Help! My Dog Has Separation Anxiety!
As many of you know, we rescued and brought home an adorable dog last month! She has had a very sad three years of life, full of people that have abused, neglected and abandoned her. Despite the horrible life she has lived, our dear Ruby has adjusted wonderfully and we are so happy to finally give her a loving home. She still has many areas to improve on, but is so worth the fight! One issue that we have run into recently, now that she is accustomed to our family and her new home, is separation anxiety.
Here is what’s happening with Ruby when I leave the house:
- She barks, cries, and whines non stop the entire time that I am gone
- She goes the bathroom in her crate
- She destroys anything that is in the crate with her (shreds blankets, water dish, toys, etc.)
Now I did some research and these were all symptoms of separation anxiety in a dog. All of those behaviors listed above are not things that she typically does when we are home. She’s housebroken, only barks occasional (playfully) and does not chew or destroy anything in the house. We assumed that she was getting upset because she was not happy with being left home all by herself, but that’s not the case at all… she only does this when I leave! My husband called me from the house yesterday (while I was grocery shopping) and sure enough Ruby was compulsively barking in the background.) This is what happens every single time I leave the house and I know it’s because she associates me as her care taker. So she’s not upset about being in her crate or because she’s alone… she’s upset because I am gone!
One website suggested that I leave an article of my clothing (that I’ve recently worn) so she can have my scent, but I can’t do that because she will shred it to pieces. Another website suggested that we not make a big deal about leaving and coming home and to ignore her… I really didn’t have it in me to completely ignore my dog when I get home… so that was no help at all!
My question to you all is what do I do!!?? How do I ease her anxiety? I could really use your help and expertize, thanks everyone!!!