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Separation anxiety has proven to be a debilitating issue for our fur babies. It is your dog’s panicked response to being left alone. As pet sitters, we have helped many families that are plagued by this unique type of anxiety. It’s important to know that separation anxiety is different from misbehavior. We wanted to take a few minutes to discuss what causes this issue and how you can help your dog overcome it.

Separation anxiety is often a result of suffering a traumatic experience. Things like the loss of a family member or another fur baby can trigger it. And in some cases, certain types of dogs are predisposed to develop separation anxiety. As professional pet sitters, we usually look for certain factors to determine if a dog is experiencing this anxiety.

Signs of separation anxiety in dogs:

  • Unfavorable behaviors, like chewing furniture, damaging plants, or constant scratching at doors and windows
  • Continuous whining, barking and howling
  • Peeing and pooping inside the house, after they have been successfully potty-trained
  • Intense, tenacious pacing
  • Attempting to escape an area to the point of self-harm
  • Physiological responses, such as widened pupils or extreme panting

A serious problem could be identified by the following factors:

  • The anxiety happens every time you leave.
  • The anxiety happens only in your absence.
  • Anxious behaviors begin even before you go. For example, your dog knows that when you pick up your keys, you’re about to leave the house. So, as soon as you reach for your keys, your dog begins pacing and barking.

How you can help with separation anxiety

Please know that as pet sitters, we are not qualified to treat separation anxiety in dogs. We always recommend discussing the topic with your vet before you take further action. In some cases, your vet may prescribe medications to help your dog. There are some things you can do to help ease your dog’s anxiety. First, we would recommend that your dog receives an adequate amount of exercise daily. If you do not have the means to exercise your dog, don’t panic. You can hire a professional dog walker to help you.

If you have any questions about pet sitting, dog walking, or kennel alternatives, please reach out to us at walk@comewalkmydog.com