfortunately, and just like humans, they also undergo some psychological stresses such as anxiety and depression. Several questions are commonly asked by dog owners, regarding separation anxiety, and its main causes such as:
“Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen”. Orhan Pamuk
Separation anxiety is a kind of fear that occurs in dogs when they are away from their caregiver, all alone at home, or separated from their animal companions or mates, such as other pets with whom they have a strong emotional attachment.
Dogs easily get attached to their “fur-less-guardians”. When a dog is left all alone for a longer time at home, or you cannot manage to give him much attention and care that they thrive for, they can become distressed. Usually, one of the most common complaints of dog owners is that their dog shows destructive and damaging behaviour when left all alone, even for short periods of time. So, it’s no wonder that one of the main reasons for disruptive behaviour is attributed to separation anxiety.
There are many and varied signs of separation anxiety which an anxious dog may exhibit. However, the most common and obvious signs are recognised as:
Top tip: Also look out for vomiting, excessive salivation, shivering, whining or pacing, and repetitive behaviour which may be less frequently observable signs of separation anxiety.
It is also generally noted and observed that a dog suffering from separation anxiety will try to come between the owner and door when the owner leaves home.
As a responsible owner, and if you recognise and are concerned about any of the above given signs, please contact your trusted veterinarian immediately. Your vet will be best-placed to help in dealing with the situation according to the status of your dog. Alternatively, there may be a reputable dog behaviourist, or enrichment specialist, in your area.
The key to avoiding separation anxiety is to remember “Environmental enrichment ensures mental enrichment”.
Dogs are susceptible to several psychological troubles, anxieties, and emotional instabilities. It is your responsibility to take care of the physical, emotional, and psychological needs of your dog. Keep an eye on his/her behaviour. In case of any abnormal behaviour, do contact your vet for further guidelines. Separation anxiety can be a serious issue and can lead to household destruction and animal self-harm, it is therefore vitally important you support your pet through this period. The good news is that you can help your dog and that there is plenty of qualified help on hand.
“…animal welfare organisations have been warning that pets who have never known anything other than their humans being around all the time could struggle to adjust when owners return to the workplace post-lockdown.” [The Guardian, July 2021]
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