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  • Ian Seath

5 ways to tell if your dog has separation anxiety

Updated: Jan 21

Guest blog post by David Gray of dogdesires.co.uk


[Also read: How to prevent Separation anxiety]


First off if you didn’t know separation anxiety is when a dog becomes distressed when it’s away from its owner.


A dog has a bond with the owner that makes them feel like they should be together at all times. This becomes a problem when the owner has to leave for work or whatever else. This can leave the dog feeling distressed, anxious, irritated and many other bad things. It can also lead to other things like excessive barking or destructive behaviour, for example.


Below I will cover some of the most common signs your dog could be suffering from separation anxiety and what to look for as an owner if you think somethings not quite right with your dog. Also for what to do once you know your dog has separation anxiety check this – how to help a dog with separation anxiety.


5 Things to Look for:


(1) Follows You At All Times

One of the first things you will notice is your dog following you at all times. This shows, of course, that they like to be near you and it makes them feel more comfortable. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that but it’s when it gets to an extreme level when it can become a problem.

If your dog is doing this all the time without fail, he could well be affected by separation anxiety.

(2) Frantic Greeting

Another thing that could be a sign is a frantic greeting by your dog every time you arrive home from being out of the house.

This is important to notice especially for times when you are out of the house for a shorter period of time under 1 hour, for example. If your dog is showing signs of the frantic greeting every time you arrive home this also could be another sign your dog could be suffering from separation anxiety.

(3) Destructive Behaviour

Destructive behaviour is another potential effect of this. Evidence for this could be the likes of scratching on the back of doors or tearing up the couch. If it’s happening on the couch it shows that your dog could be doing it to provide itself comforting nesting materials. If the door is getting scratched up this shows that your dog could be trying to escape. Both of these are signs of anxiety and distress.

It’s also important to note that punishing your dog after you come home won’t serve much, if any, benefit. The reason being that if he did it at 12 noon and you arrived home at 7 pm and wanted to punish him for it he may not even realise what he has been punished for and this will often make things worse.

(4) Signs of Anxiety/Depression When You Are Leaving

When you are leaving him alone, if he shows signs of being hyper or shows signs of anxiety or depression this is also a good indication of the problem.

This can often be noticed through unusual or more extreme behaviour that isn’t normal when he knows you are about to leave for work, as an example.

(5) Doesn’t Like to Be Alone

Almost all dogs love to go outside and run around even on their own for a while. They find it fun and enjoyable most of the time.

If you let your dog go outside importantly without your company and he doesn’t want to this is another sign he may have some separation anxiety.

Of course, dogs prefer to be outside with you but also most dogs can go outside and enjoy some running about even for a little without your company. If your dog isn’t even willing to do that or go outside without your company this is another massive indicator.


Conclusion

When it comes to separation anxiety and dogs it sometimes can be quite difficult to spot but usually when you see your dog showing more than 1 of the signs above then you have a very strong indication of why they may be acting up or behaving strangely that you can now take action on.


The important thing here to conclude is that this is not something that should be taken lightly, and you should take immediate action if you believe your dog is suffering from this problem!

Once you know your dog has separation anxiety check this – how to help a dog with separation anxiety.


Guest blog post by David Gray of dogdesires.co.uk


More on how to prevent Separation anxiety