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We would all love to spend a little more time with our whippets, I bet many readers would be happy to never leave their whippet’s side again.
Unfortunately, life gets in the way sometimes. We have to go to work, we need to go for groceries, dropping the kids off at school, the list is endless.
But what does your dog do when you leave home?
Does he sleep in his crate and chew his favourite toy?
Maybe he goes for a nap until you get home?
Or maybe he turns into a psychopath and starts chewing anything he can get his hands on, which can make for an unpleasant surprise when you arrive home.
If it’s the latter, there’s a good chance that your whippet is suffering from separation anxiety.
In this post we are going to answer, do whippets get separation anxiety?
To help you manage, prevent and help your whippet get through his time alone when you’re not home.
Let’s get to it…
What Is Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety in dogs is actually quite common, it affects dogs of all ages and breeds.
Dogs that have separation anxiety become stressed and anxious when you leave home, this stress can cause all kinds of behaviour problems, including;
- Trying to escape
- Excessive salivation
The list goes on, it’s not nice to see a dog with separation anxiety as they are often worrying about whether or not you’re going to return home.
Separation anxiety is the fear of being separated from your owner or loved one, it can occur in humans too.
It’s quite common in kids and typically occurs after a traumatic or stressful event in the child’s life.
Resulting in them being fearful to leave home or their parents.
What Causes Separation Anxiety In Whippets?
There are many reasons why separation anxiety is caused in whippets, but unfortunately it’s incredibly hard to pinpoint the exact cause.
We do know that dogs that are adopted from shelters suffer from separation anxiety more than dogs who have lived with the same family for their whole lives.
Dogs that have also switched families multiple times in their lives are also more likely to have separation anxiety, as they may feel uncertain as to whether they are going to have to move family again.
Other situation that can contribute to a whippets separation anxiety include;
If you’ve recently had a change in family dynamics this could impact a whippets separation anxiety.
Perhaps you’ve had a partner move away for work, or maybe you’ve welcomed a new resident into your household from renting out a room.
Whippets are social dogs that love attention and affection, so if somebody in your family has left and they find they aren’t getting the same level of attention this can contribute to their separation anxiety.
A change in the family home is not only stressful on humans, but it also can impact your whippet and cause separation anxiety.
Dogs get used to their home and become comfortable, so a sudden change will flip their world upside down and can trigger separation anxiety.
If your whippet is in a routine of going out at certain times of the day, and this abruptly changes or stops.
This can cause separation anxiety, as your whippet may have adjusted to his schedule.
Maybe you have a new job and now can’t spend as much time at home with your whippet, this can be a big trigger for separation anxiety and result in some behaviour changes from your whippet.
Some dogs are just more prone to separation anxiety than others.
Dogs have been domesticated for many years and are used to spending lots of time with humans, so when humans arent around any more they can experience separation anxiety.
Whippets are known to be a breed that is prone to separation anxiety, they used to be regarded as breadwinners as they would hunt for human foo.
So they would stay at home indoors with their owners and be well looked after.
How To Prevent Separation Anxiety In Whippets
Thankfully there are a couple of things you can do to help prevent your whippet from experiencing separation anxiety.
However, preventing separation anxiety is not always possible.
For example, if you adopt an adult whippet, you may also adopt separation anxiety too.
At this point, it’s already too late to put in place preventative measures to ease your whippet’s separation anxiety. You will still be able to treat separation anxiety though, however, prevention is always easier than treatment.
So what can you do to prevent separation anxiety in whippets?
Crate training your whippet
There are lots of benefits of crate training your dog when done correctly.
Your whippet will look at the crate as a safe and secure place that he can relax and take a nap.
This is a place where he can go that will automatically ease his anxiety, especially if you ensure it’s nice and comfortable for him and ensure he’s got an old t-shirt of yours to sleep with for your scent.
Teach your whippet to be alone
Believe it or not but you can actually teach your whippet to enjoy being alone.
This is much easier if you’re retired or someone who works from home, but it works by making your whippets alone time enjoyable.
You can do this by ensuring that he has his favourite dog toy to keep him company, as well as giving him a stash of treats for him to enjoy whilst you’re away.
This will slowly get him used to the idea of being rewarded when he’s alone, and over time he will start to enjoy it.
Use a TV / Radio
One thing I like to do when I leave Bonnie is to leave the TV or Radio on for her to listen too.
This gives her a voice to listen to so that she doesn’t seem so alone, it’s much more comforting to her to hear a voice on the TV or Radio then total silence.
Make sure your whippet gets plenty of exercise
Ensuring that your whippet gets plenty of exercise before you leave them at home alone is incredibly important.
They need to be tired when they’re being left alone so that they can relax and take a nap.
If your whippet is full of energy and at home, this can lead to destructive behaviour such as chewing.
A tired whippet is a quiet whippet, so ensuring he’s had his exercise before leaving him is perfect as he will most likely sleep for a large period of the time you’re away.
