Remedies for Dogs With Separation Anxiety

April 12, 2005

Dog With Separation AnxietyI thought the tips about calming puppies were awesome! I, too, have worked with dogs a lot, not in fostering, but I have been a groomer and worked for 2 vets. We own two adult dogs who can have some separation anxiety problems when we are away from home on vacations and such.


We have a very reliable person come 4 times each day that we are gone to care for them, but they still seem to go through some tough times so we have started leaving the radio on the entire time we are gone. It doesn't use that much electricity and it's nice not to come home to the after affects of severe separation anxiety!

By Robin

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 162 Posts
June 23, 2015

My dog had severe separation anxiety when we adopted him. His loving owner doted on him until the husband broke his hip, was taken away by medics in an ambulance and had to move into a nursing home that would not take large dogs.

Mason and Mario in House

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December 28, 2007

A friend had picked up this new CD that's out, made just for pet separation anxiety. She said it calmed her dog significantly - plus, she said she really liked the instrumental music as well.


It's called 'Mood Music for Dogs' (And Dog Lovers) 'Gone for a Walk'.

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November 10, 2012

I have a 6 month old Golden/Lab. She is very friendly. We started out just leaving her out when there was no one home. We would put a gate up to prevent her going up the stairs. We have two other dogs and they are both smaller then her. We would come home and the house would be destroyed and the gate would be down from her jumping over it.

So then we got a crate to put her in. We thought it would be better. It wasn't. She manages to move the crate a least three feet from where we left it. She even managed to get the smallest dog's bed in the crate. I don't know how she did that. She ended up breaking the crate. There is no point in her staying in. She's even busted out of it several times before breaking it.


Then we got her fixed at 5 months. We were hoping she would settle down a little bit, but the next day after being fixed, she would jump around and jump over two gates high when we try to block her from going up the stairs. I spoke to the veterinarian and they suggested to put a Thunder shirt on her. It calms her down just a little bit, but not enough. I do not even know how many shoes she tore up, as well as my mom's childhood books.

She is in training right now though. I talked to the trainer and she suggested to spray ammonia on the stuff we she tries to chew up. Please if you have any suggestions even if you may seem like it's stupid I would love advice. I would not consider it stupid. I just don't know what to do. Please help. I really do not want to do it, but if I have to I would have to get rid of her. :( I think light crates and gates are out of the question, though.


By Lauren

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October 6, 2017

I recently adopted my dog, Gambit, from an animal shelter. They found him with his mum and litter mates when he was around 12 weeks old. He is now supposedly around 7-9 months old. When I first brought him home, he would cower and hide from everyone and any noises. I'd sit under the table with him and pet him, with the hopes of calming him down. He would hardly eat during the first week, then on the second week I had some issues come up and he had to stay at my aunt's, now he spastically pees, is very rambunctious, and freaks out if I or my aunt get out of his sight.

Helping a Stressed Rescue Dog

I got a kennel for him, and he seems to take that better than having free range, but he still has all these other issues and I'm worried for him. Also, I kept his name the same as the shelter, but he doesn't seem to know it? That's very concerning to me because, he's almost a year old and yet he didn't get enough human interaction to learn his name? I also have to relocate him again. He's coming to live with me at school as an ESA. I'm scared all this moving is gonna mess with him.

Helping a Stressed Rescue Dog


October 6, 20170 found this helpful
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I think he will be fine, he will still be with you and you will be there to help him adjust to his new environment. As far as the peeing goes, puppies outgrow their bladder rather quickly and sometimes when they get to excited they will pee accidentally. The key thing to remember is anytime they have been asleep the very first thing they will do when they get up is pee, so if you take them outside every time they will get into that habit and as they grow older will be able to hold it for longer periods of time so you won't have to take them out as often.


But if they are under a year old your going to be taking them out about every 3 hours. Thats just been my experience.

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November 1, 2015

I have a 10 month old puppy that has separation anxiety. I just rescued her 3 months ago. We have 3 other dogs that are older than her. She has eaten every dog cot we had along with an entire couch and she pees and poops when we are gone and when we go to bed even though she can go out 24/7.

They all go into a very large area in the basement at night and when we leave. I take them all out the regular door regularly when I'm home because she won't go out on her own the way the others do and she will just pee in the house instead of telling me she has to go. I love her, but this needs to stop or my husband is going to divorce me.


