Separation Anxiety in Older Pets

In the doghouse...again
maxymedia / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Did you know that when your dog gets older he may start to suffer from separation anxiety? Unfortunately this winter our lab has all of a sudden taken up barking at us on a constant basis when he can see us in the house. He has an outside kennel and he has always enjoyed the time outside on his own. After talking with other K-9 owners, researching the web and ruling out other factors I am sad to hear my boy is getting old and is begging for more attention. We have moved him in the house the past several months and he seems to be much more comfortable in our presence as well as out of the cold. We did attempt to leave him outside for a family trip several weeks ago when the weather was warmer and unfortunately he escaped the kennel. Our neighbor also mentioned he was barking and upset for several hours after we left. Thankfully the neighbor noticed he had got out of his kennel yet again and put him in our house. I think it is time to hire a dog sitter that will check in much more often rather than his visit of 1x per day by a family member or neighbor. Making changes in your family to accommodate your older pet is not easy, but we are willing to do anything to make him more comfortable and finally hiring him a buddy may be the best thing. I have included a basic list of several signs your dog may be suffering from that could possibly be separation anxiety.

Signs of an older dog with Separation Anxiety:

Accidents when left alone

Barking and Howling out of the norm

A new found joy in digging, destruction of your flower bed or personal items

Escaping from the usual dog kennel or home

Pacing or uneasy shaking