As COVID restrictions lift, many people are returning to work for the firsttime in months, which may cause their dogs separation anxiety.

Dr. Anne Quain, Veterinarian and lecturer at University of Sydney School ofVeterinary Science is especially concerned about puppies adopted during thepandemic who may never have spent time away from their owner.

“Not only do dogs suffer from separation anxiety – their owners and evenneighbours can bear the brunt of this distress.”

Signs of separation anxiety include vocalising excessively when alone,destroying furniture etc, trying to escape, salivating, and urinating ordefecating in the house.

Dr. Quain said owners should try to avoid making the first time they leave forthe entire day, and not to punish dogs for acting out due to their anxiety.

“Dogs should never be punished for their separation anxiety symptoms.Punishment is likely to worsen symptoms and may lead to additional behaviourproblems.”

One new owner who is anxious about leaving her dog is Ms Shehana Darda-Teixeira, who adopted a two-year-old Cavoodle during lockdown in February lastyear, and since then has spent most of his time with someone in the familyaround him.

“We’ve obviously left him on his own for short periods of time at variousstages, but it’s been a very long time since he’s spent a whole day on hisown. He can’t cope when one of us walks away from ‘the pack’ when he’s around(he’ll start crying). While I’m excited about life getting back to normal, I’mworried about how he’ll fare when we’re all out for the day.”

Tagged: covid-19, Puppies, Separation anxiety

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