As millions of animal owners worldwide know, pets bring so much joy to our daily lives. If you are like us and are crazy dog lovers, you know nothing compares to the happiness and love that our four-legged friends give us. Through all of life’s highs and lows, our dogs are always there to provide us with comfort and companionship when we need it most.
Ensuring the health and wellbeing of your dog is one of the most crucial roles of pet ownership. As dog owners know, it’s always recommended to schedule regular visits to your veterinarian, be on the lookout for any injuries, and provide a healthy lifestyle for your pup. That being said, there are some lesser-known health conditions in dogs that you may be unaware of. For example, did you know that, just like us humans, dogs can experience mental health issues? That’s correct; dogs can experience intense emotions and periods of mental distress. One of the most commonly occurring mental health conditions among dogs is separation anxiety.
What is Separation Anxiety?
Separation Anxiety is a condition where dogs become incredibly stressed during periods when they are away from their owners. There can be many factors that influence whether a dog has separation anxiety, but this condition is more likely to be found in dogs that have previously been abandoned or emotionally neglected. While it is quite common for many dogs to be attached to their owners and not happy when they are away from them, separation anxiety is much more serious than that. Rather than simply being unhappy about being away from their human counterparts, dogs with separation anxiety experience extreme distress and agitation that can negatively impact their daily lives.
Testimonial: How an Impact Dog Crate Made all the Difference for this Dog Suffering from Separation Anxiety
As a pet company, nothing makes us happier than hearing awesome success stories that our customers have had with our products. Our mission has always been to ensure the safety of every dog, and we are so proud to know that our products have made a positive impact in the lives of many dogs- and their human counterparts.
The following is a testimonial from an Impact Dog Crates customer, Jason, who has owned an Impact Dog Crate for nearly 10 years. Continue reading to learn more about how a new crate made all the difference in helping his dog overcome their separation anxiety.
"Throughout that challenging year and beyond, our Impact Crate not only safeguarded her but also endured significant wear and tear. In the initial phase, the crate required frequent cleaning and survived multiple relocations. Now, fast forward almost ten years, and our trusty Impact Crate continues to serve us faithfully. It has weathered the test of time and has undeniably proven itself as a worthwhile investment in the safety and well-being of our beloved companion."
You can find more content of Jason and his four-legged friend on his Instagram here.
Signs Your Dog May be Suffering from Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety can cause severe emotional distress, so it is very important that dog owners know how to recognize the signs of separation anxiety in dogs.
Excessive whining or panting
It’s pretty typical for dogs to whine or pant for a variety of reasons, however, this can also be a sign of separation anxiety. When a dog is frequently whining or panting for seemingly no reason, this might be a sign that they are experiencing some type of mental distress at the moment. Separation anxiety can prompt feelings of unease or agitation, and for many dogs, panting or whining are ways to relieve some of this excess tension. Dog owners should make note of if their pups’ whining or panting increases when they experience longer periods of time away from their owners.
Imagine this scenario: your dog is 100% potty trained and hasn’t had any accidents in the house since they were a puppy. Now, as an adult, they start having more frequent potty accidents when you are away at work. What could be the reason for this? Having unusual “accidents” inside is actually a common indicator that your pup is experiencing separation anxiety. When dogs experience intense bouts of anxiety or nervousness, they may lose control over their urinary or bowel movements. In other words, the nerves they’re feeling can cause them to pee or poop inside- even if they are perfectly potty trained. That being said, you are the best judge of your dog’s behavior and will be the first person to notice when your pup suddenly starts behaving out of character for them. Potty accidents may be easily dismissed as just one-time accidents, however, it’s essential to recognize that accidents can point to a larger problem going on. If your dog’s potty accidents persist, and there is no medical reason for the accidents, it may be due to your dog experiencing separation anxiety.
One of the biggest and most common indicators of separation anxiety in dogs is destructive behavior. As previously mentioned, when dogs experience intense feelings of anxiety or unease, they may turn to outlets to alleviate some of this tension. For many dogs, this may include pacing or panting. However, more severe cases may cause more extreme behavior in dogs. It’s very common for dogs suffering from separation anxiety to destroy household items around them. Chewing up personal items, destroying couch cushions, and other destructive habits are all signs your dog may be experiencing extreme anxiety. Destructive behavior is usually quite obvious and can be very frustrating for many owners, however, it’s important to recognize that there may be an underlying cause behind why your dog is behaving this way. Additionally, this behavior can be quite dangerous for dogs if it’s left unmanaged. For example, an anxious dog could accidentally get into household hazards when they are being destructive. While tearing up furniture may not seem like a massive safety risk to your pup, the cleaning products they rip open could seriously harm your dog. Thus, it’s important to identify and manage your dog’s destructive behavior, while understanding that this may be due to separation anxiety.
Ways to Treat Separation Anxiety
- Exercise them regularly. Frequent physical activity has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety in dogs.
- Give them a safe space. Ensure your dog has a comforting environment where they can relax and de-stress, and you have peace-of-mind knowing that they are safe from harm.
- Prioritize a healthy lifestyle. Giving your dog nutritious food, utilizing positive reinforcement, and providing physical stimulation are all ways you can create a lifestyle that puts the emotional and physical wellbeing of your pup first. You can also consider adding medications, oils, or supplements specifically designed to lower anxiety in dogs.