Beagles are known for their strong attachment to people and other animals. They can be very friendly, loving, and loyal pets. However, sometimes this love can turn into a serious problem called separation anxiety. This is when your Beagle becomes uneasy or anxious when you leave them alone or separated from you for any period of time. It’s important that if your Beagle has separation anxiety that it gets treated before the condition worsens and they start displaying destructive behaviors like chewing on furniture or urinating in the house while you’re gone!
Read more about how to treat separation anxiety in Beagles here on our blog today!
What is beagle separation anxiety?
Separation anxiety is a condition in beagles and other breeds of dogs where your beagle will become very distressed when left alone.
Beagles, with their sociable nature with humans and dogs can be susceptible to separation anxiety, especially if they have had prolonged periods of time without experiencing being alone.
When a Beagle feels alone, sometimes they will become stressed. They may feel isolated, and they may then panic, worrying where their human mum or dad has gone.
This is essentially separation anxiety. It can manifest itself in varying levels of severity from mild to severe.
What causes separation anxiety in beagles?
There are a number of different causes of separation anxiety. One is just general socialization issues.
Another cause could be that the dog was previously living in an overcrowded environment, like a shelter or other high-density populated area. When the dog gets adopted to a new home, they may act out and have separation anxiety because they are not used to being alone.
Separation anxiety can also be caused by any type of prolonged isolation that the dog has experienced including boarding, traveling long distances, or if their owner has been gone for work all day.
Separation anxiety can also be genetic in nature so if your Beagle had an ancestor with separation anxiety then your Beagle will likely inherit it as well. Separation anxiety will usually start to develop within the first six months of living with a new owner.
What are the symptoms and signs of separation anxiety?
Symptoms of beagle separation anxiety can vary greatly depending on the severity of your dog’s condition.
The three most common signs of beagle separation anxiety are destructive behaviors, excessive barking or whining, or the dog’s refusal to go outside.
Some dogs may urinate or defecate in the house when their owner is away, either because they do not know how to hold it for a long period of time or because they have separation anxiety.
Other symptoms to pay attention to that may indicate separation anxiety is excessive vocalization, eating disorders/destruct
Others may urinate on the floor, chew furniture, bark excessively and become agitated.
What beagle owners should look out for to spot separation anxiety;
Pooping (Coprophagia) or urinating: Even if your Beagle had relieved itself on the morning walk, the stress could lead them to have an accident
Barking or whining: This can be a quite common trait of separation anxiety, particularly as Beagles are notorious for their baying
Chewing: This could be toys, or household furniture and Beagles may do this when they are bored as opposed to suffering separation anxiety
Drooling: Again, due to their stress levels, they may excessively drool.
Panting: When a dog is distressed, like humans, its heart rate will rise, and breathing will get heavy
Pacing: They may move around the room continuously
Try to find a way out of the area they are in: They may dig the floor, scratch at doors or chew furniture in a bid to escape.
If your Beagle is or has suffered separation anxiety in the past, they may exhibit some of the above characteristics before you leave the house. For example, putting your clothes on for work, a coat, or grabbing the house keys could set them off.
Sometimes separation anxiety can appear after you have left the house and it can be difficult, without evidence when you return, to really know if they do have it.
You could set up a camera in the room you leave them in. We did this with our Beagle Bonnie when we were unsure if she was getting stressed when we left her.
Unfortunately, we placed the camera where she could reach it, and the rascal managed to grab it and destroy it in her bed.
Cameras can come at varying costs, we purchased an indoor Ring camera that costs £50 and connects via wi-fi. This means we can watch her live whilst we are out.
Why Is Separation Anxiety Common In Beagles?
Beagles were bred originally to be in a large hunting pack of other Beagles.
These packs would sleep, eat, play and hunt wild game together.
A dog’s life changed from having a pack, lots of social interaction, and free roam to being a domesticated beagle.
Left to its own devices a beagle will often get bored, wanting the company of other dogs or people, which could result in escape attempts from the confines of its house or yard.
