All About Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Border Collie destroying a living room pillow

Leaving animals with separation stress can be a overwhelming experience for both of those pet moms and dads and their canines. It can leave pet dad and mom emotion discouraged and helpless, and it is a popular rationale that dogs are surrendered or rehomed. 

To make separation stress and anxiety a bit a lot easier to comprehend and hopefully right, we will examine the nuances of separation anxiousness in canine, including its definition, causes, symptoms, analysis, and procedure selections. We’ll also delve into associated aspects, this kind of as avoidance, home treatments, prices, and added actions for training and handling canines with separation stress and anxiety.

What Is Separation Anxiety in Canines?

Separation stress and anxiety is a behavioral dysfunction where canine encounter extreme distress and panic when still left by itself. Dogs with separation stress and anxiety normally exhibit unwanted behaviors as a result of their psychological distress. In distinction to generalized nervousness or tension, which may perhaps arise in a assortment of disorders, separation anxiousness precisely manifests when a pet is absent from their pet guardian or a near housemate.

Separation anxiety is a reasonably widespread behavioral condition in puppies. Some studies counsel that around 20-40 % of canine may experience some sort of separation stress and anxiety (1).

What Causes Separation Nervousness in Canine?

Puppies of all breeds and ages can undergo from separation anxiety. Specified breeds are imagined to be predisposed to the affliction, this sort of as the:

The prevalence may possibly vary among individual canines and is motivated by components this sort of as the dog’s temperament, other pets in the domestic, and their owner’s lifestyle. Other elements this sort of as a historical past of abandonment, alterations in plan, or traumatic experiences can lead to the advancement of this affliction. In addition, young pet dogs, especially puppies, might be more vulnerable to separation stress as they type strong attachments to their pet dad and mom.

Signals of Separation Stress in Pet dogs

Signs of separation panic in canine can fluctuate, and each canine could exhibit a exceptional blend of behaviors. Some popular signals involve:

  • Too much vocalization: Too much barking, whining, or howling when left by yourself.
  • Damaging actions: Chewing home furniture, doors, or belongings, usually in close proximity to exits like doorways or home windows.
  • Household soiling: Incidents in the house, even if the puppy is commonly house-experienced.
  • Pacing and restlessness: Consistent motion or restlessness, often observed through pacing or circling.
  • Tries to escape: Making an attempt to escape from the residence or a confined place, in some cases resulting in self-damage.
  • Too much salivation and panting: Actual physical symptoms of worry, these types of as drooling and large panting.
  • Adhering to their owner: Shadowing the pet guardian around the household, unwilling to be separated.
  • Refusal to eat: Lack of curiosity in meals, especially when the operator is not current.
  • Extreme greeting conduct: Overly enthusiastic and anxious habits when the proprietor returns, including leaping or excessive exhilaration.
  • Droopy ears and tucked tail: Physical signals of stress and anxiety, these types of as ears pinned again or a tucked tail.

Diagnosing Canines with Separation Anxiousness

Veterinarians and qualified pet dog behaviorists typically diagnose separation anxiety in pet dogs by collecting data from pet dad and mom and ruling out other prospective triggers. Specifics utilized to assist guide the veterinary group toward a diagnosis incorporate:   

  • The dog’s lifestyle and every day regimen
  • The dog’s whole clinical and historical history
  • Descriptions of the dog’s habits when left by yourself vs when others are all over
  • Documentation of what pet mom and dad uncover upon returning household

The most precious asset in diagnosing separation stress is video clip footage. This features important insights into the dog’s reactions and behaviors in the absence of the pet parent, and assists veterinarians make a more precise diagnosis and tailor a suited therapy strategy.

How to Handle Separation Anxiety in Canines

Treatment method for separation stress and anxiety in pet dogs generally involves a multifaceted technique aimed at addressing the fundamental behavioral troubles and endorsing a sense of comfort and ease and stability. 

Behavioral modification strategies, these kinds of as desensitization and counterconditioning, are generally used to progressively acclimate the doggy to short intervals of alone time whilst associating beneficial encounters, like treats or toys, with these intervals. 

Environmental changes play a very important job, with pet mother and father producing a designated safe and sound house for their puppies geared up with common items and participating toys or puzzle feeders for mental stimulation. 

Steady good reinforcement coaching and the establishment of a predictable plan lead to decreasing stress.

