Puppy Separation Anxiety

Puppy Separation Anxiety

Puppies are adorable balls of fluff and we most often think of them as playful and cheery. They are very active when they’re awake, but they do nap a lot because puppies need their rest too.


When you bring your new puppy home, they may seem timid, shy, or even a bit fearful and this is to be expected.

They have been separated from their mother and littermates and within new surroundings. It won’t take long until they are acclimated to their new home and bond with you and your family.

What happens though, when the time comes to leave your pup home alone? Most times, there won’t be a problem. Your puppy may nap while you’re away or amuse themselves with toys.

You do want your pup to bond with you but sometimes when they become overly attached, problems may arise and they feel anxious when you leave and until you return.

Your puppy may become stressed and may act out with displays of less than desirable behaviorOpens in a new tab. that is out of their control because they are afraid. This is known as separation anxiety. Opens in a new tab.

In the following post, I will inform you about puppyOpens in a new tab. separation anxiety at night and while you’re away as well as anxiety symptoms, prevention, and anxiety solutions.

To check your Puppy’s health status or their DNA checks, please visit the Embark vet Opens in a new tab.website for all the help you may need.

Puppy Separation Anxiety
Image from PixabayOpens in a new tab.

Puppy Separation Anxiety


Puppy separation anxiety can be likened to a human panic attack and can occur when you leave your puppy home alone.

Of course, puppies do get into mischief, and displays of bad behavior may just be acting out, caused by boredom.

Separation anxiety Opens in a new tab.goes beyond some sad crying when you leave and finding a chewed-up toy on your return.

Separation anxiety is an uncontrollable fear with many different symptoms that occurs every time you leave your puppy and last the entire time you are gone, usually escalating in destructive behavior.

Symptoms of Puppy Separation Anxiety


Although some symptoms of puppy separation anxiety can be similar to normal puppy behavior, these go beyond that realm.

Puppies, of course, need to be housebroken and also require training if you want a well-behaved, well-mannered, and obedient adult dog. Listed below are symptoms of puppy separation anxiety.

  • Trembling
  • Salivating and drooling
  • Pacing, yawning
  • Panting
  • Whining
  • Howling
  • Barking
  • Bathroom accidents
  • Destructive behavior
  • Escape attempts can lead to injury

Again, some of these symptoms may have nothing to do with separation anxietyOpens in a new tab.. If your puppy is not housebroken and you leave them alone for long periods, they will have accidents.


Separation Anxiety at Night

You may wonder how your puppy can have separation anxiety at night when you are at home. Keep in mind, that for the seven or eight weeks before you brought your pup home, they spent every day and night with their mother and littermates.

That was the only home they knew and suddenly they are taken to a new home. During the day, they have you and your family to keep them occupied and entertained but at night, they will be alone with no one to snuggle with.

You may think you will comfort puppies by letting them sleep with you, but this is never a good idea.

You need to set the tone from the start, of the pack leader and if your puppy is a breed that will grow quite large, there goes half of your bed once they’re grown.

Puppies sometimes whine and cry at night being alone. When you bring your pup home, make sure they have an area all their own, with a cozy bed, blanket and toys.

This area should preferably be in a gated room so the puppy can not wander all over your home getting into mischief day or night, when unsupervised.

Wrapping a hot water bottle in a blanket and placing it in their bed will mimic their warm mother and littermates.

A ticking clock, also wrapped, is said to emulate their mother’s heartbeat. Try not to give in to the crying and whimpering and soon pup will settle, know the routine, and be sleeping through the night.

dog Separation Anxiety at Night
Image from PixabayOpens in a new tab.

Preventing Separation Anxiety and Anxiety Solutions

Some breeds are actually more prone to separation anxiety but all dogs have that instinctive need to gather in a pack.

To prevent separation anxiety and to, in a sense, break them of this need to be clingy, some tips are listed below.

These will take patience and perseverance while using reinforcement that is always positive. If things go wrong, anger is not the answer.

Routine

From the time your puppy arrives in your household, a routine needs to be established. This is the number one rule so behavioral issues are not created.

Feeding, toilet time, and exercise should be around the same times every day and your pup will soon learn this and expect it as well.

Housebreaking needs consistency for success, also. Once the routine is in place, you’ll be surprised by how smart they are and how quickly they catch on.

When routines are changed, behavioral issues can arise. Some things, however, happen unexpectedly or we have no control over them, like children going off to school or college or death and these situations need to be handled as they arise.

Practice

Before it’s time for the puppy to be left alone, practice leaving the house for a few minutes and just hang around outside to see what the reaction is.

Gradually increase the time until they are alone and quiet with no anxiety. Puppies do need frequent bathroom breaks, so never leave them for more than 45 minutes to an hour.


Crating

Crating may be looked at by some as cruel, like putting your pup in a cage, but when properly accomplished it is very sensible and a way to prevent your pup from making a mess or getting into mischief. The crate also keeps them out of harm’s way and leaves them feeling safe and secure.


When using a crate, place it with the door open and containing comforting items for your puppy, like a bed, blanket,Opens in a new tab. and soft toys.

You will find that your pup will begin going in there perhaps to snooze or even to get away from the noise for some quiet time.

Once they are acclimated, you can begin closing the door for short periods and then increasing the time.

You can then begin leaving them and the crate will keep them safe. On these occasions don’t forget food, water, and a few treats.

Background Noise

Background noise is an excellent way of letting puppies think they aren’t alone when no one is home.

The sound of the television is associated with you or your family, so leaving the TV on may lead the puppy to think you are there.

The sound of voices will help the puppy feel less alone. The radio is another option and can do just as good a job with voices and some soft classical music, which is proven to calm and reduce stress.

Distraction

Be sure to leave the puppy some chew toys or a favorite toy. There are toys available to stuff with treats or peanut butter.

They will keep your puppy very busy trying to extract the “prize” and this generally succeeds in tiring them out!

There are many other behavioral pet toys on the market to keep your pup occupied.
Leaving an old shirt that smells like their favorite person, can be very comforting.

Enlist a Friend


If you know you will be away for hours, enlist the help of a friend or hire a dog walker or sitter. Even the most well-behaved pup needs some social interaction, exercise, and a bathroom break if left alone for an extended time.

You can use puppy pads, but it’s best to either break away at lunch to check on a puppy or get some help.


Leave with a Purpose


When leaving your home, make sure the puppy is in their secure area and occupied, and then, just leave.

Do not make a big production of leaving the house with cuddling and long goodbyes. This can start the ball rolling right into separation anxiety because they will associate this big “fuss” with you leaving them alone every time.

The same idea is used for returning. If your pup is jumping and barking wait until they settle and then greet them and give them your full attention. They will soon equate good behavior with your attention and fun times.

Exercise

Giving your pup plenty of exercises,Opens in a new tab. like a nice walk before you leave and when you return will help them release that pent-up energy.

Exercise, before you leave, may tire them out and they’ll be too pooped to notice your departure.

The tips above can be used in the prevention of separation anxiety as well as being solutions. Try to be consistent and stick with a routine.

Give only positive reinforcement and never yell or become angry. They are still just puppies and accidents will happen.


With some puppies and adults, no matter what you do they will suffer from separation anxiety. If you clearly are having a problem, speak with your pup’s veterinarian.

They may suggest an easy fix or your pup may need some calming medication, or a natural remedy, or require a visit to a behavioral therapist.


Chances are your puppy will have no separation anxiety issues but the tips above will have you prepared if need be,

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