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Separation Anxiety in Dogs

February 15, 2021
Does your dog get upset if you leave him alone for too long? If so, Fido may be suffering from separation anxiety. This is actually a pretty common issue among our canine pals. A local Georgetown, IN vet offers some more information on it below.


Separation anxiety is actually rooted in the fact that dogs are pack animals by nature. Your pooch is hardwired to thrive in group settings. Fido tends to think of his humans as his pack. This is good, as it’s one of the reasons that our canine buddies bond to us so closely. However, it also does mean that they can get distressed and lonely when they are separated from us.


The signs of separation anxiety actually vary widely from pup to pup. Some dogs will bark, whine, or pace. Others may express their distress in more destructive ways, such as by digging or chewing. Your pooch may also have tummy troubles, or soil inappropriately. There are also some more dangerous warning signs. Fido may get into the trash, eat something he shouldn’t, or even try to escape. 


There’s no specific treatment for separation anxiety. However, there are some tactics you can use to help your four-legged buddy cope with your absence. Before leaving home, always take Fido for a vigorous walk. It will also help if you are able to play with him. This should wear him out a bit, which will naturally calm him. The point is to tire him out enough so that he spends a chunk of his alone time napping. You can also leave a TV or radio on when you’re gone, for background noise. Finally, don’t make a big deal about telling your pup hello or goodbye. In fact, it’s best to ignore him as you are leaving or returning.


It can be frustrating to come home and find that Fido ate your sofa cushions or left a mess on the floor. However, you shouldn’t punish him for these mishaps. Dogs don’t understand punishment, so you could just frighten or confuse your pet. Focus on rewarding good behavior instead. If you know or suspect that your dog’s separation anxiety is severe, consult your vet or a professional dog behaviorist. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if ever we can be of assistance. As your Georgetown, IN veterinary clinic, we’re here to help!

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