Separation anxiety is one of the most common issues that pet owners experience with their dogs, and it’s one of the most common reasons why pet owners give up their dogs to other households or animal shelters. Separation anxiety occurs in pets that have not been properly socialized as puppies. As a result, these puppies grow up into dogs that are overly attached to or dependent on their family members. When left alone or separated, pets with separation anxiety experience extreme distress and exhibit behavioral problems that can be unhealthy for your pet and destructive to your home.
Signs and Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Pets
Your pet might have separation anxiety if you notice any of the following signs or symptoms while you are away:
- Destructive behaviors (especially damage to the door where you leave or your pet’s enclosure)
- Chewing, digging, or scratching at doorways, windows, or other objects
- Self-injury as a result of chewing or scratching
- Barking, howling, and whimpering when you leave or while you’re away
- Urinating and/or defecating in the house
- Escape attempts or escaping from a crate or from your home
- Pacing (usually in a repetitive pattern)
- Excessive panting or drooling while you’re away
It’s important to note that if any of these signs or symptoms occur while you are home with your pet and not exclusively when you are away, then your pet might have an underlying medical condition that is contributing to the issues.
How Is Separation Anxiety Treated?
Separation anxiety can be alleviated with a combination of calming medications and/or supplements and positive reinforcement training designed to help your dog associate your absence with positive rewards. You can also help reduce your pet’s stress by ensuring they get plenty of daily exercise. Scheduling walks and play sessions right before you leave can also be beneficial.
Help With Separation Anxiety and Behavior With Our Veterinarian in Goldsboro
If your pet is struggling with separation anxiety or other behavioral issues, we encourage you to schedule an appointment at Eastwaye Veterinary Clinic. Our veterinarian can examine your dog to rule out other medical conditions that could potentially be contributing to the behavior problems. Once separation anxiety has been confirmed, we will work with you to determine the best plan to ease your pet’s anxieties, improve their behavior, and provide you with the tools to work with your dog to help them become more independent.
To learn more or schedule an appointment, we welcome you to contact our veterinary clinic in Goldsboro today.