We all love our dogs, don’t we? They have always been regarded as a human’s best friend. Their unconditional love, emotional support, and cuddles are a few of the many reasons why they are simply the best pets. Not much in life beats the fantastic feeling of petting and cuddling your dog.
With that out of the way, your furry buddy may behave weird sometimes, and when it does, it may frustrate you. You may notice excessive barking and growling or your dog may become super clingy.
But why does this happen? You might be wondering, why is my dog so clingy all of a sudden? There are certain things that can help you in getting answers.
What Is Clingy Behavior?
Has your dog started following you around lately? Have you become the center of your dog’s attention? Does your dog never let you go anywhere? If your answer to these questions is “Yes,” then you have a clingy dog.
A clingy dog stays abnormally close to its owner and shows signs of discomfort when its owner is not around. It refuses to leave its owner and seeks attention while the owner is busy with routine chores. Although one always wants to be loved by their dog, clingy behavior in dogs is never a good sign as it indicates low confidence in the dog. A clingy dog doesn’t enjoy any independence and wants to be cared for 24/7.
Why Do Dogs Become Clingy All of a Sudden?
Many reasons have been associated with the clingy behavior in dogs.
The most common reason for the clingy behavior in dogs is separation anxiety. In this state, the dog suffers from anxiety out of fear of being separated from its owner, and it wants to stay next to its owner the entire time. Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety often develop clingy behavior.
A dog lives in a pack with its family in its natural habitat. It is not used to being alone, so it develops the fear of being left alone. Its natural tendency is to follow the human wherever it goes. Wherever the human goes, it follows. Wherever the owner stays, it stays. Wherever the owner sleeps, it sleeps. It will follow you until the end of the world and will stay with you even if you go homeless!
With that being said, it is not humanly impossible for anyone to stay next to their dog 24/7. Furthermore, you won’t want your dog to be emotionally dependent on you to this extent.
Apart from separation anxiety, another reason why your dog may become clingy all of a sudden is that your dog may be suffering from some kind of illness.
Older dogs, especially with vision or hearing loss or are experiencing cognitive decline, can suddenly become clingy because their world is becoming unfamiliar to them with each passing day.
There is no definitive answer as to whether dogs sense signs of labor or not. However, as you get closer and closer to delivery, your body will go through big changes.
Of course, your dog would be quick to notice it. As a result, it may become extra-protective and clingy, staying next to you just to ensure that you are alright.
If your dog has developed some fear, it may become a bit clingy. This fear may be of strangers or other things. Your dog may be scared the moment you receive a guest, and it may even try hiding behind your legs.
Signs of Separation Anxiety in Dogs
There are a few signs that indicate that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety.
Shaking is a common symptom often associated with separation anxiety in dogs. Dogs shaking their body after taking a bath is an absolute treat to watch, isn’t it? However, be cautious if your dog is shaking its body often, even without taking a bath.
Excessive Barking and Yawning
If your dog is barking more than usual, it’s an indication that something is wrong. If your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, it may start to bark more to get your attention.
Similarly, if you notice that your little companion has been yawning a lot lately, it may be a sign of separation anxiety. Usually, dogs yawn when they are sleepy or bored. However, the yawn as a result of separation anxiety tends to be a bit longer than usual.
Apart from the aforementioned signs, if you notice that your dog’s appetite has decreased, it may also be the result of separation anxiety. So, how do you address this issue? How do you help a dog with anxiety?
How to Treat Separation Anxiety in Dogs
There are many ways to help your dog with social anxiety.
Spend More Time with Your Dog
If you have enough time, consider spending more time with your dog to help it recover from separation anxiety. You can take it out for a little walk to your nearby grocery store or listen to light and relaxing music with it.
Both will strengthen your bond with your dog, and it will feel relaxed. Consider cuddling your dog as physical contact will also alleviate its stress.
Train Your Dog to Live in Separation
If you can’t afford to be next to your dog, which is usually the case, it’s a great idea to train your dog to live without you.
For this purpose, count how many times your dog follows you throughout the day. Once you know how many times your dog follows you, try short absences to help your dog get used to living on its own.
How to Help Your Dog Become Less Clingy
If your dog is not suffering from separation anxiety, there are still many ways to make it less clingy.
Engage in Exercise
If you want your dog to be independent, try engaging it in physical exercise. This way, your dog will be too exhausted to follow you around.
Set a Special Place
Creating a unique comfortable space may also work for you. Create a place, such as a crate, and fill it with your dog’s favorite toys, so it stays there when you are not available. Consider rewarding your dog with its favorite food item when it stays there.
A clingy dog follows you around like a shadow and refuses to leave your side. Clingy behavior is not a good sign since it indicates that your little companion is insecure.
From separation anxiety to illness, there could be plenty of reasons why your dog may become clingy.