Boston Terrier Separation Anxiety: Guide & Remedies


Boston Terriers: Separation Anxiety; Guide To Understanding. Boston Terrier Society.
Me and Bella.

Are you wondering if a Boston Terrier has separation anxiety? Or do you want to learn how to handle your Boston’s separating anxiety when you leave home?

I needed the same answers you are seeking ten years ago when I bought Bella, our Boston Terrier. When we did our research into getting a dog, we chose her, a Boston Terrier, because of her lack of shedding, size, and personality.

We honestly didn’t think about her anxiety when we bought her. It wasn’t until we started leaving her alone for the day that we learned about her suffering.

Here is what you are going to need to know about Boston’s and their separation anxiety…

Do Boston Terriers Have Separation Anxiety?

Yes, Boston Terriers are prone to having separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is the fear one has when someone they love leaves them, even for a short period of time.

Are Other Dogs Affected By Separation Anxiety?

Yes. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, nearly 20 to 40% of all dogs are affected by separation anxiety.

The number one risk factor for developing separation anxiety was living in a home with a single human and no other animals.

Now on to Boston Terriers…

Survey Results From Boston Terrier Owners

A survey was conducted asking 50 Boston Terrier owners the following question about their Boston and separation anxiety; When you leave home for the day, does your Boston have separation anxiety?

The results of the survey surprised me. I was expecting 100% of the respondents to say yes, their Boston does have separation anxiety.

However, 34 respondents, or 68%, said yes. Although not every Boston in the survey has separation anxiety, the odds are your Boston will have it.

What Does Separation Anxiety In Boston Terriers Look Like?

You will be able to tell if your Boston has separation anxiety in two different stages. The first stage is before you leave home. The second stage is when you come back from home to find the aftermath. 

Here is what to look for in your Boston before you leave home:

Your Boston will start to get anxious when you are getting ready to go.
Your Boston will guard the door, so you can not leave.
Your Boston follows you around the house while you are getting ready to go.
Your Boston begins to bark at you before you leave.
Your Boston becomes depressed or mopes around right before you leave.

Here is what Separation Anxiety looks like when you return home:

Your Boston has escaped her cage or the room you left her in.
Your house has been destroyed. (Trash pulled out, poop & pee everywhere)
Your Boston has chewed or gnawed on things while away.
Self-mutilation. Yes, your Boston can resort to hurting herself.
Your Boston becomes OVERLY excited when you return home. The excitement is as if you had left for a year to a war zone.

How To Help Your Boston Terrier With Separation Anxiety

There are several things you can do to help your Boston Terrier deal with separation anxiety. Here are the top five.

Exercise

This is my best advice and would be one of Cesar Milan’s as well. Check out the books I recommend that helped me turn Bella into a well behaved dog; Recommended Books

Right before you leave to go somewhere, take your Boston on a nice long walk, preferably 30 minutes. I know 30 minutes is probably not feasible, and I don’t even do that for Bella, but if you were able to do 30 minutes, it would be the most effective.

Simply walking your Boston around the block once or twice before you leave will help reduce her separation anxiety.

Routines

Have a routine when you leave can help your Boston. Just like humans, dogs like to live in a predictable environment. Instead of running out the door when you need to go somewhere, have a process for your Boston.

This is the process Emily, and I use for Bella before we leave to go anywhere. 

  1. Make sure Bella has water in her bowl.
  2. Take Bella outside to go to the bathroom.
  3. Turn the T.V. on for background noise.
  4. Pick up the house. We leave nothing out for Bella to get into.
  5. Leave the house!

The above bullets are our routine with leaving Bella. This routine helps Bella prepare for are departure because she knows what is about to happen. And she knows that every time this process has occurred in the past, we have returned home to her.

Safe Space

Create a little sanctuary for your Boston to retreat to when you leave home. Boston’s are naturally little burrowers. Yes, you can give them the whole house, but they would prefer to be under the blankets snuggled up into a little ball.

What we do with Bella is have her bed with a blanket placed in the corner of our dining room. This little area is Bella’s home within a home. Any time we leave, she will go straight for this space. 

If you do not have a space for your Boston, make one today by merely placing a pillow bed with a blanket in a corner.

Music

Music is excellent background noise for dogs when you leave them alone. Emily and I opt to have the T.V. on for background noise. I think leaving the T.V. on allows Bella to hear people talking, which makes her feel less alone. 

There are several music and sound videos online for your dog to listen to when you leave. Here are a few examples.

Medication

The last thing you can do for your Boston is to give them medicine for their separation anxiety. There are many different medications you can give them to deal with their stress Benadryl, CBD Oil, and more. However, before you give your Boston any medications to calm their nerves visit your veterinarian to see what they recommend.

If you are looking for calming chewable, here are some highly ranked anxiety chewables on Amazon. I personally have never tried these for Bella (only Benadryl), but these chewables had some great reviews.

What Other Boston Terrier Owners Do…

Here is what other Boston Terrier owners do with their Boston’s to help their dog with separating anxiety when they leave for the day. 

A survey was conducted of 50 Boston Terriers owners, and the following question was posed: What do you do to help your Boston with their anxiety when you leave for the day? Here are some of the answers the Boston Owners had given. The answers are in their original wording from the owners.

Take him for a long walk before we leave. 
We leave a crate open in the house in case he needs comfort.
Leave her with plenty of food, treats, and water 
I tell him I will be back. Make sure he has water, and 90% of the time, give him a treat.
We installed a pet door and bought a second Boston.
He goes to doggy daycare and is not home alone during the workday. 
They both sleep in a huge cage, and it relaxes them to go there, they have a mattress and blankets, so it calms them down.
We don’t do much. She has toys and another Boston to keep her company.
Often when we leave, she goes to her quiet place – on our bed.
We got another dog – I now use CBD oil – especially on garbage days (garbage truck sounds) – really helps!
I provide him a bigger area and safe space in an area where he has a choice of beds/his food and a safe toy he likes to suckle on. 
We leave the radio on for her, give her a bone and a kong toy. We also recently got a 2nd Boston terrier, which has also helped her.
She loves blankets, so when I leave, she always got her blankets and some toys. I also have a cat, and both are like best friends and sleeping together.  
Leave the tv or radio on, give him a treat, and let him roam the house (not put him in a cage).
I leave them a chew treat that will entertain them for at least 15 plus minutes. Good distraction. 
I leave new toys, including new and tasty bones.
We got two Boston Terriers, so they are not alone. We leave toys and Kong toys with treats.
Try to limit the time he is alone, leave the tv on, and give him toys 
Leave him with family members, so he knows his sitters well.
Leave their favorite things to do with easy access. 

For the complete results from the Boston Terrier Owner’s Survey, check it out here; Boston Terrier Owner’s Survey: 50 Owners Responded.

When To Seek Medical And Professional Help?

Once again, you are the master of your fur baby. If you think something is wrong with your Boston, go seek medical help.

Talking to your veterinarian is crucial if you plan on giving your Boston any type of medication like Benadryl, CBD Oil, or calming ingestible.

Final Thoughts…

Separation anxiety is common in Boston Terriers, nearly seven out of ten owners believe their dog has separation anxiety.

The simplest way to help your Boston with this issue is to give it more exercise and establish a routine for leaving the house.

If you want to learn more about Boston Terriers, be sure to browse this site or visit the Boston Terrier Society’s YouTube Channel.

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Donnie Gardner

Donnie Gardner is the owner of the Boston Terrier Society. He has been raising Bella the Boston since 2010. He resides in Kansas with his wife, daughter, and Bella. His favorite activities are hanging out with family, traveling, running (but has bad knees), and reading non-fiction books.

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