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Helping you

Separation anxiety in dogs

Seperation

Often referred to as separation anxiety, separation related behaviour (SRB) is behaviour that only occurs when the dog is separated from their owner and in many cases is because they are feeling distressed. Telltale indicators include destructive behaviour, unwanted toileting or reports of howling/barking.

Other signs may not always be obvious (you won't be there to hear whining or see pacing). Taking the time to check for these signs by filming your dog when home alone will help you reveal any potential issues (even if you don't believe there to be any).

In fact, research suggests that 8 out of 10 of dogs will find it hard to cope when left alone, but half of these won't show any obvious signs, so it can be very easy for owners to miss. The good news though is that SRB is preventable.

Signs and symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs

You may know the obvious signs of separation anxiety in dogs, such as destroying furniture or barking, but did you know that there are other signs that you may be missing? Returning to a dog who is really happy to see you doesn't mean that he or she hasn't been suffering silently while you've been out...

The most common behavioural signs of separation anxiety in dogs are:

Other less frequent signs (that can be more easily missed) include:

  • Trembling, whining or pacing
  • Excessive salivation
  • Self-mutilation
  • Repetitive behaviour 
  • Vomiting

How to tell that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety and not another issue

One of the main differentiating features between separation-related behaviour and other behavioural disorders with similar signs is that the behaviour is in response to the owner leaving and is displayed soon after their departure. Normally starting within 30 minutes, and often, within the first few minutes.

Even if you think your dog is happy left alone, every once in a while check for 'hidden' signs that your dog may be distressed by filming your pet whilst you're out.

Teach Your Dog It's Okay To Be Left Alone - Download

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We are primarily self-funding and the money we spend in York is raised in York and Harrogate and surrounding areas. Income is also generated by our charity shops in Goodramgate, York, Acomb and Selby.

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RSPCA York, Harrogate & District Branch

RSPCA York Animal Home
Landing Lane, YORK
YO26 4RH

Telephone: 01904 654949Our reception area is only fully manned during our opening hours, as our staff are attending to animal welfare the rest of the time.

Email: reception@rspca-yorkhome.org.uk

Opening times:
Monday - Wednesday, Friday - Sunday 11:00 - 15:00Please note that the York Animal Home is closed all day Thursday. The York Animal Home is also closed on the first Thursday of every month for staff training.

RSPCA York ShopRSPCA YorkCharity ShopGBPMonday to Saturday 9:00am - 4:30pm Sunday 10:00am - 4:00pm
5B, Goodramgate, York
Telephone: 01904 466140

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43 York Road, Acomb
Telephone: 01904 788616

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3 New Lane, Selby
Telephone: 01757 707100

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