Help a dog who's missing his mommy?
April 27, 2011 8:36 AM Subscribe
How can we help calm this dog's separation anxiety?
posted by lwb to pets & animals (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
One of my housemates recently left for a trip back to her home country. She will be gone for a little over two months, and my partner and I are looking after her little Pomeranian dog while she is gone. We have looked after him before when she has been away on weekend trips, but never for this long before. We're currently about a week in and it's...a bit of a headache. He's always been quite clingy - he followed my housemate around the house, barked when she left (or put shoes on, or picked up a bag, or did anything that indicated she might leave.) When she packed to go on this trip, he spent the whole day whining at her suitcases.
So, things were OK for the first couple of days, but now he's exhibiting some signs of what I think might be related to separation anxiety. He's started peeing in the house, when he has never done so before (there is a doggy door and we take him for walks daily). He refuses to sleep on his bedding (which my housemate placed in the lounge since her room is locked while she's away) but will only sleep in our room. If we try to remove him from our room, he scratches at the door and howls until he is allowed in. We've tried holding firm, but he is quite willing to keep this up for several hours at a time. Sometimes he actually throws himself against the door. He hasn't been eating or drinking as much as he used to.
The only time he ever seems to calm down when he is in our room, if I am there and directly interacting with him. We didn't want him to be spending all his time in our room, since I'm mildly allergic to him, but he HATES our other housemate, and he seems completely unable to cope with being alone. I can't cuddle him constantly (again, allergies) but it's the only thing that works. I don't know what to do.
I want to try to do something to help him, because the poor guy is SO stressed out without his owner here, but I don't really have the first clue about dogs, beyond keeping them fed and watered and walked. I've tried googling, but I can only find resources about what the owner can do to ease the dog into coping with separation, which doesn't work for us because she's already gone.