If you are like most people, you work and have other reasons for leaving your home during the course of any given day. If you are like a majority of people in the United States, and elsewhere around the world, you also have a pet or pets in your home. You may be the owner of a dog.
Understanding these realities, if you are a dog owner, you undoubtedly have a close connection to your companion. You may be wondering what happens when you leave your dog at home alone.
For a good many dogs, being left at home alone proves to be a very challenging experience. These are dogs that labor under separation anxiety. Depending on the personality of a particular dog, the level of anxiety experienced when an owner leaves can be relatively moderate and not particularly long lasting to overwhelming.
A dog owner needs to understand more specifically what does happen when a dog is left at home alone, particularly when a canine does suffer from separation. By having a better understanding of the ways in which a dog may react to an owner’s absence, that human companion is place in a better position to address a canine companion’s issues.
Your Dog and Separation Anxiety
Dogs are social animals. Indeed, they are very social animals. If your dog had his or her way, he or she would like nothing better than being with you around the clock, 24 hours a day. As mentioned a moment ago, if you are like most people, you simply cannot spend all of your time with your dog at your side.
When you leave your home, when you leave your pooch alone, your canine is very likely to experience at least some separation anxiety. If your dog is prone to experiencing separation anxiety when you leave the residence, your pooch may engage in what can fairly be summarized as “bad behavior.” Your dog may cause damage in your home. Your dog may behave in such a way that the animal disturbs the neighbors.
There are tactics that you can employ to keep your dog calmer when you leave your residence. One simply step you can take is to take your dog for a walk before you leave home. You could also consider playing a game of fetch with your dog.
Playing with your dog, or taking your dog for a walk, before you leave home addresses separation anxiety issues on two levels. First, the physical activity will tire your dog out and reduce anxiety. Second, physical activity will also impact your dog’s brain chemistry, making your pooch feel better and less prone to anxiety.
The First Few Minutes After Your Departure
Whether or not your pooch is prone to separation anxiety, nearly all dogs have negative feelings after you initially depart your home. During the first few minutes, a majority of dogs will fret. They will whine or howl, depending on the severity of their negative response to separation from an owner.
Fortunately, most dogs do calm down at least someone after the initial few minutes following an owner’s departure. There are canines that do not calm down after an owner’s initial departure.
30 Minutes After Your Departure
Many dogs do calm down, at least to some degree, at the 30 minute milestone. However, this is not always the case. Dogs that are more anxious, dogs that likely do have separation anxiety, will continue to pine for their owner after this time period passes. Dogs that are highly anxious will become even more agitated. These canines may even vomit, defecate, or urinate. In some particular extreme situations, a terribly anxious dog will even try to harm his or her self.
After an Hour from Your Departure
At the hour mark, and for the next few hours, the manner in which a dog responds to being left along depends on his or her personality. Canines that are already predisposed to being anxious can spend hours pacing, waiting for their owners to return.
An expert in the field of canine behavior from the University of Bristol, reports that there are dogs who suffer from separation anxiety that simply will not calm down at all when their owner is gone. These animals will become so tired that they will attempt to rest. However, because they are so anxious, they will rest for a matter of a minute or two and then be back up, pacing in an agitated state. These animals will only calm down when their owners return home.
Jessica Kane is a writer for Handicapped Pets, your most trusted source for dog wheelchairs and harnesses.