November 3, 20151 found this helpful
Best Answer

This seems like just plain anxiety, not really separation anxiety.
Your dog sounds like the omega in the pack. She doesn't want to go out when the others do. When you take her out you empower her, but as the low dog on the totem pole she feels unwelcome otherwise going where the others do.


You already have three dogs. What made you decide to take on another? In the wild, an unrelated puppy would not be allowed to join an already established pack. The puppy would be run off or possibly killed since the dominant female did not give birth to it. The dogs are only tolerating it because you say so, but it certainly feels the stress of not belonging.

Perhaps your puppy would be happier in a home with no other dogs, or a very elderly one.
Trying to provide a home for a rescue is admirable, but it needs to be the right home for the right dog. This doesn't seem like a good match to me.

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August 11, 2009

What to do about a previously abused dog who has bad separation anxiety?

By lois lennox from Wilm, DE


August 11, 20090 found this helpful

I'm going to assume that you inherited/rescued this dog - and I applaud your efforts! First of all, I would STRONGLY suggest investing in an appropriate size of dog crate for it, if you haven't gotten one already. A lot of times, half the separation anxiety is due to feeling vulnerable without their pack/person (also, if they're destructive in their anxiety, this will help protect your belongings!).

It will also help establish a 'going away' routine - the dog won't worry if you're going to leave them at any given moment, they'll know the signals for when it's time. I don't know if it necessarily helps, but I make sure to say goodbye and 'I'll be back!' before I leave. Dogs are pretty smart, after all. :)

Another thing you can do to ease your dog's anxiety is establish a very stable schedule. This helps the dog to learn that you WILL come back, and can expect you. I've found feeding the dog in their kennel at mealtime helps build a positive association with the kennel. I also give my dog treats when I put him in to reinforce that.

It won't be fast, and it won't be easy to listen to, but it WILL go away if you are gentle, calm and consistent.

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August 12, 20090 found this helpful

I would try leaving the dog first for short periods of time. Leave him/her for 5 minutes and then return. Do this a few times in one day and gradually work up to 10 minutes and so on. If you have a web cam you can keep it running to see how the dog is responding each time. This is how I had to deal with my GSD pup. And when you leave tell the dog "Daddy/Mommy has to go to work" and the dog won't expect you back for a long time. If you are leaving for a short while, tell the dog that "you will be right back." They know what you are saying. They are amazing.

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August 12, 20090 found this helpful

I agree with finchonce, but I would add that if you put your dog in a wire crate, as opposed to an enclosed vinyl one, he might feel safer if you put a towel or blanket over the top to give the crate a more den-like feeling. We give our dogs treats right before we leave, and tell them to "watch the house". It's a routine they seem to enjoy.

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August 12, 20090 found this helpful

I used to board dogs for the Humane Society. Had a lot of abused dogs with separation anxiety. I would suggest that if you go the crate route you find something that you or someone in your family has worn that is old (it may get chewed up) and has a LOT of body odor. Putting that into the crate seems to calm them down a lot. Lots of luck - it will take time.

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August 13, 20090 found this helpful

It's very helpful to get the dog a Kong toy and fill the inside, around the edges, with peanut butter, then keep it in the freezer. (Don't overdo the peanut butter unless you have a large dog). Give this to the dog right before you leave, and it will keep him busy and happy for quite a while licking the peanut butter out of that Kong. Also, a favorite stuffed toy to cuddle is always good.
Good luck and Bless you for taking in an abused dog. He needs much TLC and understanding for a while.

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August 13, 20090 found this helpful

Oh, I swear by the ComfortZone diffuser. That thing is amazing. Just plug it in by the dog's crate. It reminds them of the smell of the mama dog. You can get it at any pet store for about $30. You can usually order them online for a little less. Check out They have a wonderful spray called "Pet Calming Spray." It's very inexpensive and works really well. It lasts from 6 to 8 hours.

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August 13, 20090 found this helpful

I don't know if you would want to do it, but we got another little dog to keep our sweetie company. That seemed to calm him down. He would still get anxious once in a while and run behind the couch when we were leaving, but his distructive behaviour of pulling on the curtians at the window stopped for good.

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August 17, 20090 found this helpful

Try playing with the dog each time you are leaving him, to tire him, running, fetch etc. Then leave him something to chew on and or a treat or two. Please try and ensure when you return you always give him a treat and cuddle or play for even a few minutes. Hopefully this way he associates your going and coming with happy things.

