Dogs can get so overly-attached to their owners that they develop separation anxiety. I’ve raised many dogs since I was a kid, and some of them got really close to me — they’d follow me everywhere I went, howl when I left the house, and chew my shoes when I’m wasn't around.
Dogs really do experience separation anxiety too. They switch into panic mode and worry when you’ll come back.
Of course, some dogs don’t really mind if you leave them for hours. Dog breeds like Chihuahua and French Bulldog are usually fine when left alone for much of the day. But a dog’s affection can easily turn against them.
You can help your dog cope with separation anxiety by spending quality time with them. Taking them out for walks and keeping them busy with toys and pet cameras are a great way to prevent separation anxiety.
How do you know if your pooch is too crazy about you? What are the signs of separation anxiety in dogs? Look for these symptoms of distress in your pooch.
1. Barking and Howling
One of the most common symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs is constant barking and howling. While it’s normal for dogs to howl and bark, dogs suffering from separation anxiety persistently howl and bark without any triggers or reasons other than being alone.
Setting up a dog camera lets you see your mutt’s reaction when you’re away.
2. Chewing Shoes and Other Stuff
Chewing is a sign of aggression and stress. My 3-year-old Belgian Malinois chewed everything it saw in the house when I was out.
I realized she was suffering from separation anxiety. Now I spend more time with her and occasionally check on her and occupy her with an interactive pet camera.
3. Attempting to Escape
When a dog is lonely and anxious, it’ll try to escape the place where it’s left. If your dog has made repeated attempts to flee your house whenever you’re at work, your dog could be suffering from separation anxiety.
Even worse, your dog could get injured or run over by a car. Make sure your place is secure and use a pet monitor if you need additional peace of mind.
4. Urinating and Defecating
It’s one thing for an untrained dog to pee and poo and it’s a different thing for a trained dog to urinate and defecate when their owners are away. The latter is a strong sign of separation anxiety.
Some dogs develop coprophagia, which means eating one’s own poop. Keeping your dog busy with toys and treats is a great way to ease anxiety in your dog.
5. Pacing and Circling
Other dogs circle and pace in a weird pattern when left alone. I’ve heard countless stories of dogs moving around in circles when separated from their owners.
Some dogs pace back and forth because of anxiety, frustration, and stress. If your dog paces and circles when you’re about to leave the house, understand that it’s just scared that you won’t be coming back.