Does your husky get anxious when you leave them home alone? Are they barking, howling, and scratching at the door?
If so, you’re not alone. Separation anxiety is a common problem that affects thousands of huskies every year. Huskies are indeed social animals who need attention from their owners and other dogs to be happy and healthy. But if your husky’s separation anxiety is interfering with their quality of life or making it difficult for you to go about your daily routine, there are steps you can take to help them feel better.
Separation anxiety in huskies can be caused by several things, such as previous trauma or a lack of alone time as a puppy. In order to address the problem, you need to first work out the cause. From there you can take the appropriate measures to help your husky, which might include more exercise to tire them out or a training plan.
Let’s get into the article!
What is separation anxiety?
Huskies are very loyal and affectionate dogs, but they also tend to be very vocal. They love their owners and want to be with them at all times. This can lead to separation anxiety, which is when a dog becomes anxious when his or her owner leaves.
Huskies with separation anxiety can become destructive and bark or howl nonstop when left alone. They may also try to escape through windows or doors to find their owner and make sure they’re safe. Some symptoms of separation anxiety include:
- Destructive behaviors – Your husky may start to chew furniture or go to the bathroom indoors as a way of releasing stress.
- Lack of appetite – Some huskies will refuse to eat if the anxiety is too overwhelming, although this is less commonly experienced.
- Digging holes – Your husky may try to dig a hole in your yard. This could be a way of releasing stress or because they are trying to escape to find you.
- Whining or howling – This is the most common behaviour exhibited by huskies with separation anxiety. Huskies are a vocal breed and have specific whines and howls to express that they are feeling anxious.
- Barking excessively when you leave – As well as whining, you may find that your husky barks repeatedly when they are on their own.
- Pacing around the room – Being anxious can lead to your husky having lots of adrenaline. This may cause them to pace around to help use up their excess energy.
Some of these symptoms are similar to those experienced by a husky that throws a tantrum. The difference is that all huskies are likely to throw a tantrum from time to time, but not all huskies will experience separation anxiety.
What causes Husky separation anxiety?
Husky separation anxiety is a condition that manifests itself in dogs when they become extremely distressed when their owners leave them alone.
Because the problem is so common among huskies, there are many potential causes for it. Here are a few of the most common factors that may contribute to your husky’s separation anxiety:
1. Your husky has never been left alone before
Huskies who have spent the majority of their youth around their owners may find it difficult to adapt to being alone in their adult years.
2. You moved into a new house with no one else around but you and your husky
If it has only ever been you and your husky living together, the sudden addition of a new family member might make your husky feel like they are losing your attention. Having new household members will change your husky’s routine and might mean you are out of the house more without them.
3. Your husky was recently adopted from an animal shelter
If your husky was adopted from a rescue center or animal shelter, keep in mind that they might have been left alone for long periods without human contact or affection. Now that they have an owner to provide that affection, they will likely cling to it strongly and be scared that being left alone means their owner is never coming back.
4. Your husky experienced a traumatic event whilst separated from you
Try to think of a time when your husky might have had a negative experience whilst you were not around. This can include being at the vets or the groomers, having to undergo medical treatment whilst sedated, being attacked by another dog, or being left at a boarding kennel whilst you were away on travel, amongst many other scenarios.
Take steps to reduce dog anxiety
Huskies are pack animals by nature and need to be a part of a group. They will do best in a home with humans and other canine companions. If you are willing to spend time training your husky and taking them out for exercise, they will make an excellent addition to any family.
When left alone for extended periods, huskies are likely to engage in destructive behavior. If you can’t be home with your husky all the time, consider hiring a dog walker or getting a pet sitter.
Take your husky for long walks regularly. The walks should be about an hour long and at least twice per day. If your dog has a leash or harness, it should be put on before you leave the house so that he or she does not have to wait for you to do so when you get home from work or school.
If you have a fenced-in yard, let them run free in it as much as possible while you are home with them. Be sure there are no holes in the fence where they could escape and make sure there is nothing dangerous in their yard that could hurt them (e.g., pool covers). If you do not have an enclosed yard, take them out for plenty of daily walks so they get plenty of mental and physical stimulation.
Another remedy is to try aromatherapy. Huskies have highly sensitive noses and we’ve found that certain smells have a calming effect on them. Try rubbing a drop or two of lavender essential oil on the back of their collar. Lavender is very calming and has been known to reduce stress and anxiety in humans and pets.
When you try aromatherapy for the first time, monitor your husky closely to make sure they do not have a negative reaction to the oils used. Some huskies may experience skin irritation, or they may become overstimulated by the strong scent of the oil.
How to help your Husky get over separation anxiety
There are several reasons why a husky might be overly anxious. It could be the result of genetics, being abandoned or abused by someone who was supposed to care for it, or it may just be a learned behavior that has become a habit. In any case, there are steps you can take to help your dog overcome this condition.
- Some huskies get separation anxiety if they have been left alone too much or for too long. If this is the case with your husky, try to find alternative ways for your dog to occupy themself during the day such as providing new toys.
- Don’t make a big deal when you are leaving or coming back into the house. Your husky will be much more relaxed if it knows that you are coming back and that there is no need to panic.
- Try getting your husky comfortable with being alone. If your puppy has been crated or confined in a room, it may not know how to be alone. Start by leaving it in the room for short periods, gradually increasing the amount of time until it is comfortable being alone for 20 minutes or so at a time. It might seem like a small interval but from there you can easily train for longer periods of time!
- Try training your husky for leaving scenarios. When you leave the house, say “Bye” and your dog’s name as you walk out the door. Then go wait outside for a little while and come back in a few minutes. Repeat this process, increasing the length of time each time you leave until your husky is comfortable with you being gone for short periods.
- Make sure your husky gets enough exercise before leaving the house so that it’s tired and less likely to have energy left over when you return home from work later in the day (or evening). This will also help keep it calm while you’re gone since exercise releases endorphins into your dog’s bloodstream that help reduce stress-related anxiety.
Siberian huskies make excellent family pets and are great with kids, but they need training and proper care in order to thrive in their new homes. If your husky is experiencing separation anxiety, spend some time thinking about what the cause is to help better address the situation.