Dogs in particular can develop separation anxiety through a change in schedule. This can come about when the dog becomes used to seeing their owners all day, and then suddenly they are gone for eight hours every day at school.
Symptoms of Separation Anxiety
Pets suffering from separation anxiety can display some of the following symptoms when left alone:
~ urinating and defecating
~ barking and howling
~ chewing or digging – destruction of household
~ escaping from where confined when left alone, or separated from guardian.
~ pacing in a fixed pattern when separated
~ Coprophagia, when the dog defecates and consumes all or some of their excrement.
If these actions are done out of separation anxiety, they typically are not performed in front of the guardian.
There are various ways to help your pet deal with the new routine. Ensure your pet gets lots of exercise, try to reduce the “big goodbyes” when the kids leave for school, and make sure you stick to a daily schedule – dogs love routine!
For more tips on overcoming separation anxiety, read our blog: How to Help a Pet with Separation Anxiety.