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The Secret Life of Dogs When Left Alone Is Pretty Sad -- How to Deal With Your Pup's Separation Anxiety

Apr 29, 2017 12:06 PM EDT
Beagle Dog
Dogs get stressed out every time they're left alone.
(Photo : Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)

It may suck leaving your pup at home every day, but canine experts say it's even worse for your dog. They're called man's best friend for a reason and, unlike people, do not always get over the separation anxiety so easily.

According to a report from IFLScience, dogs get stressed the moment they realize their owner is gone. Even more significantly, some dogs remain very stressed the whole time, only calming down when their owners walk back in the house.

"When stress levels increase -- a dog's heart rate, respiratory functions, and levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol -- are also likely to rise," Battersea Dogs and Cats Home's Canine Behaviorist and Welfare Team (CBWT) explained. "The first 30 minutes after being left alone is usually the most stressful time for the majority of dogs. However, for some individuals, this elevated level of stress can last for the whole time that they are left."

The organization added that the dog's experience of being left alone during the critical socialization period as a young puppy -- three to 14 weeks old -- can influence how they deal with it as an adult.

Some signs of dogs' anxiety over their "abandonment" include vocalizing their protests and destructive behavior. Pacing, excessive salivation and urinating on the floor may also be the canine expression of stress and dealing with them.

To make the experience less traumatic on the pets, animal rehoming charity Woodgreen recommended preparing a home alone box for them that contains soft toys, dog biscuits and the like. Train them to expect this fun box every time you leave the house.

Because different kinds of dogs display different personalities and quirks, certain breeds are more equipped to handle being alone in the house. People who spend most of their time outside for work or school can choose from types who aren't too high maintenance and can be left for hours at a time.

According to Pet Helpful, the dog breeds who can be left alone are the Basset Hound, Chihuahua, French Bulldog, Greyhound, Maltese, Shar Pei and Whippet.

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