Even though a lot of chihuahuas have separation anxiety, that doesn’t make it OK. Separation anxiety is very upsetting for dogs, and owners need to put in a little extra work to help.
Let’s look at all the information you need to know.
The definition of separation anxiety
When dogs including chihuahuas get separation anxiety, they feel a lot of stress because they are away from their owner or household. It can make dogs act destructively because they are upset, and the American Kennel Club says that it happens to about 14% of dogs in the United States.
Is separation anxiety bad for chihuahuas?
Chihuahuas became very unhappy when they have separation anxiety. No one knows exactly what our dogs are thinking, but most people think that dogs who have separation anxiety are afraid of being alone or worried that you might not come back. Also, the signs of separation anxiety are very upsetting for both the chihuahua and his owner.
What are the symptoms of separation anxiety?
As was already said, separation anxiety can make chihuahuas do bad things. This often means that the dog hurts himself by licking, scratching, or biting too much, destroying toys, furniture, and other things around the house, barking and whining too much, trying to get out of the house, or going to the bathroom inside.
Some smaller signs that are sometimes missed are pacing, panting, drooling, shaking, stomach upsets, and other repetitive behaviors.
The causes of separation anxiety in chihuahuas
Most of the time, separation anxiety in chihuahuas is caused by one or more of the following: not getting enough stimulation, being lonely, or not having enough self-belief or autonomy.
Why is the chihuahua among the dog breeds that get separation anxiety?
Border Collies, Poodles, Labradors, and chihuahuas are more likely to have separation anxiety than other breeds because they are smart, have strong personalities, and need to be around a lot of individuals.
Because of their personalities, they may require a bit more high maintenance, and they get bored, lonely, or underworked very easily. This can leave a big hole for anxiety when their requirements are not met, and they can quickly turn to obsessive thoughts.
Chihuahuas whose owners work full time or leave them alone for long periods of the day are also more likely to get separation anxiety. Some breeds are also more clingy by nature than others. Chihuahuas, for example, are known for being very attached to their people.
Puppies, rescue chihuahuas, older chihuahuas, and those who are sick or have been through a traumatic event often lack confidence or independence. All of these things can make a dog feel unstable or scared of being alone, so they may cling to their owners for security and get anxious when left alone.
Puppies often don’t know how to do things on their own because everything is new and scary to them and they’ve never been alone before. In the same way, older chihuahuas can lose confidence as they get weaker and their health starts to get worse. Rescue chihuahuas who have been on their own for a long time or who have been neglected or abused also tend to be shy. When they find their forever home, they may get separation anxiety because they don’t want to be alone again.
When separation anxiety comes on quickly, it could be because of a traumatic event or a serious health problem. Medical problems like a loss of sight or hearing, trouble moving around, or cognitive dysfunction (CDS) that comes with getting older can cause sudden clinginess and separation anxiety, as can a traumatic event. Big changes in a chihuahua’s life, illness or death in the family, physical injuries, and scary things like violent storms can all be very upsetting.
How to prevent separation anxiety in chihuahuas
First and foremost, if you want to keep your chihuahua from getting separation anxiety, make sure he or she gets enough exercise. Stress uses up a lot of energy, so when their bodies are getting enough exercise, they have less energy to worry about being alone.
How much exercise your chihuahua needs will depend on their age and size. Chihuahuas usually do best with two or three walks a day, and it’s a good idea to change the location, add some fun activities like fetch and swimming, and meet as many friendly people and dogs as possible.
Socialization is good for a chihuahua’s health in general, but it’s also a great way to keep them from getting anxious when you leave. When a chihuahua feels like they have enough friends, they are less likely to worry when they are alone.
Make sure you show your chihuahua lots of love and affection every day, especially when you’re feeling emotionally or physically stressed, and try to include them as much as possible in your social or family life. Not leaving your chihuahua alone for too long is also important.
According to Dog’s Trust, the largest dog charity in the UK says “you shouldn’t leave a dog alone for more than four hours at a time, or one hour per month of age for puppies younger than six months“. Depending on their health, old chihuahuas can be different.
