Back To School Separation Anxiety: Does Your Dog Have It?
Back-to-school season is here! And while you may be looking forward to the peace and quiet, your dog may not be so happy about this change in routine. In fact, the school year can be one of the most stressful times for your dog, primarily if he's not used to being left home alone during the day. This routine change can adversely affect your dog, including increased distress and separation anxiety.
What Is Separation Anxiety?
In essence, your pet is afraid of being alone, which makes it unable to cope when left alone, even for a few hours a day. Some dogs cannot cope without the presence of their favorite human, who provides comfort and anxiety relief. There is a higher incidence of dogs presenting with signs of anxiety when their owners are absent for extended periods.
It is common for separation anxiety behaviors to appear within the first hour of leaving. It's important to note that some dogs are never able to adjust to their owner's absence, regardless of the length of the absence.
Signs That Your Dog Has Separation Anxiety
Signs of canine separation anxiety can be obvious or subtle. Here are the most common symptoms to look out for:-
- Excessive barking or howling when left alone
- Destructive behavior, such as chewing furniture or urinating on rugs and carpets
- Urinating or defecating in the house when you're not there
- Excessive scratching, pulling out fur, and other self-harming behaviors
- Drooling and excessive panting
- Pacing and circling
Dogs experiencing separation anxiety may also follow you from room to room and seek physical contact with you more than usual when you are at home.
Help Your Dog Cope With Separation Anxiety During Back To School Month.
As a pet parent, you want to ensure that your dog is happy and healthy during this transition. Here are some tips for making the back-to-school season as smooth as possible:
Counterconditioning: If your dog has mild separation anxiety, you can use counterconditioning. For example, give your pet a toy or treat while you prepare to leave—then repeat that every time until they no longer get anxious when they see the preparation for your departure. Over time, your furry companion can learn that being alone is not something to fear—it's an excellent opportunity for treats.
Desensitization: Desensitization, or habituation training, can help your dog overcome separation anxiety. Start by spending less time apart each day, a few weeks before school starts, and then build up until you can stay away from each other for more extended periods.
Crating: If your dog is anxious when you're not home, training him to spend time in his crate can be a valuable tool. Start by slowly introducing the crate over the course of several days and see how he responds.
Doggie Daycare: Doggie daycare is an excellent option for your dog. It can help your pup socialize with other dogs, burn off some energy, and give them a chance to play. Your dog will also get an opportunity to run around, which can prevent boredom and destructive behavior at home.
Your Pet Can Beat Back-To-School Blues At The Bow Wow Lounge
The Bow Wow Lounge features an 8,000-square-foot daycare facility consisting of four spacious sections. We can accommodate a variety of pet sizes and temperaments in this way. No matter what kind of dog you have—a small, timid one or a large, friendly one—there's an appropriate area for your pet. Our highly trained staff keeps an eye on your pets and interacts with them to ensure everyone is having a good time.
We are happy to have the opportunity to get acquainted with you and your pet. Please take advantage of our free meet-and-greet session to check if your pet is a good fit for daycare.
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