… and the Effects of Pet Anxiety on Your Dog
If you are a pet owner then you know how important your pet can be to you and your family. However, did you ever stop to think about how important you are to your pet? The bond we create with our pets means just as much to them as it does to us, sometimes even more. When that bond becomes so strong that your pet becomes totally dependent on your presence, separation pet anxiety can kick in. Some pets, like your dogs for instance, are social creatures, which simply indicate they need that socialization to be content and fulfilled.
Experts have yet to identify any specific reason separation anxiety occurs with some animals and not the rest. It is thought that it could relate to a past trauma. Although we do not know why some dogs get it and some don’t, we do know that it can have serious effects on your dogs. Since dogs are social creatures, they get lonesome too. They experience many of the same feelings we humans do like boredom and stress. Our four legged family members are as prone to behaving irrationally as we are when these emotions are invoked. Unacceptable pet behavior can be altered, but it takes time and patience.
Dogs don’t want to be lonesome any more than you do. When you get ready to leave them they can sense it and if they are suffering from separation anxiety they will begin to act accordingly. The reason for this is because when you depart many questions enter your dogs mind. They begin to question where you are going and why they are not tagging along. In addition, they wonder when and if you are returning. This is a lot for your pet to deal with.
Signs Your Pet has Separation Anxiety
If when you leave, your dog begins jumping up and down, barking or pacing the floor this could easily indicate separation pet anxiety. If the pet is totally ecstatic every time you return then this is a sign as well. Some of the bad behaviors a dog can show when they feel anxiety is excessive barking, the desire to chew up your favorite couch pillows and urinating in places that makes your hair stand up. The desire to dig holes all over your landscape and whining when they even think you are leaving them are self evident.
At this point you must be asking yourself if a remedy to pet anxiety exists. The answer is yes and it is best imposed when your dog is a puppy, but sometimes that is not an option. Here are some tips that will make your dog a little less lonely, reduce their boredom and improve their problems with separation pet anxiety:
- Always ensure your dog has all the comforts of home before you leave like food, water and a place to sleep.
- Leave them dog toys to occupy their lonely moments when you are gone.
- Leave an old item with them that would have your scent on it so they can smell you throughout your separation.
- Feed them a good meal just as you are departing the area.
- Keep the mood familiar. If you would typically have music on when you are home; leave it on when you leave.
Dogs are habit creatures as well and don’t always respond well to changes like moving or a changes in the time you spend with them. Give them plenty of exercise when you are with them and give them good obedience training too. Always show them you are in charge and you will earn their respect. Slowly introduce periods of separation with them and you will reduce their stress and pet anxiety issues. Your pet is worth the effort.