Separation anxiety is a major issue with puppies. Symptoms such as destroying stuff in the house, continuous whining and barking, uncontrolled salivation, scratching the walls, floors, doors, tables, and trying to escape from the crate, room, and even premises indicate separation anxiety in dogs.
What is separation anxiety in dogs/puppies?
Two types of separation anxiety are there:
True separation anxiety and Simulated Separation anxiety
The simulated separation anxiety is a learned behavior. It appears to be true separation anxiety, but in reality, it is not so. When a puppy/dog is self-controlled and is devoid of leadership, simulated separation anxiety can take place.
Whereas, true separation anxiety makes the puppy stressed when the owner is not around.
In simulated separation anxiety, the puppy knows that if they act weird/ wrong, then they will receive the owner’s attention. Some dogs feel that scolding is a reward as long as they are getting attention from their owners.
The simulated separation anxiety can be defeated gradually. Increase the pup’s time spent in the crate. You can opt for obedience training, strong bond, and increased exercise.
The more human-oriented or owner attachment is present, the more your pup is likely to have separation anxiety. Certain changes in lifestyle like schedule alteration, entering a new house, the sudden absence of the owner, the death of any family member close to the pup, etc. can generate separation anxiety.
Symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs/pups
We can understand that our puppies are going through separation anxiety when we see them barking and howling excessively.
Again certain destructive acts like chewing hard things like furniture, and frantically scratching the doors and floors indicate separation anxiety in puppies and grown-up dogs.
Frequent urinating in the house, panting, drooling, unreasonable or excessive salivation, continuous walking back and forth, attempts to escape, etc. are other symptoms that are often seen in puppies.
Treating separation anxiety in dogs/puppies
Conditioning is an excellent way to nurture a puppy well. Teach your furry canine that separation is associated with rewards. The newly arrived pup can be stressed whenever he sees you leave home. Give him a high-value treat right before you go. Do it daily. This activity will condition the puppy, and he will eagerly wait for you to leave. At first, leave him alone for a limited period. Gradually you can increase the duration.
Give crate training to the lovey-dovey puppy. Start making them stay in a crate for more extended periods, especially when are going to be out of your home. It will take time for the pup to be habituated in living inside a crate. Gradually they will become comfortable in the crate when left alone.
Getting emotional while leaving the cuddly puppy and showing overexcitement when you return home will reinforce the separation anxiety in your pup. If you pay too much attention while going, the puppy will be scared of your absence. Just be calm and bid goodbye to the puppy. After returning home, quietly say hello and behave normally.
Lots of exercise help in decreasing the separation anxiety in pups. A worn out puppy would like to settle down even if you are leaving them alone. Make sure the puppies play some mental games too that will build their self-control, patience, and concentration when they will remain alone.
Calming medicine and anxiety treatment supplies for dogs are helpful in treating separation anxiety. Consult a veterinarian. Buy your pup a Kong toy, dog swaddling jacket, etc. recommended by the doctor.
Homeopathic treatment and natural supplements help puppies to get rid of anxiety. Chamomile, Amino Acid L- Theanine, Valerian, Passionflower, and St. John’s Wort are some of the examples. These natural supplements have several modes of action that alter the neurotransmitters ( GABA, serotonin, dopamine) in the pup’s brain that trigger a sense of calmness and peacefulness.
Don’t sleep with your pup no matter how much you want it. Ge a separate bed for him. Gradually, he will learn to stay alone without any stress.
Get your pup Petcube Bites and Petcube Plays. Talk to the little and lonely puppy over Petcube App. Give him treats through Petcube Bites Treat Cam. Play with him via Petcube Play which is an interactive pet camera. Regular interaction with the puppy will decrease the separation anxiety. He will learn that being alone is not dangerous and scary.
If possible, get your puppy a separate room to stay. For example, a dog house or a spare room that contains dog toys and other stuff loved by the pup.
Ignore the canine when he is seeking too much attention from you. Don’t give any clue when you are about to leave. Do it daily. Keep him busy with food and toys during your departure time.
Certain items like your clothes containing your scent help the puppies to relax. They will know that you are going to come back. Also, remove the stress causing factors such as collars, chains, crates, chokers, etc. if your puppies hate them.
Try hiding tempting treats throughout the house so that the little puppies remain busy hunting them.
Calming nature sounds also help baby dogs to fall asleep.
Start leaving home from another door. Keep your keys, shoes, etc. in other places. Break the monotony. Don’t let your puppy associate with the signs of your leaving.
Leaving your puppy alone for too long is not necessary. Discuss with an Animal Behaviorist to get the reasons and the solutions to your puppy’s separation anxiety. Don’t give over the counter medicines without consulting with a veterinarian. Give him ample time to adopt the habit of staying alone. Unnecessary scolding and hurrying can lead to adverse effects.