Does your dog have separation anxiety?

SEATTLE — Juggling work and different activities often mean having to leave our dogs at home by themselves. For many dogs, time away from their owners results in Canine Separation Anxiety (CSA).

Cathy Madson, a Preventive Vet Certified Canine Behavior Consultant says 13 million dogs in the U.S. have separation anxiety.

“It’s really tough for the owners because a lot of people they come home to destroyed homes they’re chewing through the walls, they’re howling all day long, so neighbors are complaining,” Madson said. “People get evicted because of separation anxiety symptoms.”

Symptoms of pet anxiety include excessive greetings, attempts to escape, howling when out of the house, destructive behavior, and potty accidents.

“Step one is you really want to connect with your veterinarian and then also a certified dog trainer or behavior consultant,” Madson said. “Having that support group, that team of around you to help you through it is really important and will mean more success for you.”

Madson says there are a variety of management options including drugs or pheromones and special toys filled with treats to keep dogs occupied while you’re out of the house.