It’s important to spot the signs of separation anxiety in your dog because you want to deal with that anxiety as quickly as possible.
Dealing with any sort of anxiety in your dog quickly is important because it affects his mental well-being and the well-being of your home.
This is especially true in the case of separation anxiety.
Fortunately, the signs are easy to spot if you know what you’re looking for!
Let’s talk about signs of separation anxiety in your dog!
What Causes Separation Anxiety
It’s important to go over what causes separation anxiety before we get into spotting the signs. Many people think their dogs are vengeful or bored, and those are the reasons that their dogs act out when their owners are away. That is patently untrue. It’s all separation anxiety stemming from being alone.
Dogs are pack animals, and while some are great at flying solo for stretches of time, some dogs just cannot handle it. Behavior changes happen because they are freaking out. It’s important to remember this and never punish your dog for these things. They are only symptoms. Now let’s get into it.
Signs of Separation Anxiety
There are clear-cut signs of separation anxiety in dogs that are easy to spot when you know what you’re looking for. It’s all a matter of putting together what’s happening in the home and what’s happening to your dog.
1. Pacing and Panting
One of the signs of separation anxiety is a combination of pacing and panting. Dogs pace and pant to either relieve pent-up energy or stress. If you notice that your dog begins to pace and pant every time you start your “going out routine”, this is most likely a symptom of his anxiety.
Related: Is There A Best Crate for Anxiety?
2. Extreme Clinginess
You may notice that your dog sticks to you like glue when you begin to get ready for work or to go out with friends. Dogs aren’t dumb. He knows your preparing to leave the home. He’ll become extra clingy because his anxiety is already ramping up for the dreaded time of your departure.
You may find that your dog becomes quite vocal when he detects you changing your routine. If your dog begins to whine or cry everytime you start putting on makeup or shaving, it’s a sure sign that he’s having separation anxiety.
4. Urination and/or Defecation in the Home
If your dog urinates or defecates in the home either before you leave or while you’re gone, he’s having separation anxiety. This is a common symptom among dogs. They are too stressed out to properly regulate themselves and they just let everything go.
5. Destructive Behavior
This is one of the most classic signs of separation anxiety. At a certain point, your dog may become so stressed out from your absence that he simply cannot take it anymore. Pacing hasn’t worked. Panting hasn’t worked. Nothing has helped soothe him. It’s not a conscious decision, but your dog will resort to destruction to relieve stress. It’s sort of an instinctual mental self-defense measure that allows him to ease the tension that is plaguing him.
Knowing the Signs of Separation Anxiety can Help You Treat It
Knowing the signs of separation anxiety is key to helping your dog get through it. It’s not vengeance or malice on his part. He is in real mental distress. It’s important to remember that so you’re in the right mindset. A dog suffering from separation anxiety is truly miserable, and he almost always needs his owner’s help to find relief. Check out my post on dealing with dog anxiety for tips on how to do just that.