But now, the return to routine has begun and many people have returned to their jobs outside the home, a fact that has forced them, once again, to leave their dogs alone at home. If that is your case, you should know that This sudden change in day-to-day life can cause stress for your dog, as he got used to having you every day and now he sees less of you again, a fact that may be difficult for you to understand.
On Knatur we are dog lovers. In addition to making 100% natural food for them, we care about their well-being and know that this separation stress can be a difficult problem to deal with. For this reason, today we explain what is separation stress in dogs, what are the symptoms and causes, and some tips to help reduce this anxiety.
What is separation stress?
Separation stress in dogs is a behavioral disorder that manifests a different attitude with high levels of anxiety, when it is not with the person who has formed a very close bond. A very serious problem that affects the physical, mental and emotional well-being of the animal if it is not treated at the most opportune moment.
There are various degrees of anxiety on the part of the dog:
- – Type A: He has been separated from his mother and siblings before his time, so he has not experienced progressive detachment. Ideally, it should occur naturally to teach you to live without protection.
- – Type B: Occurs after a long time has passed such as sick leave, a vacation or a move. The dog is afraid, stressed and nervous due to having less contact with his trusted person.
- – Type C: It happens if you have suffered a traumatic experience, then stress is manifested when the stimulus that caused the fear appears.
During this quarantine time, your dog has been continuously enjoying your company, so now he can suffer from Type B stress, and you must help him not to suffer with your departure. The best thing is that you prepare him little by little before returning to the routine and this way he will tolerate loneliness better.
Symptoms and / or causes of separation stress
Did you know that the stress in dogs is distinguished by a set of strange or abnormal attitudes that can be easily appreciated? Yes, but sometimes you can confuse them with symptoms of other diseases. So, it is ideal that you learn to identify them without making any mistakes, that is why we show you here the main and secondary symptoms.
Main symptoms of stress in dogs
- Destructive behavior at home: He looks for different ways to go to meet his owner again, which causes breaking doors, scratching the ground and hurting his own body.
- Excessive vocalization: He barks and cries continuously.
- Inappropriate removal: You urinate and defecate indoors, even when you have the opportunity to do so on the street. Also, the stool is too soft, like you have diarrhea.
Secondary symptoms of stress in dogs
- No appetite: It does not feel like eating anything when its owner is not at home.
- Hypersalivation: He drools all the time and excessively and sometimes when his master returns he may find puddles of his own saliva.
- Sweating: There are sweat marks from the paws all over the house or on the door leading to the street.
- Altered motor activity: Perform the same movements over and over, either in circles or on the same path.
- Signs of depression: He is sad, unwilling to do anything, and apathetic.
If your dog has all these symptoms, it is that he has separation anxiety, so you must be very attentive to his behavior to detect it as soon as possible.
What to do to deal with separation stress?
To solve the problem of the separation anxiety in dogs, the ideal is to prevent it from a very young age: making gradual outings and trying to teach that its owner will always return home, and that this is not something that is going to harm their well-being.
You should know that this problem requires patience and that it is necessary for the whole family to be involved in the work so that it is as satisfactory as possible. Here are some solutions.
1. Understand the root of the problem
It’s fundamental understand what is the origin of this anxiety or stress by separation in our dog. When under stress, our dog can behave in a different way in order to get rid of this problem. Although normally it will not have a disobedient attitude due to resentment towards its owner, but on the contrary, it is important to detect their behaviors and changes in them. Thus, we will be able to know what happens to our dog friend and how we can help him.
2. Modify the environment and establish new routines
To deal with the problem and reduce stress due to separation from our dog, It’s very important establish a series of routines, in addition to very strict walking habits. These routines must adopt measures in order to entertain and strengthen the physical and mental aspect of the animal, yes, always adapted to the needs of each dog.
For example, turning off the light and taking your coat. Dogs usually associate this action with the departure of their owner and that is when they begin to stress; As a solution, the best way to treat this behavior is to carry out this action of leaving at different times of the day, but without leaving the house. In this way the dog will stop directly associating this situation with our outings and we will help him reduce stress when we really leave the house.
Also, before we leave, the ideal is to leave him a long-lasting treat or a toy like that, he will associate our outing with something positive and he will have something to entertain himself during the wait.
Finally, our behavior when we get home is also very important: it is recommended to wait for our dog to relax before taking any action with him. Then we can start paying our attention to it.
3. Consult the case with a specialist:
If the problem persists or worsens, it is time to consult the problem with a specialist. They will tell you what to do and how to treat this separation anxiety thinking about your personal case.
- In many cases, Pheromonotherapy or pheromone therapy is performed: An innovative and natural way to manage behavior problems. For this, it is necessary to use products with pheromones that calm and relax, always with the aim of reducing the anxiety level of the dog. It must be specified that these are not drugs as such, that is why they do not produce rejections. Of course, we recommend that they be used if a veterinarian has recommended them.
- As a last option, your veterinarian may bet on a therapy with psychotropic drugs: If the dog’s separation anxiety is very aggravated and all of the above do not work, your veterinarian may advise you to medicate the dog to reduce the high level of stress and allow learning. Some drugs are authorized for use in dogs such as clomipramine, fluoxetine and selegiline, all of which have a veterinary authorization in certain countries for behavior problems.
As you know, in Knatur we work for that dogs enjoy a better diet and quality of life in general. For this reason, we have considered it important to make known what separation stress is. We hope that our information and advice will help you cope with separation stress from your dog, especially in these moments when confinement as such has ended.
Make sure to keep an eye on him to see if he shows any of the symptoms so you can treat the problem as soon as possible. We encourage you to take all of this into account!