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12 Jan Is Doggy Daycare Good for Separation Anxiety?

Separation anxiety is a lot more common in dogs than you might think—you just have to pay attention to your dog’s behavior. If you’ve been wondering if your pup is exhibiting signs of separation anxiety, watch out for any of these common symptoms:

  • Going potty in the house.
  • Barking, howling, or whining.
  • Chewing, digging, or destroying toys and furniture.
  • Escaping or attempting to escape from their yard or crate.
  • Pacing and not resting in one spot for very long.

    Have you noticed your dog exhibiting any of these behaviors? Do they tend to come out when your dog senses you’re about to leave? If so, there’s a good chance your dog has developed separation anxiety.

     

    What Causes Separation Anxiety in Dogs?

    Unfortunately, there isn’t a singular cause of separation anxiety in dogs. However, there are some common factors, such as:

    • Schedule changes: Like humans, dogs tend to settle into routines, and any deviations from the routine can be upsetting and make them feel insecure.
    • Family changes: A dog that has just been rehomed will need some time to feel secure with their new pack (you!).
    • Home changes: Moving isn’t just stressful for you—it’s stressful for Fido, too. You’ll both have to adjust to a new routine and a new space.
    • Companion changes: If one of your kids leaves for school or if another pack member passes away or leaves, the loss is bound to affect your pup.

    Separation anxiety tends to be more common in rescue dogs, who might not have had the most stable or loving life before you came along.

    In general, there are two types of separation anxiety:

    Developmental separation anxiety tends to occur in dogs who were removed from their litter too soon (7 weeks is the absolute minimum) and dogs who lost their mothers. It also occurs in dogs who didn’t receive socialization as a puppy.

    Conditional separation anxiety is caused by changes in environment and routine and can often be managed with training and positive conditioning.

     

    Is Doggy Daycare a Good Solution for Separation Anxiety?

    Doggy daycare can be a great solution to separation anxiety for some dogs! This is because it provides plenty of:

    • Routine
    • Socialization
    • Exercise
    • Supervision

    Combined, these four things are a great way to help your pup conquer their anxiety.

    Establish a Routine
    Though it will take some adjustment at first, establishing a routine for getting dropped off and picked up from doggy daycare is a great way to soothe your dog’s anxiety. Once the routine is familiar and no big deal, it stops being so scary.

    Practice Socializing
    Socialization allows your dog to interact with other pups and humans, which can make being away from you just a little bit easier! The staff members at doggy daycare are trained to help dogs have healthy social interactions with other dogs of similar activity levels and sizes, and they monitor all playtimes to make sure everyone’s behaving, playing nice, and sharing their toys.

    If you’re feeling nervous about how your dog’s doing in their new social setting, don’t be afraid to reach out to the staff! They’ll be able to give you all the details and let you know if your pup needs to work on their manners.

    Get All the Exercise
    Sometimes, exercise can seem like the solution to all your dog’s problems. Taking your dog to doggy daycare so they can spend the day playing with their friends comes with a ton of health benefits, such as reducing stress, keeping joints active, and staying a healthy weight. Plus, regular exercise helps them to burn off excess energy that might otherwise manifest as anxiety.

    But Is It Right for Your Dog?
    Don’t expect doggy daycare to solve the separation-anxiety problem immediately. If your dog’s anxiety is triggered when you leave, they’ll likely still be anxious when you leave them at doggy daycare. It will take a little time for your pup to become accustomed to their new routine and get comfortable with it. However, there’s also the possibility that your dog is just not into doggy daycare—which is fine! It happens, and it’s perfectly normal. Check out our blog post about doggy daycare and socialization!

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