Pet dog Separation Anxiousness Medication

In some scenarios, veterinarians may propose medicines to help in managing separation nervousness. Reconcile, an Food and drug administration-permitted selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), and Clomicalm, a tricyclic antidepressant, are illustrations of medications that may possibly be approved to handle stress-connected signs in canines. Also, dietary dietary supplements like Solliquin, made up of ingredients this sort of as L-theanine, magnolia, and phellodendron, are designed to support well balanced behavior and peace in puppies.

Dwelling Cures for Separation Stress and anxiety in Canine

House solutions enhance expert therapy and contain developing a designated safe and sound place within just the house, setting up a consistent plan, supplying interactive toys for psychological stimulation, and incorporating calming scents, these as lavender. It’s essential for pet mothers and fathers to operate carefully with their veterinarians to tailor a detailed cure system centered on the particular needs of their canine. 

Charge to Treat

Whilst the charges involved with managing separation anxiety can fluctuate, ranging from $200 to $1,000 or a lot more, the financial commitment is major for the lengthy-phrase effectively-being and enhanced high-quality of daily life for pet dogs enduring this tough problem.

Dog Separation Anxiety: Coaching and Management

 Bichon Frise dog sleeping in crate with soft bedding

Further than medicine, pet moms and dads can just take several proactive ways to efficiently handle their dog’s separation stress. Employing a mixture of education, environmental adjustments, and supportive steps can significantly contribute to a far more positive working experience for the canine.  Some concepts contain:

Separation Panic Training

Desensitization: Little by little expose the puppy to brief intervals of alone time, commencing with transient intervals and progressively extending them to create tolerance.

Counterconditioning: Affiliate beneficial ordeals with being property by yourself, these as giving treats or participating toys, to develop a constructive association with solitude.

Establish and Get rid of Panic Triggers

Examine departure cues: Puppies might associate particular actions (putting on shoes, grabbing keys) with their pet parent leaving, so varying these cues can support cut down anticipatory stress.

Modify departure routine: Transforming the plan prior to leaving can assist make departures fewer predictable and, therefore, much less nervousness-inducing.

Build a Harmless and At ease Room

Specified risk-free zone: Set up a certain space in the household in which the dog feels protected, equipped with common objects like their bed, toys, and comforting blankets.

Calming scents: Use relaxing scents, this sort of as lavender, in the designated space to advertise leisure, or think about an Adaptil diffuser, which releases doggy-appeasing pheromones that aid puppies feel quiet and peaceful.

Particular Dog Crates or Playpens

Cozy crates: Give a relaxed crate with delicate bedding, earning it a protected and inviting place for the dog, and consider a crate include to give it a “den-like” environment.

Playpens: Use playpens to give the doggy a confined but roomy area, cutting down the sensation of isolation.

Interactive Toys and Puzzles

Mental stimulation: Have interaction the pet dog with interactive toys or puzzle feeders to hold them mentally stimulated and distracted for the duration of durations of separation.

Reliable Schedule

Set up predictability: Canine prosper on schedule, so protecting a consistent everyday routine can support ease stress. This involves frequent feeding occasions, walks, and enjoy periods.

Good Reinforcement

Reward serene conduct: Enhance serene conduct by praising and fulfilling the canine when they continue to be relaxed throughout departures and arrivals.

Search for Experienced Assistance

Seek the advice of with a qualified coach or behaviorist: Enlist the help of a expert doggy trainer or behaviorist to build a customized education system primarily based on the distinct requirements of the pet.

By combining these methods, pet mother and father can develop a supportive environment that encourages a perception of security and comfort for their pet dogs. It is necessary to method separation stress management holistically and be individual and steady in implementing these measures more than time.


Knowing separation nervousness in pet dogs, its brings about, and productive administration methods empowers pet mothers and fathers to present the assist and care their canine companions require. Early intervention and a holistic approach add to the all round perfectly-getting of canine dealing with this difficult affliction.

Similar Situations

  • Generalized anxiousness dysfunction
  • Noise phobias
  • Aggression problems


  1. Horowitz D. Separation-linked behaviours in dogs and cats. In: Horowitz D., Mills D., editors. BSAVA Guide of Canine and Feline Behavioural Medication. BSAVA Gloucester, Uk: 2017. pp. 211–222.