Curing dog separation anxiety: how to treat separation anxiety in dogs (quickly)

Curing dog separation anxiety is not easy, but it can be done. Here is a detailed guide on how to quickly treat separation anxiety in dogs.
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Treating separation anxiety in dogs involves identifying the common symptoms and signs. Most of the time, people confuse the symptoms of bad manners with separation anxiety.

Chewing, biting and digging, or escaping can be considered bad manners.

If your dog is not behaving well, you can help them learn to behave better. But for separation anxiety, you need to take corrective actions, use medicine or measures to keep your dog calm.

Aggression and anxiety also badly affect the health of your dog. 

The following sections will help you to fix separation anxiety in dogs quickly and have a happy relationship.

What Is Separation Anxiety in Dogs?

Curing dog separation anxiety quickly – how to treat separation anxiety in dogs

Separation anxiety is an anxiety disorder in which dogs become anxious when they are separated from the people they are attached to, such as their human parents or caretakers.

Separation anxiety is a type of anxiety disorder in dogs, which is characterized by a dog experiencing distress, agitation and anxiety when the owner is not at home, or when they are about to leave the house. Whining, barking, crying, destructive behavior, urinating and/or defecating indoors, are just a few of the symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs.

A dog suffering from separation anxiety will show the following symptoms when the owner leaves or tries to leave. 

  • Barking right after the owner departs
  • Scratching the windows and doors
  • Continuous howling
  • Defecating and eating the excrement
  • Urinating in the wrong place
  • Chewing around exit points
  • Destroying toys
  • Drooling

The process of overcoming separation anxiety in dogs will help your dog be calm and comfortable when separated from you.

Here you will help your dog enjoy the time apart or at least accept your departure.

10 Common Signs & Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Dogs

How to treat minor separation anxiety in dogs

The most common separation anxiety signs and symptoms in dogs are:

  1. Urinating
  2. Defecating
  3. Barking 
  4. Howling
  5. Chewing
  6. Digging
  7. Destruction
  8. Escaping
  9. Pacing
  10. Coprophagia

These ten signs are classified into six groups.

1. Defecating and Urinating

When dogs don’t urinate and poop in the assigned places, it is considered bad behavior. It is separation anxiety when the parent leaves the house, and in agitation, dogs urinate and defecate in the wrong place. However, if they do this notorious act when the parent is in the house, you cannot call it separation anxiety. 

2. Barking and Howling

When separation anxiety attacks, dogs will howl and bark. The main difference here is that any stimuli will not trigger the howling and barking. When the dog starts barking or howling for some extended time in your absence, well, this is your cue. 

3. Destruction Through Chewing and Digging

Chewing and destroying are mostly associated with a dog that is demonstrating bad behavior. The main difference between separation anxiety and bad behavior is the owner. It is separation anxiety when the dog chews and digs up different areas and places only when in the owner’s absence. 

You have to be very careful about this symptom as it will lead to them getting injured and bruised. They could get broken teeth, nails, and cuts on their paws.

You must learn how to cure separation anxiety in dogs right away. Try to ensure the safety and health of your furball mentally and physically as quickly as possible. 

4. Escaping

One of the most important things to do if your dog has separation anxiety is to provide them with a safe, secure place to go when they need it. It’s possible that your dog can’t control their reactions to being left alone. They may be so worried about not having any people nearby that they try to escape. A dog crate can help solve this problem.

5. Pacing

This is quite a strange symptom, and when you understand it, you will feel mercy on these souls. The agitated dog will walk in a particular pattern on the same path. Or anywhere it finds the space to do the drill. An agitated dog suffering from separation anxiety will walk in a circle, step back and forth, or walk on a long path again and again. 

6. Coprophagia

A classic sign of separation anxiety is coprophagia, which is the consumption of their own excrement. A dog suffering from separation anxiety will never eat their own excrement in front of their owner. In most normal cases, dogs usually don’t do this act, but separation anxiety makes them do it in the absence of a parent.

What Causes Separation Anxiety in Dogs: 6 Most Common Reasons

how to quickly treat separation anxiety in dogs

How to treat separation anxiety in dogs will lead you towards finding the cause. There are no scientific pieces of evidence of what causes separation anxiety in dogs. But still, several different cases and owners’ stories will help you understand why dogs suffer from this issue. 

These most common causes will help you understand the effect of separation anxiety on your best pal. 

  1. Change of owner
  2. Change in family
  3. Change in schedule
  4. Medical condition
  5. Change in residence
  6. New pet or family member

Let’s explore them one by one:

1. Change of Owner

The dog will suffer most when their guardian or owner has changed due to unavoidable circumstances. A dog is a loyal and faithful creature, and they want to spend their entire lifetime with the same parent. If there is a change in ownership and the old guardian is no longer there, the poor soul will suffer emotionally. This emotional trauma will make them suffer from separation anxiety. 