Mind exercise is just as important as physical exercise. Their minds must be confronted and amused each day with enjoyable toys and activities. This not only makes them happier, but it also makes it harder for them to think about things that make them nervous.
Chihuahuas like games that let them use their natural instincts, like fetch and chase.
Games that make your chihuahuas think are also a lot of fun. Some of the most popular ones are hide-and-seek, treasure hunt, and the cup game. To play hide-and-seek with your chihuahua, tell him or her to sit and wait while you hide. Then call them and ask them to come to find you. Follow the rules of hide-and-seek to play treasure hunt, but hide their favorite toy or some treats instead of yourself.
In order to play the cup game, you will need to put two empty cups on the floor or on a table next to each other, upside down, and put a treat under one of them. Then, turn the cups around and ask your chihuahua to find the treat. For professionals, you might switch them twice, add another treat, or even a second cup.
Puzzle toys, toys that stimulate your chihuahua’s senses, and toys that give out treats. They are all great ways to keep your dog’s mind busy and stop all kinds of anxiety.
How to Build your Chihuahua’s confidence & independence
Whether you’re deciding to leave your young chihuahua puppy for the first time, or your adult chihuahua has separation anxiety. It’s important to give your dog a sense of confidence and independence to prevent or fix separation anxiety.
You can do this by giving your chihuahua time alone slowly and in a good way. Try going away for a short time. For the safety of young chihuahua puppies, always keep them in a crate or a pen. Make sure they have some space to move around. Always leave adult chihuahuas with a bed, a bowl of water, and some gadgets to play with. If you can’t just let them roam around the house, keep in mind that they must be in a well-lit area with secure windows. Never lock a chihuahua in one room.
Try not to make a big deal about leaving, but always give them a big deal when you come back. The next day, leave for a little longer and keep adding to the time you spend apart. This gives your dog a sense of security and trust that you will always come back. It also gives your dog something to look forward to when you leave.
You can also let them play by themselves to help them feel good about spending time alone. Use treat dispensers and puzzle toys to get your chihuahua to play on his own. If it’s safe, leave your dog with his favorite puzzle toy when you go out.
You must also try to get a chihuahua that is scared and used to what you are doing. Chihuahuas that are afraid of alone often following their owners around to see if they are getting ready to leave. So, if there are things you always do before leaving the house. Like getting your keys or putting on your coat. Do them and then sit down and play with your dog instead of leaving. This shows them that your actions aren’t anything to worry about, which should make them feel better.
What do I do if I have a full-time job?
If you have to leave your chihuahua alone for a long period on a regular basis. Then there are a few things you may perform to keep your chi from getting lonely and stressed out. First of all, make the most of the time you have together at home. If you work full-time and want to adopt a rescue chihuahua, don’t get one that has special needs you can’t meet.
Many chihuahua owners who work full-time find it helpful to plan ahead and work from home when they can.
When you’re going to be gone for more than 4 hours, ask a close friend or family member to come over and check on your dog. Or if you can, take your dog to a family member’s house for the day. Some people also leave the TV or radio on when they leave their chihuahuas alone to make them feel better. You could also hire a dog sitter, get a second dog, or ask about doggy daycare centers in your area.
Should you punish a chihuahua with separation anxiety?
You must never punish a chihuahua who suffers from separation anxiety. Consider separation anxiety as an alert of something wrong within your chihuahua that you need to solve ASAP.
Don’t get mad if your chihuahua gets into trouble when you leave the house. Even though it’s annoying, dogs with separation anxiety are desperate for your attention. So if you do anything, it may make the behavior worse. Not only that, but it could scare them, and ruin your relationship with them. Or even make them feel like they are in danger. Instead, use a dog crate to keep them in a small, safe area of the house the next time you leave. This will show them that this kind of behavior doesn’t get them any attention. Always praise them when they do something right, and if you’re having trouble, talk to a professional behaviorist or trainer.
Both Chihuahuas and their owners are frustrated by separation anxiety. But it can be fixed with a little care and training. If your chihuahua gets upset when you leave. Then try to figure out why and then deal with the problem in the right way.
Don’t be afraid to ask a vet, behaviorist, or trainer for help if you need it. This is a common problem, and it doesn’t mean you’re a bad owner!
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