Finding solutions is critically important for the well-being of dogs and their humans, which of course improves the quality of their relationship with one another. When reading the great article below, from Dogs Naturally, I was surprised and saddened to learn about the connection between Separation Anxiety and the number of dogs that wind up in shelters.
Separation anxiety is a condition caused by a dog’s fear of being alone. Very sadly it is the second leading cause of owners relinquishing dogs to dog pounds or euthanizing their dogs. While the behaviors caused by separation anxiety are problematic, they are also treatable with the right natural approach.
Symptoms of Separation Anxiety
Dogs with separation anxiety exhibit distress in the form of behavior problems when left alone. Typically, they will have a dramatic anxiety response within a short time after their owners leave them.
Common distress symptoms include one or more of the following:
- Scratching and digging near doors and windows in an attempt to escape and find their owner
- Destructive behavior, chewing door frames or other items in an attempt to channel their anxiety
- Barking, whining and howling in an attempt to summon their owner
- Excessive salivation, chewing on or licking themselves
- In extreme cases, sometimes even urination and defecation can result from the immense physiological effect of prolonged stress
What Causes Separation Anxiety?
Dogs are pack animals by nature. In the wild, dogs are hardly, if ever, alone. This is the reason why they get nervous when they are left alone and many dogs will suffer from this anxiety when they are separated from the people within the family that they perceive as their pack! While the main cause of separation anxiety is being left alone, there are numerous other causes, including changes in routine, breeding instincts and loud noises or other things that jolt the senses.
Separation anxiety can develop in dogs who:
- Have previously not spent much time alone
- Have been abandoned at key points in their psychological development
- Who were not properly integrated into their first home, perhaps confined to a small space without enough social interaction
- Who were removed from mother and littermates too early (prior to 8 weeks of age) or too late (after 14 weeks)
- Who have endured a traumatic event, such as a frightening experience at a shelter or kennel, or a significant change in their household, such as a new person joining the family, a move to another house, or change in the owner’s work schedule
- Some dogs tend to become extremely attached to their new person, and then feel insecure when that person leaves. This might be a result of losing a previous home and person to which he was attached.
To learn how to manage separation anxiety and learn about natural remedies that help, go here: Dogs Naturally
Source: Dogs Naturally
Photo Source: ClatieK
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