Animal Care 101: Veterinarian Tips

« Back to Home

3 Common Signs Of Canine Separation Anxiety

Posted on

Most people know when they are feeling anxious or stressed. You may experience a rapid heartbeat, tightness in the chest, and clammy skin. While these signs are noticeable for humans, your dog will not be able to display these same symptoms. Separation anxiety is actually a very common form of emotional distress that affects an estimated 20 percent of the nation's dogs. Of course, this anxiety disorder occurs when you (and other members of the family are not around) so you may not know they are in this type of emotional distress. With this guide, you will learn the signs your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, so you can help your dog receive the treatment they need.


You will not be there to see it, but your dog will most likely begin pacing all through the home when they are feeling anxious while you are away.

Your dog will move back and forth across rooms of your house or through the backyard in an attempt to find you or ease their emotional distress. In most cases, this pacing will not be dangerous, but it can be exhaust your dog. You may notice they are sleeping or less active than normal once you arrive back at home.


Many dogs with separation anxiety will act out physically in the home. Your dog may deal with their stress by scratching on doors and walls or chewing on furniture, toys, shoes, and food and water bowls.

If your dog stays outside, they may begin digging in the ground, creating multiple deep holes all through your yard. Many dogs will attempt and succeed at escaping, which places them at risk of becoming lost or injured.

In some instances, this destructive behavior can be dangerous to your dog's health. They may break a tooth, irritate their mouth, or harm their paws and nails while acting out destructively.


Just like with humans, stress and anxiety can affect your dog's physical well-being. Dogs with separation anxiety may have upset stomachs, resulting in nausea or diarrhea. If your dog usually does not have accidents inside the home but has them when you are away, they most likely have separation anxiety.

It is important to remain calm if you come home to an exhausted dog, destruction, and bathroom accidents because separation anxiety is a real disorder that requires real treatment. If you believe your dog is suffering, consult your veterinarian about prescription medications that will offer relief.  Visit a site like for more help.