Why is my dog clingy all of the sudden?
Maybe you’re worried that it’s a sign that something’s wrong with him?
Perhaps you’re even scared it’s a sign that something’s wrong with you (dogs can smell sickness, after all)!
Either way, I’m betting you’d like to understand your dog better, right?
Fortunately, I’m here to help you figure it out.
8 Reasons Why Your Dog Is Clingy
When a dog gets suddenly clingy and whiny, it’s bound to make you anxious and worried about what’s going on with your pooch.
As you’re going to see, the possible reasons for your dog’s clinginess are many.
So, you’re going to need additional clues to narrow down what’s causing the behavior.
Before we take a look at what might make your dog clingy, I want you to keep something in mind.
An affectionate dog that suddenly seems withdrawn is also a reason for worry.
Abrupt changes in a pet’s behavior might be due to some serious conditions and should not be ignored.
#1 Separation Anxiety
If your dog doesn’t want to leave your side when you come home from work, it might mean that your pooch has separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety in dogs usually develops when the dog bonds too closely with their owner.
As a result, these dogs become distressed when the owner is not around to provide security and comfort.
Besides clinginess, dogs with separation anxiety tend to act destructively when left alone.
They bark, whine, make a mess in the house, pace restlessly, or tear stuff apart.
When you come home, it’s like you’ve been gone for ages, and the dog becomes even more clingy and protective than before.
Unfortunately, some breeds are prone to separation anxiety, especially those bred to be companion dogs.
Another reason why your dog is acting strange and clingy is an illness. Some dogs are clingy when they’re ill because they feel more secure around the person they love and trust.
That’s why it’s important to notice if other symptoms accompany your dog’s clinginess.
For example, a dog who is clingy and panting should be evaluated by a vet as soon as possible.
In addition to this, keep in mind that some dogs get clingy before they have an epilepsy episode.
Has your female dog suddenly become more affectionate than usual? Then your dog is probably in heat.
Despite popular beliefs, only female dogs go into heat and experience signs such as vaginal discharge, swollen vulva, and mood swings.
Some females also get more affectionate as the heat cycle progresses and turn into Velcro dogs. But others might hide in isolation and want nothing to do you.
Usually, it’s quite easy to recognize when a female dog is in heat because dogs bleed during their cycle. While that might freak you out, it’s completely normal.
If you’re not planning on breeding your dog, you should have your female spayed before her first heat cycle. That will lower her chances of getting mammary gland tumors.
#4 Age-related Problems
As old age approaches, dogs start to experience age-related health problems, such as vision and hearing loss.
That’s quite scary for your pet because he loses the ability to orient himself as he used to.
So, naturally, your dog gets clingy and whiny because he needs somebody to ground him and help him find his way around the house
If you think that your dog has problems hearing or seeing, you should take him to the vet immediately.
#5 Change in Routines
While people love change, dogs love routine because they prefer to know what to expect. Your pet feels secure when he knows he gets fed and goes for walks at the same time every day.
As such, changes are quite scary for your pet, no matter how small they seem to you.
It might be something as insignificant as coming one hour later from work to a big change such as moving house or bringing a new baby or a pet into the household.
So, when your dog is suddenly clingy and whiny, think about something that has changed recently.
It might have disrupted your dog’s established daily routine and made him feel insecure.
#6 Stress and Anxiety
When a dog is suddenly clingy and whiny, it could mean that your pooch is stressed.
If you have more than one pet, it’s possible that one is bullying the other.
Or maybe your dog is anxious because you’ve brought a new dog/cat into the household, and their presence is bothering him.
Problems in the family and frequent shouting matches can also stress a sensitive dog and make him extra clingy.
The same goes if some people in your family are treating your dog harshly, for example, scolding him for being naughty.
In addition to this, your pet might be afraid of something in the house.
For example, your furbaby might have had a negative experience with the vacuum cleaner and would get extra clingy every time you take it out to clean the carpets.
Fireworks during the Christmas holidays are also likely to cause fear and stress in your pooch and make him reluctant to leave your side.
#7 Abandonment Issues
Sometimes dogs pass through several homes before they find their forever one.
As such, some pets might be extra clingy when you bring them home because they are afraid of being abandoned again.
In time, such clinginess might progress to separation anxiety if you turn into your dog’s safety anchor.
In addition to this, when you adopt a dog from a shelter, you rarely learn the whole history.
The dog you take might have been abused and need to be close to the owner to feel safe.
If you have a pregnant female dog, it’s likely that she will get clingy and whiny in the hours or days before the birth.
That’s a stressful and frightening experience for first-time mothers, and they usually cling to their owners to lessen their anxiety.
Take it as a compliment that your dog trusts you so much that she wants you near her when she is most vulnerable.
As you can see, your dog might be clingy due to a variety of reasons. But your first business should be to talk to your vet, especially if other symptoms are present.
Then you can work on how to overcome your dog’s clinginess.
What do you think about these reasons why your dog is clingy? Has your dog ever been clingy and whiny?