As a dog owner, you most likely wish you could spend as much time with your beloved pet as possible. However, chances are your daily schedule doesn't allow you to be by your dog's side 24/7.
According to vets in Atlanta, dogs can develop anxious behavior when left alone. There are different ways this type of behavior manifests itself - from dogs chewing your shoes to them barking excessively.
Still, how do you know your dog is acting out because he is in distress - and doesn't just need to learn better manners?
Here are four symptoms which indicate your furry friend is experiencing fear and anxiety when you're away.
1. Attempts to Escape the Area of Confinement
Many dogs with separation anxiety will try to follow their guardians out the door once they leave. This leads to pups making an effort to break out from the space they are limited to when left alone.
Here are a few signs which indicate your pet is most likely experiencing this symptom.
- Scratch marks on the door, doorways and around the windows.
- Damaged nails and teeth. If your dog is trying to dig and chew his way out, chances are it will leave visible marks you can easily spot.
If it's linked to an anxiety issue, this type of behavior will only occur when you're away.
2. Unusual Destructive Behavior
This is one of the most common symptoms vets in Atlanta warn about.
Are you always coming home to see your dog has chewed on pretty much anything but his toys? It may be his way of trying to get your attention.
Dealing with a pet who is destroying items in your home can be frustrating, but it's important to address this issue with calm and patience.
If your dog's destructive behavior doesn't seem to be triggered by anything else except you being away, it's likely a symptom of real stress which goes well beyond your dog just feeling bored.
3. Loss of Appetite
Dogs with separation anxiety will often stop eating as a result of them feeling depressed. If you notice your friend is lacking the kind of excitement and energy you're used to seeing in him, it could be he is not getting enough food.
This is a concern which needs to be addressed promptly. Loss of appetite can not only indicate an emotional problem; it might also be a sign of a serious disease.
Vets in Atlanta can analyze the full range of symptoms and perform the necessary tests to rule out any possible medical illnesses.
4. Peeing and Pooping Indoors
Does your dog seem to forget he is housebroken as soon as you leave the house? It's a symptom which many guardians dismiss as inappropriate behavior. Sure, it could mean your pup still needs more time figuring out house rules.
However, it could also be a symptom of anxiety. There's an easy way to know the difference.
If your dog goes to the toilet indoors in your presence, it's most likely a housetraining problem. If not, chances are it's caused by separation stress.
What Can Vets in Atlanta Do to Help Out?
If you suspect your furry friends might be dealing with anxiety, seeing a vet is essential. A professional is best equipped to:
- Treat any self-injuries your pup might have.
- Identify any possible underlying medical issues.
- Properly analyze the symptoms to make sure separation stress is diagnosed correctly. Other behavioral conditions can easily be mistaken for anxiety.
- Advise you on the best ways to relieve your dog's stress.
If you and your dog need this kind of help, make sure to contact us as soon as possible.