I have a little doggie, and when I return, first thing I pick him up and cuddle and play him so he has some time with me.

I must confess this is one of my worries too, and I am still working on it. As mine is a small spoilt brat recently acquired I think it is due to his having someone to be with him most of the time.

I do applaud and take hats off to the kind generous people who take in abused and stray animals. May God bless you and all others who treat animals with love and care.

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August 19, 2013

I have two Pit Bulls, Honey is a fully grown Pit Bull 11 years old, and Blaze that is 6 years old. Everytime we leave they tend to destroy the house! We can't ever come home without having to clean up a mess. We have tried to put a gate up, but my 6 year old always tends to find a way out. We even tried to put the dinner table against it and he still finds a way out.

They were never trained, I have no idea why. My brother was the owner, but he moved out and left them here. We need a solution because it's so embarrassing having company over and having to make them wait and have to clean. I have given up, I need help!

By Brianna Q.

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January 7, 2017

I started fostering a black Lab/Boxer/Pit Bull mix 3 weeks ago. I believe she has separation anxiety which has been causing me anxiety throughout my day at work. She can tell when I'm getting ready for work and she follows me from room to room and when I'm just sitting watching TV she makes sure she is right next to me or on top of me. Rescue Dog Poops Inside When Left Alone - Izzy lying down


I've tried to make it less noticeable when I'm getting ready to leave for work by waiting until I have her locked in the bedroom before putting my shoes and coat on. But she's a pretty smart dog and she knows when I'm about to leave and she tries her very best to not go into the bedroom. I leave the TV on for her and a sound maker. She cries for a while and eventually gives up, but lately her crying has been louder and lasting longer. Since I got her 3 weeks ago, almost every day I have come home to poop on the floor in the bedroom. The other day she had pooped in the bedroom before I ever walked out the door to head to work and this was 10 minutes after I had let her outside.

How do I help her be less stressed when I leave for work and how do I get her to stop pooping in the bedroom? She is 5 years old. She was used as bait in a dog fight with 5 other dogs. She never has accidents in the house when I am home and she is very well trained, minus her accidents while I am gone. Thank you.

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March 28, 2017

I adopted a rescue, 3yr old female Catahoula. I've had her now for almost 2 yrs. I was told that she was in a puppy mill, obviously by the math it was before she was 1yr old. At first she was pretty timid and shy, she chewed up a lot of stuff and had some odd actions or reactions. It was very difficult keeping her, but she settled down and relaxed, it got much better. She is awesome and a great dog. She gets along with my 6yr old male Rottweiler very well. For around the last 6 months or so she will run outside everytime I go downstairs or to the garage.

It wasn't really a big deal until she would do it when it's cold and snowing or raining and just sit in the corner of the yard. It got to the point where I made a door for the dog door so she can't run outside, at this point she will follow me to the basement or garage, happy, but partly reluctant tho. I'm sure it's separation anxiety, but to develop it now? Help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thx.

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February 17, 2011

How can I stop my 8 month old Pit Bull from crying and barking when I leave the house? He is an extremely well-behaved dog, always has been, but he seems to suffer from separation anxiety when my husband or I leave.

I am currently expecting my first child, so the dog is rarely left alone (and when he is it's for 4 hours or less), but with a lot of upcoming doctor appointments, I am worried the problem will continue. I always make sure to leave the radio or TV on when I go out, leave him a big bowl of fresh water, toys, and his Kong to keep him occupied, but it doesn't seem to help.

We live in an apartment building and keep getting complaints from the neighbors. If it continues we have been told we may be forced to give him up. Please help me! I need a solution that will actually work. I can't stand the thought of losing him, but with a baby on the way, I cannot afford to lose my home either.

By Erin from Seattle, WA

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February 11, 2010

Our 8 year old Rat Terrier has developed separation anxiety when we both leave the house together and do not take her with us. She has started urinating in the bedrooms while we are out.

Can anyone give me advice for how to prevent this from happening each time we go out? We walk her 2 miles in the morning and the same in the evening. She always pees and poops on both trips. Thanks for any help someone can give me.

By Rosalie

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June 14, 2016

I am just looking for ideas that worked for you to get him or her to stop crying, scratching the rug, and the door every time you left.

black dog laying on owner's lap

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