2. Change in Family

If there is a change in the family because a family member has to leave. This event single-handedly is enough for the dog to develop separation anxiety. Break-ups, separation, and children going to high school in another city can affect dogs the most. 

3. Change in Schedule

When the parent usually spends most of the time at home, and suddenly there is a change in the schedule, this is unbearable for the dog. A canine will be confused about this sudden absenteeism and will take it very seriously. This condition will also lead to separation anxiety. 

4. Medical Condition

A disease or decline in dogs’ health will make them covet the owner’s love the most. When they don`t get what they want from the owner, the result is notorious anxiety. 

5. Change in Residence

Home is a symbol of protection, peace, and love for dogs. A change in residence will make them confused, and it could lead to separation anxiety. The presence of the parent will help, but the anxiety will still be evident. 

6. New Pet or Family Member

When there is a new pet or addition to the family, it creates distrust in your best buddy. The new baby or new pet will win all of your attention, and the dog will suffer like when humans find rivalry in siblings.

Dog Separation Anxiety: Quick Treatment

These quick treatments will help you manage separation anxiety. But according to the experts, they are not a long-term remedy. If the dog’s condition remains the same even after these measures, it is time to call the expert.

The following measures are scientifically proven in soothing and calming your dog. 

1. Treats and Supplements 

These treats and supplements help to quickly cure dog separation anxiety quickly. When you leave the house or go somewhere, you can offer these treats to keep your dog comfortable. These supplements are loaded with vitamins, nutrients, and calming agents to calm the dog. And then the departure will not create the chain reaction of agitation and anxiety to make them suffer. 

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2. Music

If you are looking for how to overcome separation anxiety in dogs, this is the right pick. Music has a soothing effect on humans and dogs, and it helps a lot in making them comfortable right away. You can ask the guardian to play music or sit with your dog to enjoy your favorite tracks. Soft rock and reggae are scientifically proven to provide relief for separation anxiety in dogs. 

3. Hemp Oil

From this you get to provide them with quick relief from separation anxiety. Hemp oil also offers various other benefits. A few drops directly to the mouth or by adding to food can have miraculous effects. You can relieve their joint pain and make them comfortable during injury.

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“King Kalm CBD” is a natural cannabidiol oil that is professionally formulated with cannabis extract as the major active constituent (600mg). The composition also contains small percentages of Krill oil, DHA 2, Copaiba oil, fiber, fat, and protein. It is usually recommended for pets who suffer from anxiety, noise discomfort, and inflammation. 

  • It is a purely natural product and composed of natural and organic ingredients, so there will be no side effects on your dog’s health.
  • Has a calming effect to help hyperactive dogs relax and sleep.
  • It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • Recommended for pets who suffer from anxiety, noise discomfort, and inflammation.
  • Lab-tested by a third party that eliminates any uncertainty about quality and promises reliability.
  • It is made in the US which helps to ensure compliance with quality control procedures.
  • It is not for all dogs. The composition of this product is dedicated to anxious dogs who are in discomfort. So professional advice is needed before starting this supplement.
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4. Powdered Supplements

If your dog refuses all of the chewable treats, you are left with the option of powdered supplements. The soothing agents help your dog stay comfortable and fight separation anxiety with ease. The powder texture is easy to pour on wet and dry food without leaving a trace of an addition. 

5. Anti-Anxiety Clothing

The type of clothing that provides mild pressure to the canine chest also helps relieve separation anxiety. Anti-anxiety clothing has proven to be helpful in various researches. Vets and experts suggest these vests to owners for providing quick relief to a dog suffering from separation anxiety.  

6. Massaging and Brushing

You know yourself just how much a massage relaxes you. The same goes for pets as well. When you give a massage and brush to your dogs, you are making them comfortable right away. Your touch, presence, and love through massage and brushing will make them feel comfortable. Their brain will release calming chemicals, and this quality time will help them a lot.

How to Treat Minor Separation Anxiety in Dogs

What causes separation anxiety in dogs

Minor separation anxiety is the situation where your dog has started to show mild symptoms, yet the mental health of your canine buddy is quite near to normal. Mild separation anxiety can easily be cured with the help of counterconditioning. You don’t need to go to the vet or call experts to do this.

Counterconditioning is the process where you condition some fearful activity with a happy event or thing. This conditioning involves making your dog believe that this frightening act is a cue for getting a happy treat or activity. 

For treating mild separation anxiety, experts suggest that you use a fun feeder with treats. When you are about to leave the house, offer treats and tasty food to your dog from this slow feeder that will keep them engaged. This happy and healthy engagement will help your dog come out of minor separation anxiety within weeks. 

