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Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Does your dog sometimes act up when left alone? Have you ever come back to find that Fido chewed up your belongings, got into the trash, or left a mess on the floor? If so, your pooch may be suffering from separation anxiety. A local Longmont, CO vet discusses separation anxiety in this article.

Causes

The root of separation anxiety is actually to some extent hardwired into Fido’s brain. Dogs are pack animals by nature, and just really aren’t cut out for living alone. Your furry friend thinks of his human buddies as his pack, and may get anxious, depressed, and lonely when left alone. Your canine buddy may express himself by barking, pacing, whining, chewing things, soiling inappropriately, and/or by eating things that aren’t food. Some pups will try to escape, which can be dangerous. Many of these behaviors are easily mistaken for simple bad petiquette.

Treatment

Separation anxiety can be treated. The steps you take to help your furry buddy cope with his anxiety will depend on how severe Fido’s anxiety is. That said, there are some simple do’s and don’ts to keep in mind. First and foremost, don’t pay attention to your canine companion as you are coming or going. This may only reinforce his bad behavior. We also recommend taking your four-legged buddy for a long walk before you leave, and, if you can, tiring him out with a fun play session. That way, your pooch will spend a chunk of the day napping. It’s also important to make sure your fuzzy pal has plenty of toys to occupy himself with. Finally, we recommend doing some petproofing, and removing anything that could be dangerous to your four-legged friend.

Tips

Never punish your dog for misbehaving. We know, it isn’t exactly the high point of your day to come home and find that Fido ate the book you were halfway through reading. However, it’s important to understand that our canine pals don’t understand punishment. Reprimanding your pup may just make him feel anxious, scared, or angry. This may only make matters worse! It’s also worth noting that some dogs want attention so badly that they will settle for negative attention. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Please reach out to us, your Longmont, CO pet hospital, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. We have been offering great veterinary care since 1946!

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