Singer Ariana Grande is very attached to her dogs. To alleviate her well-chronicled struggles with anxiety and depression, she once flew two of them on a private jet to Glasgow, Scotland, so they'd be there when she arrived to get ready for a performance.
The 26-year-old even had one of her dogs' names tattooed on her left foot.
Dogs can do wonders for your mental health, but sometimes it's the pups who are unhappy and need comfort.
A study published in the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science looked at 2,757 dogs from 100 breeds and identified four forms of anxiety and distress that are often mistakenly lumped under the heading of separation-related problems.
They include a focus on wanting to escape something in the house, wanting to get something outside, reacting to external noises or events, and boredom. Between 22.3% and 55% of dogs are believed to show these signs.
So if your pooch acts out badly when you leave, it's time to see what's triggering it and find solutions. Here’s where to start:
- Contact a certified professional dog trainer or certified applied animal behaviorist. They're pros at figuring it all out.
- Check out www.ASPCA.org for Behavioral Tips for Your Pet.
- Modify your behavior. For example, break your dog's association of you picking up your car keys with your eminent departure by doing that and then not leaving.
Don't ignore or rationalize your dog's bad behavior; you'll only make your pet more unhappy and