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Is Your Dog Suffering from Separation Anxiety, or is He Just Bored?
Separation anxiety can occur in pets just as it can occur in humans. Dealing with separation anxiety in dogs can be a difficult task, especially if you are unsure of where to start. Fortunately, there are many techniques that can help you deal with and even relieve your dog’s separation anxiety. Learn more about the symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs and how to deal with it.
Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Dogs
There are a variety of signs that can point to separation anxiety in your dog. One of the most common signs is when your dog chews on items. This could also be a sign of boredom, however if your dog is chewed on items that smell like you or a specific person in your house (such as clothes,) then it is likely to be separation anxiety.
Other common signs of separation anxiety include a wild and excessive greeting upon your return. If you discover his newly found “chew-toys,” he may not appear to be guilty at all. This is the difference between boredom and separation anxiety in dogs, dogs who are bored know they are not supposed to be chewing on certain items whereas dogs who have separation anxiety do not think they have done anything wrong.
These are just two of the more common complaints of owners. Your dog may also exhibit continuous barking, inappropriate urination or defecation, and so forth.
If your dog is consistent in his behavior, then it is possible that your dog has separation anxiety. However, if the behaviors only seem to emerge occasionally, your dog may actually be bored.
How to Deal with Boredom in Dogs
One of the best ways to deal with this issue is to make sure your dog gets regular exercise. The old saying, “a tired dog is a good dog,” is true. If your dog gets regular play time and exercise, he is less likely to be destructive to your home.
If your dog has chewing issues, give him chew toys and various things to keep himself entertained while you are away.
How to Deal With Separation Anxiety in Dogs
You can still use some of the tactics mentioned above. Giving your dog exercise will help calm him more throughout the day. Also, chew toys are a great idea. If your dog is seeking out items, be sure to close off all of the rooms before you leave, so that he cannot get to said items.
If your dog’s destructive behavior is too much, you may wish to crate him for periods of absence. This will help prevent him from destroying things in your home, however be sure to provide him with plenty of chew toys and items to do.
If you do not wish to crate your dog, you may want to consider investing in a doggy daycare program. Doggy daycare will entertain your dog and help distract him from your absence until you return to pick him up.
Lastly, when you leave or return home, always keep things low-key. Ignore your dog for the fifteen minutes before you leave, and after you return home. This teaches your dog to continue about his business and not to freak out whenever you leave or return.
Dealing with separation anxiety in dogs does not have to be a difficult task, nor should you cart your pup to the pound if things don’t instantly improve. Remember, separation anxiety can be treated and resolved through some training and work.