What to Do If Your Adopted Dog Has Separation Anxiety
Adopting a new dog can be a rewarding experience. You provide a loving home for a furry friend who needs it, and over time, you develop a close bond that feels almost like family. However, if your adopted dog starts showing signs of separation anxiety, the situation can quickly become stressful and overwhelming. Fortunately, you can take steps to help your dog feel more comfortable and secure when you are away. In this post, we will explore separation anxiety, what causes it, and, most importantly, how to manage it.
What is Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety is when a dog experiences extreme stress and anxiety when separated from their owner or left alone. Some of the most common symptoms of separation anxiety include excessive barking, howling, whining, destructive chewing or scratching, pacing, or trying to escape. In severe cases, dogs may even urinate or defecate inside the home. Separation anxiety can occur in dogs of all ages and breeds, but it is more common in rescue dogs who have experienced trauma or abandonment.
What Causes Separation Anxiety?
Many different things can trigger separation anxiety in dogs. For example, if a dog has experienced traumatic events, such as abuse or abandonment, it may develop a fear of being separated from its new owner. Additionally, dogs not used to being alone or who have become overly dependent on their owner may struggle with being left alone. Changes to their daily routine, such as moving to a new home or changing the owner’s work schedule, can also trigger separation anxiety.
How to Manage Separation Anxiety in Your Adopted Dog
If you suspect your adopted dog is struggling with separation anxiety, the most important thing you can do is consult a veterinarian or professional dog trainer. They can help you create a personalized plan to help your dog feel more secure and comfortable when you are away. Some of the most effective strategies for managing separation anxiety include crate training, gradually increasing the amount of time your dog spends alone, and providing plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.
In addition to these strategies, you can also do some simple things to help your dog feel less anxious when you are away. For example, you can leave a piece of clothing or a toy with your scent to comfort your dog. You may also want to consider using calming supplements or pheromone sprays, which can help reduce your dog’s anxiety levels.
Depending on the severity of your dog’s separation anxiety, you may also need to consider medication. Your veterinarian may prescribe anti-anxiety medications or sedatives to help your dog feel relaxed and calm when you are away. It is important to note, however, that medication should always be a last resort and only be used under the guidance of a veterinarian.
Separation anxiety can be a challenging issue in adopted dogs, but with patience, consistency, and the right approach, you can help your furry friend feel more secure and comfortable when you are away. Remember, it is important to consult with a professional if you suspect your dog is struggling with separation anxiety. They can help you create a personalized plan tailored to your dog’s unique needs and personality. With time and effort, you can help your adopted dog overcome their anxiety and feel at home in their new environment.