How to Treat Severe Separation Anxiety in Dogs

When your dog is suffering from mild to severe separation anxiety, they will show you the following two spells of anxiety:

  1. Pre-departure anxiety 
  2. Post-departure anxiety

Pre-departure Anxiety

This involves your dog understanding the cues and then starting to get agitated when you start preparing to leave the house for a job, the office, or some other routine. The dog will take the cues as make-up going on, coat, specific shoes, and picking up car keys.

The simple method of doing these things at random times without leaving the house will confuse the dog, and you will have fewer tantrums before your departure. 

Post-departure Anxiety

This is the later part where your dog starts chewing, digging, or destroying the area along with other symptoms. It isn’t easy to manage, but you can do it all by yourself or call an expert to handle it. You can start by making your dog stay alone in a separate room. 

Take your dog to the bathroom and say “stay” or “sit” and close the door. Come back again within a few seconds. You must keep increasing the time to get the work done. When you have taken the absent time to a few minutes, offer some treats when you come back. 

Repeat the process, and you will be able to make them comfortable and calm when you stay absent for a long time. If things don’t go well, call an expert and follow their instructions.

How to Prevent a Dog From Getting Separation Anxiety

quick treatment for dog separation anxiety

Following acts and procedures will help you save your dog from separation anxiety:

  • Socialization 
  • Crate training
  • Music and exercise
  • Mock departure routine
  • Offering treats in slow food dispensers at departure time
  • Teach them how to be alone
  • Offer them hide and seek toys
  • Mental enrichment exercises

Crate Training to Avoid Dog Separation Anxiety

Make the crate a haven for your dog. Crate training should start from a few minutes and then extend to hours. A crate allows dogs to stay comfortable and relaxed in a confined place. When the dog is out in the open space and has nothing to do, the separation anxiety will make them do notorious things. 

Start crate training with mock departure drills. The crate training for your dog will help them stay comfortable even if you leave. Put your dog in the crate, pick up your keys, open the garage and start the car. Come back to the house again and if your dog is banging on the wall, pay no attention. 

When you mock the departing routine, and the dog stays normal, wave at them and smile. Your dog will understand that the crate is a good thing, and that you will come back to them eventually.

Does CBD Help Dogs With Separation Anxiety?

Humans are using Cannabidiol or Hemp to treat anxiety and pain. It is scientifically proven that cannabis oil is helpful in various ways, and there is no getting high because the THC or tetrahydrocannabinol has no anesthetic features.

Vets and experts are using CBD oil to treat separation anxiety successfully. The endocannabinoid system releases chemicals in both humans and dogs to stabilize mood. And the use of Hemp oil increases this chemical in the body to ward off separation anxiety, allowing us to live a happy life.

Premium & Natural CBD Oil
KING KALM™ 600MG - CBD Oil With Powerful Natural Constituents

“King Kalm CBD” is a natural cannabidiol oil that is professionally formulated with cannabis extract as the major active constituent (600mg). The composition also contains small percentages of Krill oil, DHA 2, Copaiba oil, fiber, fat, and protein. It is usually recommended for pets who suffer from anxiety, noise discomfort, and inflammation. 

Relieve your dog’s stress & discomfort
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Can Separation Anxiety in Dogs Be Cured?

The simple answer is yes; you can cure it. But depending on the condition of the dog, it might take weeks or months to cure the dog from being agitated and anxious by your departure. 

What Can I Do to Reduce Anxiety at The Time of Departure?

You can use positive reinforcement to endow calming behavior at the time of departure. Use stay and sit down commands and go to other rooms to make them comfortable. When you leave home, use as few words as possible to reduce the anxiety associated with your departure.

How Do I Comfort My Dog With Anxiety?

You can take any single action from the following or use a combination to comfort your dog suffering from anxiety:

– Exercise 
– Physical Contact
– Massage
– Music Therapy
– Calming treats and supplements

How Can I Teach My Dog to Accept My Departures?

You can use formal retraining to make them understand the cures. Train them to be in the crate, in bed, or on their mat when you leave the house. These cues will help them stay calm and comfortable even after your departure.

What Do Vets Give Dogs for Separation Anxiety?

In the United States, vets mainly prescribe clomipramine (Clomicalm®) and fluoxetine (Prozac®) for separation anxiety in dogs.


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The answer to the question of how to treat separation anxiety in dogs is easy and understandable.

Curing dog separation anxiety requires you to quickly use calming treats and supplements. You can also take help from Hemp oil and anti-anxiety clothing. But if the symptoms remain persistent, going to an expert must always be the preferable option for you.

If you wait for a little, you will end up getting an injured dog from excessive chewing and digging.

Paws up for sharing this dog-related article!
Housam Ayouni
Housam Ayouni

I am a professional in the field of canine behavior and care with many years of experience. Through my dog blog, which has reached over one million dog owners, I offer practical tips and guidance to support dog owners in creating strong, positive relationships with their pets and promoting the well-being and happiness of all dogs. My goal is to help dog owners create a harmonious and fulfilling life with their furry companions.

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