The special relationship you share is the glue that holds your dog's life together. That's why separation anxiety can become a serious issue for many pet owners.
Although these problems often indicate that a dog needs to be taught polite house manners, they can also be symptoms of distress. When a dog’s problems are accompanied by other distress behaviors, such as and showing when his pet parents prepare to leave the house, they aren’t evidence that the dog isn’t house trained or doesn’t know which toys are his to chew. Instead, they are indications that the dog has separation anxiety.
Unfortunately, many pet owners do not realize that their own behavior is actually making their pet's separation anxiety symptoms worse. Sometimes, curing your pet of separation anxiety requires you to change your habits as well. Below are a couple of frequently asked questions about separation anxiety in dogs and cats.
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When your dog or cat has separation anxiety, your pet becomes anxious because he or she is away from you. Pets exhibit separation anxiety with both physical and psychological problems. Many social animals—birds, horses, whales, monkeys—experience separation anxiety because they are genetically programmed to live within a social structure strengthened by emotional bonds, and this applies to dogs and cats as well.Separation anxiety in dogs and cats is generally worse the first 15 minutes your pet is alone, but can persist during the entire time you're away. Common behavior problems that occur as a result of separation anxiety include destroying furniture, urinating or defecating inside the home, howling, barking, scratching, and barbering (in cats).Separation anxiety in dogs and cats causes undesirable behavior, and behavior problems are the #1 reason pets are euthanized. Dogs and cats with behavior problems frustrate their owners, and frustrated people often mistreat or relinquish their pets. Fortunately, you can prevent or cure your pet's separation anxiety.Pets from multi-pet households can also develop anxiety if their pet companions are absent. Although you would think your pet would leap with joy when a pet companion returns, this doesn't always happen. Separated pets can physically harass each other when reunited, even after short separations. Harassment is more likely if your returning pet smells differently, such as after spending the day at the veterinary clinic. Slowly reintroducing cats avoids violence. Provide a , which contains a pheromone that makes cats feel peaceful when reintroducing pets. For cats that become hysterical and aggressive, provide herbal calming, such as . For dogs, use , which contains a calming pheromone for dogs.