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Why do dogs have separation anxiety?

Updated on July 5, 2009

Dogs are considered to be man’s best friend. These loyal and affectionate animals are highly valued by humans. Dogs are the best cared for pets. In the wild these dogs have to hunt in order to survive. They bed in grasses or in caves. They have to constantly battle with their predators. Needless to say, dog in the wild have to weather the varied temperatures. Since dogs were domesticated, they are regularly provided with food, allowed to stay in temperature controlled homes and even allowed to share the bed of the master. Dogs are well loved creatures. Would it be surprising if these animals suffer from anxiety when separated from the people that not only provide them with care and comfort but love them as well?

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The nature of a dog

Dogs are pack animals. In the wild, wolves, the dog’s ancestors, stay together, hunt together, eat together and sleep together. Domesticated dogs view the human family as its pack. Because dogs are social animals they would want to be made a part of the family’s activities. Dogs never want to be alone as when they are left alone they suffer from separation anxiety.

The dog’s separation anxiety

Dogs get closely attached to the family. Some breeds though would bond closely with one family member. The dog would follow the favorite person around and acts like a shadow. It would really be quite amusing as the dog that seems to be sleeping in a corner would immediately scamper when the master leaves the room. The dog would never want to leave the favorite person out of its sight. When the dog is left alone all day, the separation anxiety of the dog will rear its ugly head. The dog will incessantly bark and disturb neighbors, would turn into a destructive monster that will destroy things in the house.

The vet’s assistance

Humans with psychological problems enlist the help of a shrink. It would be a good idea to take the dog to a vet. The vet would rule out medical concerns and may prescribe medications to ease the separation anxiety of the pet.

Get another dog/provide the pet with toys

Leave the dog toys it can play with while it is alone in the house. Getting a new dog is another option. The dogs will keep each other company and both will not suffer from separation anxiety.


Take the dog for a walk before you leave the house. It is hoped that the physical activity will tire out the dog so that it would be calm and sleep while you are not home.

Tips for Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Doberman Separation Anxiety


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    • lschartman profile image


      7 years ago from Maui

      I recently learned from the behaviorists at Animal Behavior Associates that crates are contraindicated for dogs with severe separation anxiety, because confinement actually makes them more anxious. I'm discussing this issue on my page.

    • Lanieniven profile image


      9 years ago from Sunny Scotland

      Very good Hub, enjoyed it


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