If given the option, most of us would never leave our pets.
Alas, responsibilities are everywhere, and they often take us away from our homes for hours on end. Have you ever wondered what Fido is up to while you're off sipping on wine or getting your groceries? Of course you have! Fortunately, animal behavior scientists are here to save the day with their knowledge of just what's going through your pupper's mind. Sadly, it's kind of bleak.
Dogs don't know that you're coming back, so when you leave, they begin to experience heightened stress levels.
Their heart rates may increase, and their breathing might intensify. This stress can last for up to 30 minutes.
Dogs also start to recognize the signs that you're headed out the door, so they may begin stressing out as soon as they see you get ready to go.
Especially anxious dogs might vocalize their fears or become destructive when left alone, even after 30 minutes. They're social animals, so being by themselves can be scary.
Experts say one of the best things to do is to create a treat box of toys and rawhide chews that only comes out when you're leaving. Then your pup will feel like they've gotten something special.
Always remember to bring up any consistent problems with your veterinarian or find a trainer who specializes in separation anxiety.
(via IFL Science)