Dog Separation Anxiety in Peoria, IL: Signs and How to Help
Dogs in Peoria are very affectionate and loving animals. They enjoy spending time with their owners and families and quickly become accustomed to being around the same people all the time. Because of this, dogs often experience separation anxiety when they’re not around the people they’re used to seeing.
In this article, we’re doing to explain some of the causes of separation anxiety, signs that your dog is experiencing this and ways that you can help.
Causes of Separation Anxiety in Dogs in Peoria, IL
Some common causes of dog separation anxiety include, but aren’t limited to:
Change in Routine
Just like humans, dogs are creatures of habit. Once a dog gets accustomed to a certain time of day that he goes on walks, plays with his owner, eats and sleeps, any change to this can be highly disruptive. It’s important to try to keep his schedule as consistent as possible, even if yours changes.
Loneliness or Boredom
He may feel a sense of panic if suddenly his owner leaves for long periods of time, especially if he had gotten used to having his owner around most of the time. This may result in feelings of panic and fear that his owner might not be coming home.
As a result of his owner’s absence, he may suddenly find himself bored and missing his friend and playmate, which leads to anxiety.
Change of Parent or Home (Moving)
Instances of separation anxiety are extremely high in shelter dogs and this often continues even once they’ve been placed in a new home. It can be very disruptive to start a new life in completely different surroundings and the severity of his anxiety may vary. Even a move to a new home with the same owners can be disruptive to a dog, especially an older dog who is used to the home’s layout.
Another cause of separation anxiety in dogs is the loss of change of his owner. Because dogs are creatures of habit, they are greatly affected by change of ownership.
In both of these instances, it’s extremely important to be patient with your dog and help them become acclimated to their new surroundings. They will start to feel better over time, especially if they know you’re there to help them.
What are the Signs of Separation Anxiety in Dogs in Peoria, IL?
Below are some potential signs that your dog is experiencing separation anxiety:
Urination and Defecation
When a dog is experiencing separation anxiety, he may start going to the bathroom indoors in the absence of his owner. If your dog is having accidents while you’re away, it’s most likely due to separation anxiety.
If he continues to have accidents while you’re present, it’s important to get him checked out by a veterinarian in Peoria, IL to see if there are underlying causes.
Barking and Howling
When a dog is missing his owner, he may vocalize this through loud, excessive barking and howling while his owner is away. Because this is usually only while his owner is away, many people only find out through neighbors or if they have a doggy cam or home security system with cameras.
When feeling separation anxiety, many dogs will act out by chewing and destroying things around the house such as furniture, table legs, and points of exit like doorways and windowsills. Because they’re so frantic, many dogs hurt their paws, or chip teeth chewing and digging.
Dogs experiencing separation anxiety will take the chewing and destruction a step further by trying to chew their way to freedom. Many dogs will try to escape through the door or windows which can be very dangerous to the dog as he may not only hurt himself while tearing his way out, but then he’s at risk of being hit by a car or lost away from home.
Possible Treatments for Dog Separation Anxiety in Peoria, IL
Here are a couple things you can do to help your dog who’s suffering from separation anxiety:
Pheromone diffusers work by copying the feel-good pheromone DAP, which is produced by a mother dog after having puppies. This helps calm the dog much in the same way the actual pheromone sends a message of security to her puppies. These diffusers plug into an outlet and cover 530-750 square feet and last up to one month. The same pheromone is available in a spray, which can be used on his bedding, toys and points of exit.
These are available online and at pet supply stores without a prescription.
Many of the prescription medications taken by humans are prescribed to dogs for their anxiety. When talking with your veterinarian in Peoria about your dog’s condition, they’ll be able to guide you in the right direction in terms of what the best course of action is for your pet.
You should never give your pet any medications unless they’re prescribed by your vet. If you have a question about whether or not something would work for your dog, consult with your veterinarian first and they’ll help you make the best decision.
Calming Chews and Treats
A variety of treats and chews containing calming ingredients such as Melatonin, are available in a wide variety of brands and flavors like smoked chicken or duck. These are available at most pet supply stores and websites and don’t require a prescription.
Consult with a Dog Trainer or Behavior Specialist
Dog trainers and behavior specialists are great resources to consult with when figuring out other coping mechanisms to try for your dog. They can help you with your dog’s separation anxiety and any other behavioral conditions or problems your pet may be having.
Help Your Dog if They’re Experiencing Separation Anxiety in Peoria, IL
With so much new research on dog separation anxiety and treatments, there are all kinds of directions to go in with treatment. Many people have the most success through a combination of behavioral therapy and medication. Once you’ve identified the issue, you and your vet can work together to find the best course of action.
At Whitney Veterinary Hospital in Peoria, our compassionate team will help get to the root of your dog’s separation anxiety and will work with you on developing a plan to help them overcome it. Just remember to be patient as it may take a few attempts to get the treatment just right, and make sure to make him feel as loved and secure as he is. If you have any questions about your dog, or want to schedule an appointment, contact our animal hospital today.