If you’ve been spending lots of time at home, your dog’s no doubt enjoyed this time with you. And if you’ve bought a puppy during this period, they’ll only have known your lockdown routine. The challenge comes when your dog needs to start spending more time home alone. Some dogs take changes in their routine and absences from their owners in their stride. But for others, it can bring about separation anxiety, which is distressing for dogs and their owners.
What is separation anxiety?
Separation anxiety is when dogs find it stressful to be apart from the people they’re most attached to. They can become extremely anxious and their distress at this separation can reveal itself in a wide range of behaviours. See below for some of the symptoms to look out for.
Why do dogs develop separation anxiety?
You may think your dog is unlikely to develop separation anxiety, or you may be surprised to notice they’ve suddenly started behaving differently. The difficulty is, there’s a range of factors that can cause separation anxiety in dogs and the main cause can be hard to identify.
Some dogs begin to feel anxious if there’s a sudden change in their life such as moving to a new house or family. Or if they suddenly begin to spend a lot less time with their owners than they’re used to, such as when people return to going out to work after a period of lockdown. Even the loss of another family pet can bring about separation anxiety.