Often, when we leave our dogs alone and they experience what we perceive as "separation anxiety," what is truly the problem could simply be boredom!
Here are the classic symptoms of a dog that is suffering from true separation anxiety:
- dilated pupils
- sweaty paws
- heavy (panic) breathing
- excessively destructive
- unable to hear a command
- fast pacing
Fortunately, separation anxiety is quite rare, although it does exist. If your dog is suffering from these symptoms, please talk with your vet about appropriate treatment, including, possibly, medication and/or psychiatric evaluation.
Most of us think that when a dog cries and whines, chews on furniture and/or other household objects (like shoes!), and even inappropriate urinating and/or defacating when he has previously been successfully potty trained, that he is suffering from separation anxiety. This is not truly separation anxiety, but rather, these are the classic signs of a bored animal.
To help alleviate your dog's boredom when you have to leave him home alone, try this simple trick:
Buy your dog a "special home alone" toy like a kong toy, or even a chewy treat. ONLY give this toy or treat to your dog when you are going to leave him home alone.
Your dog will soon learn that your leaving him home alone is actually a special treat for him and something that he will learn to look forward to!
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