What is Separation Anxiety?
Many pet parents are transitioning back to the office following a work-from-home period during the coronavirus pandemic. Upon heading back to work, families are left to figure out how our dogs will deal with the sudden separation they’re not accustomed to.
Short term separation anxiety is distress that a dog experiences when separated from its owner, and it tends to subside within a few hours. In some cases, however, the acute stress can be so severe that the dog begins to experience more symptoms over time.
Pre-pandemic studies show that around 17% of dogs experience separation anxiety, suggesting the number is likely higher following quarantine.
How do you know if your dog is experiencing separation anxiety?
The ASPCA lists a number of common symptoms, typically occurring when dogs are left alone, including:
- Urinating and defecating in the house
- Persistent barking and howling
- Causing destruction to surroundings including scratching and chewing
- Attempting to escape throughout the day
- Pacing repeatedly
The Transition Back to Work
If your dog has recently been through quarantine and is now home alone for long hours during the day, they might show some of the symptoms listed above. It is important to remember your dog isn’t acting out because they hate you; they’re acting out from the new sensation of being left alone.
Solutions for Separation Anxiety
With a little bit of work (and maybe some trial-and-error), you can help your pup feel better in no time with these tips!
- Build a routine when leaving and returning. Your dog will eventually realize that these routines are positive as opposed to negative, overcoming the feeling of abandonment or being left alone.
- Toys and puzzles are a great way to keep your dog entertained when you aren’t there. Playing with toys will take their mind off being alone, which is important for keeping them calm.
- Use calming aids like the Doggie Shusher to help relax your dog. It emits a “shhhh” sound at the perfect frequency to calm anxiety in your dog’s brain, helping them feel safe and relaxed without medication.
- Make your pets feel at home and comfortable. Leave out some of your clothes for them to smell and get used to while you’re gone.
- Finally, check with a veterinarian if problems persist. They will be able to assess your situation and scope out any underlying issues.
If you’re an anxious dog owner, check out the Doggie Shusher. It’ll help your pup (and ease your mind) when leaving them alone! For more pet care tips and tricks, subscribe to our blog today. Thanks for reading!