Back to School – Separation Anxiety & Pets

by | General Pet Care |

It’s time to go back to school!! That means the kids are out of the house, the days get shorter, and the house gets quieter!

But what does that mean for your pet?

separation anxiety
Photo by Piotr Grzywocz.

“Some dogs suffering from separation anxiety become agitated when their guardians prepare to leave. Others seem anxious or depressed prior to their guardians’ departure or when their guardians aren’t present. Some try to prevent their guardians from leaving. Usually, right after a guardian leaves a dog with separation anxiety, the dog will begin barking and displaying other distress behaviors within a short time after being left alone—often within minutes.” – ASPCA on Separation Anxiety.

One of the reasons why dogs can develop separation anxiety is through a change in schedule. This can come about when the dog becomes used to seeing their owners all day, and then suddenly they are gone for eight hours every day at school!

Symptoms of Separation Anxiety

Some symptoms of this condition includes doing any of the below when left alone:

  • Urinating and Defecating
  • Barking and Howling
  • Chewing, Digging and Destruction of household
  • Escaping from where confined when left alone, or separated from guardian.
  • Pacing in a fixed pattern when separated
  • Coprophagia, when the dog defecates and consumes all or some of their excrement.

If these actions are done out of separation anxiety, they typically are not performed in front of the guardian.

separation Anxiety
Photo by Bev Sykes – Flickr

For information on this topic, take a look at the ASPCA’s post on Separation Anxiety.

To learn tips on overcoming this anxiety with your pet, read our blog: How to Help a Pet with Separation Anxiety.

For more information on the condition, read: Separation Anxiety in Dogs.

You can also take a look at Tips for Successful Crate Training.


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