How to treat separation anxiety in dogs

The lack of habituation of the dog to be alone and the excessive attachment to its owner are the two most important causes of separation anxiety. As we showed in the article in which the keys are given to know if a dog has separation anxiety, the process is characterized by the destruction caused by the dog at home when it is alone and by the exaggerated reception it gives its owners to arrive. In this .com article we explain how to treat separation anxiety in dogs .

Do not reinforce the problem

As it has been said, when the owners arrive at the house, the reception of the dog tends to be excessively affectionate, sometimes reaching a micturition of emotion.

It is very important not to get carried away by the situation and comfort or give great signs of affection to the dog at this time, as the situation worsens. Some authors recommend ignoring the dog until it has calmed down.

On the other hand, before leaving the owners of the house the animal shows clear signs of anguish. In this case, you should not comfort the dog or say goodbye to him.

Change routines

Generally, when we leave home, we do it at the same times and, before doing so, we carry out the same actions: take the keys, the telephone, the wallet, etc. The animal detects these signals and begins to feel anxious.

For this reason, breaking this routine is convenient. This can be achieved, for example, by making short exits at unexpected times, as we will see later, taking the keys even if we are not going to leave, etc.

Habituate the dog to isolation

Make progressively longer outings, and not always at the same time, without passing anything bad between and without punishing the animal to get home for the damage that could have caused, or comfort, is quite useful to get the dog habituated to isolation and treat your separation anxiety.


Providing an enriched environment to the animal when it is alone is highly beneficial.

For this, toys that can introduce food inside are very useful, since it takes a while to extract the dog to eat it, or artificial bones that may be gnawing for hours. In practically any veterinarian and pet store you can find this type of products. For dogs with anxiety it is highly recommended to buy a toy called Kong, which can bite and allows you to put treats or food inside.

On the other hand, leave the television, the radio on or recreate with clothes and hangers a doll that simulates the owner, although they are not counterproductive, they are usually ineffective.

The psychopharmaceuticals

Some medications such as tricyclic antidepressants or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been shown to be highly effective.

Obviously, they must be prescribed by a veterinarian, and are used in the most serious cases that can not be solved only with the previous measures or in the initial stages accompanied by the previous techniques.