Your dog can suffer from "Separation anxiety" post lockdown!

Separation anxiety in dogs| how to deal with separation anxiety| Lockdown | Dog can suffer from anxiety post lockdown



Most of us in these difficult times of lockdown amid the Covid-19 are spending most of the day inside our homes with our families and pets. While this is a nice opportunity for some to spend time with our loving ones, but for some, this must be a very difficult time surviving because of the global economic crisis.

                                                  
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This lockdown event may have changed our lives for a while but I guess it is the best time for our furry friend as it can spend its entire day with its "hooman" getting love and attention which every dog is desperate for. Dogs are social animals that live in packs and for a pet dog, its human family is its pack with which it shares its bond. 

                                             
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In general, our lives have become so busy because of our jobs and responsibilities that even if we want to spend time with our four-legged friend, we are not able to do so.

 Dogs in families where every member is a working professional wait the entire day until it meets its hooman in the evening feeling of which makes it the happiest dog in the world. 

But have we thought that what will happen to our pets post the lockdown, when we will be back our normal routine. Our dogs have now become habitual to our presence around them throughout the day and now our sudden absence may lead them to “ Separation anxiety” if this issue is not addressed. 

Separation anxiety in dogs may not sound a very serious issue at first but if left unattended can turn out to be very disastrous as the dog tends to become aggressive and destructive. Separation anxiety is caused in dogs because of the absence of its owner or the people it is attached to. 

Why do dogs suffer from Separation anxiety?


While there is no conclusive evidence that what causes separation anxiety in most of the dogs but is most common in dogs that have been adopted from a shelter rather than those that have by raised by the family since puppyhood. 

Research shows that it is triggered by some of the most common circumstances or situations that we are unaware of. Some of these are-

Change in the Residence- Dogs tend to suffer from anxiety and depression if their living environment or for that matter their house in which they have been raised cherishing so many memories changes all of a sudden and they are not able to adjust in their new surrounding.
                   

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Change in Schedule- Dogs are very sensitive to their daily routines and a sudden change in their eating, sleeping, and exercising pattern can develop anxiety in them.

Change in Guardian or family- Dogs tend to form bonds with their families for life and if their guardian or family is not there with them, it becomes the most difficult situation for a dog to cope with and some are even not able to deal with the trauma.

Improper exercise and left for long hours- Exercise is very necessary for a dog for mental stimulation and improper exercise and feeling of loneliness can cause separation anxiety in them.

Boredom- It is probably the most justified reason for Separation anxiety in dogs as they have the urge to satisfy their curiosity and explore their surroundings. So if they do not have any activity to carry out, they tend to become aggressive. 


Symptoms of Separation anxiety in dogs


Howling or barking when left alone – This is the most common symptom as the dog tends to howl or bark in excess without the trigger of anything around other than being left alone in the house even for a short period.

Urinating – Urinating on household belongings and furniture in the absence of the owner and not in his presence makes it evident that the dog is suffering from separation anxiety.

Destruction by Chewing – If the dog is suffering from separation anxiety, he develops destructive behavior and one can find household stuff and belongings being broken and chewed up.

Escaping tendency – separation anxiety in dogs causes them to find new ways or methods to escape out of the confined spaces or enclosures where they have been kept when their guardian leaves the house. It provokes the dog to chew through windows and doors to get a way in order to escape the locked house. 

Coprophagia- In this because of Separation anxiety, dogs after defecating start eating and consuming its poop which it does not do in the presence of its owner.


How to control Separation anxiety in your dogs?


                                         
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  1. Develop a schedule and routine for your dog and follow it thoroughly now and post the lockdown period.
  2. Preventive training should be practiced with your dog.
  3. Potty training is very necessary, so let him go to potty prior to keeping him in a crate if necessary.
  4. Crate him for a short period at present and increase the time period slowly with every passing day.
  5. Start leaving your dog in house or room alone for a few minutes at first and gradually increase the time.
  6. Limit the attention and affection before leaving and after coming back to the house which will keep the dog calm despite your absence or presence.
  7. Try to make someone in the family present for the dog at all times.
  8. If everyone is a working professional, try to hire a dog walker which would take care of the dog for some time.


                         
Image Source-  Google | Image by - pickpik
                      

Dos and Don’ts


Dos 


Make your presence or absence an uneventful situation for the dog. Try to avoid too much love or attention before leaving and, hugs and kisses after returning which would otherwise increase the excitement levels in your dog.


Don’ts 


No matter what happens, never ever try to hit or scold your dog if he is unable to perform the way you want him too. Every dog has its own capacity and strength, so do not compare him with others in order to make him discipline.



Separation anxiety in dogs| how to deal with separation anxiety| Lockdown | Dog can suffer from anxiety post lockdown


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