When deciding to get a puppy to add to your life, you already know that there are going to be many challenges that will suffer during your time together, especially during puppyhood. One of the most common issues that may dog owners face is separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety is a prevalent condition that many puppies have in the early stages of ownership and can be a real pain to new puppy parents. That is why it is important to recognize separation anxiety at its onset to get rid of it easier and faster. If left untreated, it can become embedded in their behavior and last them through adulthood.
If you want to learn more about puppy separation anxiety and how to get rid of it, you have come to the right place. In this guide, we will discuss this, prevention, causes and more, so read on to get started.
To determine if your puppy has separation anxiety, you need to know what the warning signs are. Keep in mind that a lot of these symptoms could also be from lack of training, boredom, and confusion as well. It is usually when all of these symptoms are present that you can make an accurate assumption.
The first sign that your puppy may have separation anxiety is that they can't seem to stop barking, especially at night when they have to sleep alone or when you are gone for long periods of time. They may even begin to howl, which can be a real problem to any nearby neighbors that you have.
You may also find that every time you come back home, your little one has left one or many surprises for you inside your home. This is very common for puppies who don't have separation anxiety as well, so if you find that your dog urinates or poops in the house when you are around, it is probably from lack of house training. If not, they may have done it from the stress of your absence.
Although it can also be a sign of boredom and lack of training, chewing or destroying things around the house is a good sign that you are dealing with this condition. This means that they are crying for attention and is taking out their stress on the things around them.
The last common symptom of separation anxiety is excessive pacing, panting, drooling, or endless escape attempts.
Puppy anxiety can be caused by a few situations, one being abandoned or neglected earlier in life. This is usually seen with puppies that are bought or adopted from shelters since they were separated and abandoned by their original owners.
Dogs can also develop anxiety from changes in their day-to-day life, like changing the time that they eat and go out, or a permanent absence of someone in the family. For instance, if you get a divorce or break up with someone that was also very close to your puppy, their chances of developing separation anxiety are a lot higher than most. Moving can also have a similar effect.
If you are someone that has recently gotten a puppy or wants one in the future, luckily there are ways that you can prevent separation anxiety early on before symptoms start to develop.
The main thing that you want to do is to prevent your dog from knowing when you are about to leave, and there are many ways to go about this. Start by getting your puppy used to being in its crate when you are home so that they will not associate it with your departure.
Another thing you want to do that is similar to that is by not creating departure cues with your pup. Try not to give too many obvious signs that you are about to leave the house in front of them, like grabbing your belongings and car keys, since they will suspect that you are going and will start to get anxious.
You could also try leaving them something fun to do while they are in the crate at least one hour before you go so that they will not think that being inside of it is a bad thing. This will keep them occupied and less stressed out. This can also be done with treats.
Treatment can be done similarly by adopting and incorporating certain habits and routines for your dog to follow. Just like in the prevention section, crate training is crucial to dealing with separation anxiety. Teaching your dog that it is okay to be in the crate and that it is a safe and comfortable place to be in will put an end to most of the symptoms above.
Giving them a treat or reward right before you leave can help also. This tells them that you leaving does not have to be a bad thing. You can also use exercise to release a lot of their energy before any departure so that it won't be spent on trying to escape their cage or causing damage to your belongings.
Once you have a normal routine in place for them to follow, you will also need to remember not to pay your dog too much attention when they are with you. If they follow you everywhere you go around the house, try not to give them any attention. Simply ignoring your dog at certain times can help keep the symptoms away and will not reinforce unwanted behavior.
If you are wondering if there are any differences in puppy and dog separation anxiety, the answer is that there isn't much. The only major difference is that the symptoms are a lot harder to get rid of in older dogs and can lead to other conditions due to high-stress levels. You may also have to take different approaches to curing their anxiety once they reach a certain age.
Although puppy separation anxiety can very annoying and hard to deal with, it can be cured and treated effectively. As long as you have time, patience, and persistence, you will be able to help your little one when they are feeling stressed and get them used to you being away. Thank you for reading.