Their stress levels can also increase which makes them irritable and will cause them to bark, whine, salivate excessively and gnaw household items.
How long can I leave my Beagle for?
There are different opinions regarding how long a Beagle can be left.
If your Beagle is over 18 months old (an adult), it is recommended that they be left between 4 and 6 hours.
For Beagle puppies the length of time is much less, a maximum of 2 hours is recommended.
If you have access to a friend or family member who can pop by and take your dog for a walk, or alternatively you use a dog walking service, this will make it less difficult for your Beagle.
If you have a job that means you are out of the house all day (6 hours or more), you need to think about your Beagle’s quality of life.
Read our post How Long Can I Leave My Beagle Alone?
How to help your beagle’s separation anxiety
If your beagle shows signs of experiencing separation anxiety or anxious behavior try the following tips to help your beagle cope;
1. Adopt a strict routine for you and your Beagle
All dogs like routine and a schedule in your day will help to keep them calm as there are fewer unexpected happenings.
For example, leaving the house each morning before work at 7:30 am and returning home at 5 pm is a regular routine that they know they can rely on to keep them calm.
Routine can help change behavior in many ways.
For example, I noticed that my beagle got anxious when she first hears the jangling sound of my car keys.
I decided to start just jangling my keys at home with her, and after they’d make a noise, I’d give her a treat, something like dry kibble.
After enough time, she began to associate positive feelings with me picking up my keys, and didn’t always get so nervous when I did have to use them to leave her for longer periods.
2. Try playing calming music for your Beagle
If you have an Alexa or other smart speaker, we recommend setting up a playlist of classical music such as Beethoven that can be heard on a timer.
Allow the music to play for 20 minutes before you leave your Beagle and again when you return, this will help them relax in the home environment, and over time they will associate the timings with you leaving and coming home.
3. Get your Beagle used to the crate
Crate training is a great way to help your dog feel safe and secure in its own space.
Dogs are pack animals, so they need a place where they can retreat when they’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed.
Associate crate training with positive feelings by rewarding your beagle when in the crate, for example; give them a treat each time they are put in the crate and praise them when they are quiet.
You’ll be able to leave the house without worrying about accidents or destruction while you’re gone! Plus, it will make it easier to travel with your pup by car because he’ll have his own space in the back seat of the car.
Read our post Should Beagles Be Crate Trained?
4. Mental stimulation
Keep your Beagle occupied whilst on its own by keeping plenty of its favorite toys around for it to play with.
For younger dogs, try hiding some of their favorite treats around the house so that they can sniff them out. A toy stuffed with peanut butter will also keep your dog entertained for hours!
If you have a backyard, let your Beagle run free in it and encourage it to retrieve one of its toys or chew on a bone.
5. Exercise your beagle
Beagles were bred to hunt, and they would be out with their pack and human companion for long hours.
Beagles have high levels of energy and stamina and as such need regular exercise.
If you limit your walks to just the weekend with your Beagle or occasionally during the week, your dog will be restless and will get bored.
Boredom can lead to destructive behavior.
Exercising your Beagle before you leave for work is a great way to tire it out and reduce anxiety.
Ideally, take your Beagle for a walk or play fetch in the yard or park just 30 minutes before leaving home each day.
Exercising your beagle will help to tire them out, and because Beagle’s are a high energy breed, it will not just tire them out but also provide you with some exercise as well!
6. Ask your family or friends for help!
If you have family or friends around that can take care of your beagle for a few hours after work, or a quick walk in the park or just a toilet break outside, ask them to do so!
7. Hire a dog walker/sitter
A dog sitter could be a great option for those of you who work longer hours, or for those days when you can’t make it home early.
A dog sitter will take your beagle for a short walk, give them food, or let them to for toilet while you are out at work.
Separation anxiety is a common issue amongst Beagles. It can be difficult to deal with if you’re not sure what’s causing it, but there are ways to reduce the anxiety by changing your behaviors or helping your Beagle get used to experiences that cause it.
The good news is that with the right environment and training you can help your dog become less anxious when they are home alone.