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Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Does your dog sometimes make a mess in your absence? Perhaps your canine companion chews on your shoes, or eats your couch cushions. Fido has many wonderful habits, but he can get into mischief. However, many things that are often mistaken for bad doggy behavior are actually separation anxiety. Read on as a local Benson, NC vet discusses separation anxiety in dogs.

What Is Separation Anxiety?

Separation anxiety is deeply rooted in Fido’s history. Dogs are pack animals by nature, and are usually with their buddies in the wild. They often get lonely and depressed when left by themselves. This is known as separation anxiety.

Symptoms

Your pooch may act out to release his excess energy and frustration. The signs of separation anxiety vary from dog to dog. Fido may pace, dig, chew, or soil inappropriately. He may also bark or whine. (Note: this may be your four-legged friend’s way of trying to let you know where he is.) Some dogs try to escape. This can be dangerous: your furry pal could seriously hurt himself if he tries to dig out through a floor or jump out a window! Pica, which is the term for eating things that aren’t food, can also be a sign of separation anxiety. Ask your vet for more information.

Helping Fido Cope

There is no one-size-fits-all cure for doggy anxiety, as every pup is different. That said, there are a few general do’s and don’ts for you to keep in mind. First, don’t pay attention to Fido when you are coming or going. We know, this one is kind of hard, but showering your pet with attention when you walk in the door will just reward him for acting up in your absence. Also, never punish your furry friend for acting up. Dogs don’t think the way we do, and they really don’t understand the concept of punishment. Ignore your pooch when he misbehaves, and focus on rewarding good behavior instead. It’s also important to make sure that your dog is getting plenty of activity and playtime, and that he has lots of fun toys to play with when you’re gone. If your pup has severe anxiety, ask your vet or a professional dog behaviorist for specific advice.

Please contact us, your local Benson, NC vet clinic, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. We are always here to help!

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