What a heartbreaking sight—as you pull out of your driveway, you see your frantic pooch clawing at the window, desperate to reach you, and hear her howls of horror at being left alone. Sadly, this condition is all too common in dogs. Many pets suffer from some level of separation anxiety, which is one of the top reasons pets are surrendered to animal shelters. Behavioral issues are challenging, and separation anxiety is difficult for both the pet and owner. And, constant stress and anxiety can cause more than mental anguish—they can also create physiologic changes that lead to medical problems. Separation anxiety should not be taken lightly, and you should seek help for your stressed dog.
What are the signs of separation anxiety in dogs?
Differentiating between separation anxiety and other conditions that appear similar can be puzzling. Separation anxiety signs include:
- Barking, whining, and howling
- Excessive drooling
- Heavy panting
- Pacing and other restless behavior
- Household damage
- Inappropriate elimination
- Attempts to escape
Many of these signs show up in other medical or behavioral conditions, such as incomplete house training, urinary tract infections, diabetes, kidney disease, osteoarthritis, cognitive dysfunction, Cushing’s disease, hypothyroidism, boredom, or puppy teething behavior. Certain medications can also cause adverse side effects, such as inappropriate elimination or restless behavior. Establish separation anxiety as the true underlying cause with these key characteristics:
- Your dog acts normally when she’s with you
- Your dog has perfect elimination habits when you’re home
- Your dog clings to your side
- Your dog becomes anxious when you leave the room or display departure cues
As with all behavioral conditions, medical causes must first be ruled out, as there is no diagnostic test for separation anxiety. After eliminating other potential causes for separation anxiety signs, you can begin a management plan.
How can I help my dog cope with separation anxiety?
You can help your dog cope with separation anxiety with a variety of methods, but finding the right combination can be time-consuming. Depending on what works best to ease your pet’s nerves, implement these tactics:
- Pheromone therapy — Adaptil
- Calming wraps or shirts — Thundershirt
- Engaging mental stimulation — Puzzle feeders or treat puzzles
- Calming supplements — Products with L-theanine, magnolia, philodendron, milk protein, or other calming ingredients
- Long-lasting treats and chews — Stuffed Kongs or chew toys
- Counterconditioning and desensitization to your departure — Follow the ASPCA’s tips
- Anti-anxiety medication — Short-acting or long-term medications are available
- Dog walkers or pet sitters
- Doggy daycare
One of the best ways to manage your dog’s separation anxiety is to enroll her in doggy daycare, ensuring she’ll always have a connection with human and canine companions while under close supervision.
How does doggy daycare help with my dog’s separation anxiety?
Most dogs are social, outgoing creatures who delight in the company of their own kind and interesting new people. Our doggy daycare provides your pet with exercise, mental stimulation, and a consistent routine, with the added benefit of our professional staff’s supervision. Along with playtime in our large indoor and outdoor yards, you can schedule additional services during your dog’s playdate. For your convenience, we also offer grooming or veterinary services during daycare hours, allowing you to maximize your pet’s daycare time.
Doggy daycare provides an important outlet for nervous, anxious dogs to burn off excess energy with dogs who have similar play styles. We perform a temperament test on each dog interested in our daycare services to ensure compatibility with the other dogs in our care. Throughout the day, your dog will engage with new human and canine companions, never lacking for attention and companionship. This constant contact successfully controls separation anxiety, as your pet is always under our supervision and never alone.
At the end of the day, you’ll pick up your tired, contented, relaxed dog who enjoyed hanging with her pals—a much better scenario than coming home to a destroyed couch or doorframe. This consistent routine will help ease your dog’s anxiety and offer a safe haven while you are away from home. After developing this routine, your dog will eagerly burst through our doors, impatient to greet her canine and human pals in our doggy daycare.
Why wait to ease your dog’s separation anxiety? Schedule her temperament test to begin her enrollment in our luxury daycare facility.