Managing Separation Anxiety
There are lots of ways you can manage your whippets separation anxiety, but first you need to develop a plan for managing their behaviour so that you can work through it together.
Working through your whippet’s separation anxiety can take months in some cases, so it’s important that you’re managing his experience so that he doesn’t have a full-blown episode which could result in setbacks and a chewed sofa or two.
Separation anxiety that is low intensity is fine, providing you are moving forward with the steps I have set out below;
Ask a friend or family member to help
If you’re someone who works long hours and knows you’re going to be out of the house for most of the day.
It may be a good idea to speak with a trusted neighbour or family member to pop round and check on your whippet whilst you’re at work.
It’s important that your whippet isn’t left alone for long periods whilst you’re working through their symptoms.
Using a friend or family members help will give your whippet that social interaction which they need to help their separation anxiety whilst you’re not home.
Bring your dog to work
I know this isn’t an option for everyone, but some offices are incredibly dog friendly and would love to meet your furry friend.
Taking your whippet in to work can be an incredibly fun experience for you and your whippet, as they’ll get tons of attention which will really go a long way in treating their separation anxiety.
Hire a dog sitter
If you can’t find a friend or family member that’s able to help you whilst you’re not home, it could be a good idea to hire a dog sitter than can look after your whippet whilst you’re not home.
Often they’ll take your whippet for a walk, spend some time with him and ultimately ensure he’s not being left alone for long periods throughout the day.
Treatment For Your Whippets Separation Anxiety
Thankfully in today’s age, there are plenty of treatment options to help your whippet with their separation anxiety.
From natural remedies, calming dogs treat and much more.
Here are some of the most effective products for helping treat your whippet’s separation anxiety;
A thundershirt is the most effective anxiety solution as voted by veterinarians.
It’s perfect for dogs that have separation anxiety and has over an 80% success rate.
This is essentially a shirt that you put on your dog and it applies constant gentle pressure to your dog’s body.
This was initially tested for dogs that were scared of loud noises, such as thunder and storms, but has worked incredibly well for dogs that are dealing with separation anxiety too.
Dog calming aid
Using a dog calming aid is a great way to help anxious, nervous and fearful dogs to relax more in stressful situations.
This is a well-known supplement that can help dogs treat separation anxiety, reactivity, loud noises, excessive barking, sleep problems and more.
It’s a small natural supplement that can have profound effects on your whippet’s anxiety, however, like all-natural supplements it doesn’t work on every dog.
But it’s definitely worth giving it a try to help your whippet treat his separation anxiety.
Calming dog treats
These composure dog treats are a natural way to relax and calm your dog if they become nervous and stressed, perfect for separation anxiety, in thunderstorms or car journeys.
These treats stimulate brain waves to help them relax and calm your dog.
It’s a non-drowsy formula with the main ingredients being L-Tryptophan, Chamomile and Taurine, working together to calm your canine.
What NOT To Do If Your Whippet Has Separation Anxiety
If you follow the steps above then you’ll be well on your way to helping treat your whippet separation anxiety.
However, here is a quick reminder on what not to do if your whippet has separation anxiety;
Don’t get a new dog
Whilst this can be a great temporary option, it still doesn’t actually treat the underlying issue of your whippet separation anxiety, and instead masks it.
It’s much better to treat your whippet separation anxiety first, and then consider getting a new dog.
Do not punish your dog
Punishing your whippet for having separation anxiety is one of the worst things you could possibly do.
This will set him back strides and make it much harder for him to work through it.
Your dog is acting out purely because of severe stress, so he will have accidents that you’re not best pleased about, however, punishing him only makes matters worse.
Do NOT Ignore it
Do not ignore your whippet separation anxiety, it won’t simply go away over time and needs to be managed and treated correctly.
You’ll find that working through your whippet’s separation anxiety helps strengthen your body with him and builds up trust.
So, do whippets get separation anxiety? Yes, this breed is prone to separation anxiety.
Thankfully, there are lots of things you can do to manage and treat separation anxiety in your whippet, it’s just about being patient and working together as a team to come through it.
Your whippet’s separation anxiety can be hard on the whole family, so take it slow and be patient with him.
Depending on the severity of your whippet separation anxiety you may want to consult a veterinarian who may think it’s a good idea to try prescription medication.
However, in my experience, I have used many separation anxiety treatments that have worked a charm, and with the help of a family friend and neighbour was able to work through my whippet’s separation anxiety in a few months.
Hopefully, you have enjoyed this post and learned a thing or two about whippet separation anxiety, and what you can to do treat it and be on your way to a happy, healthy whippet.
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Hello. I’m Luke- the founder of WhippetCentral. I’m somewhat of a whippet nut and have been for most of my life. In that time, I’ve owned and raised numerous whippets. Bonnie is my latest girl; she is currently eight years old and keeps me very busy! Understanding the need for whippet-specific content, I decided to create this blog to share what I have learned and to share my expertise regarding owning and raising whippets – the right way!