Being pack animals, dogs dislike being on their own as they feel vulnerable. Being alone affects some more than others, especially those that have a high dependency on their owners or who have previously been abandoned. Separation anxiety manifests in various undesirable behaviors such as destructiveness and soiling inside the house.
It is better for the dog that you do not encourage him to become over-dependent as it will lead to problems when you need to leave him on his own. It is not fair on a dog to encourage him to be so highly dependent on you that he cannot let you out of sight without feeling anxious.
For a dog to remain mentally and physically healthy, being alone for long periods while his owner is at work is not the best environment. Get around this by taking him to a dog-sitter or kennels, or arrange for someone reliable to come in to see to your dog when you are out.
A common problem in old dogs is 'geriatric separation anxiety', which usually becomes apparent at night when everyone is asleep The dog wakes, feels disorientated and doesn’t know where his owners are. He barks, pants, is very anxious and may even soil, Veterinary treatment can help resolve these panic attacks.
Older dogs often get more clingy and display an increased need for human company. Leaving a radio on low can help reassure him when you are out for short periods, as can giving him treat-filled activity toys to occupy him.
A DAP diffuser can prove helpful in reducing anxiety in your dog. Plug it in near his bed or den.
In some cases, herbal rescue remedies, such as Bach Flower Rescue Remedy, have been found to be effective in alleviating separation (and general) anxiety. Pop a couple of drops on your dog's tongue an hour or so before you go out. Seek veterinary advice before administering.