What to Do About Dog Separation Anxiety

Dogs anxiety is something you become aware of the first time you leave your pet at home by himself when you go to work, run errands, or just to get the mail. Every dog is different when it comes to how well they cope when you are away. Your dog may suffer from separation anxiety if:

The behaviour happens soon after you leave and if you leave for both short and long periods of time.

  • Your dog follows you from room to room when you are home.
  • Your dog seems anxious, excited, or depressed when you are getting ready to leave.
  • You get a frantic greeting when you are back.

 Treating Minor Separation Anxiety

Do not make a big deal out of departures and arrivals to minimize dog separation anxiety. Try ignoring your dog for the first few minutes after coming home and then calmly pet him. You can leave your dog a piece of your clothing that smells like you, such as a t-shirt you slept in but whatever you choose, make sure you are OK with your dog laying on it.

There are over-the-counter calming products available that may help reduce separation anxiety in dogs. It is best to speak with your vet and see if they recommend this depending on your personal situation and dog.

 Treating Major Separation Anxiety

Create a “safe place” for your dog to stay in while you are out of the house so the destruction is limited to one room. However, do not strictly confine your dog to a tiny area. Instead, let the room have distractions, such as a window and busy toys.

Ask your vet about drug therapy to learn about good anti-anxiety drugs that relax your dog but does not sedate him. Until your dog learns how to cope, ask a friend or neighbor to care for your dog while you are out or bring your dog to a doggy day-care. Even better, take your dog to work with you if at all possible!


 Dog Beds for Pets, a website with helpful dog tips, gives pet owners helpful information regarding separation anxiety. Other information dog owners can find includes dog health and helpful tips for other pets, such as ferret care and how to go on vacation with your pet.