Definition of Separation Anxiety
Dogs that are left alone or separated from their special people for prolonged periods of time can develop separation anxiety. What causes this condition isn’t really known, although it probably has a hereditary component. Dogs that are abused, neglected or confined in small quarters are more likely to get separation anxiety. Some people speculate that dogs with this disorder are poorly trained, spoiled or suffering from being an “only child,” but there is no verifiable evidence that any of these conditions are the culprit. Dogs with separation anxiety become agitated and panicked when they are by themselves. They bark, whine and can become destructive. They may urinate or defecate in the house, chew on furniture, walls or carpeting, dig, pace, cower and/or scratch themselves to the point of self-injury. Separation anxiety is understandably frustrating for owners. It also takes a huge mental and physical toll on the affected animal.