What if my dog shows signs of distress when I am away?

Jun 12, 2020

What if my dog shows signs of distress when I am away?

by Dr. Debra F. Horwitz | Behavior Bits

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As we mentioned in the previous Behavior Bit called “A little practice goes a long way: plan ahead to go back to work”, pay close attention to any signs or clues of anxiety when practicing your departures as these may be possible signs of separation anxiety. Signs or clues to look for may include panting or pacing, barking or whining and even destruction of household items. If you think your dog may be in distress when you are away, try to videotape to ensure a more clear diagnosis with your veterinarian.

In a drug trial that was performed to test a treatment designed to help dogs specifically with separation anxiety, the most common symptoms noted when dogs were left alone were vocalization (barking or whining), house soiling (regardless of how long the dog was alone) and destruction. Barking, whining or howling were noted in many dogs. Some people did notice that their dog vocalized when they left but were unaware of how long that lasted unless they had video evidence of the ongoing barking or howling. In the coming releases, we break down the different types of barking, which will lend clues to what may be going on with your dog when you’re away.”

About the Author

Dr. Debra F. Horwitz
  • Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists
  • 2012 recipient of the Veterinarian of the Year
  • NAVC 2012 and NAVC 2014 Small Animal Speaker of the Year

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