There is a thin line between being cute and downright annoying, especially when clingy dogs and kids are involved.
For kids, we can call it separation anxiety, familiarity, and security. But when it comes to why my dog is suddenly so clingy, it could be both those reasons plus more as discussed below.
Signs Your Dog has Started Acting Weird and Awful Intimate
When you notice your dog following you around everywhere in the house, know that they have started becoming clingy.
There is the regular following around where they let you go after reaching certain areas in the home, such as the washroom or the shower.
But if they seem reluctant to go in with you or cause some trouble when you try to chase them away, your dog has become clingy.
Secondly, another way to decipher if your dog is almost becoming intimately clingy is if they look at you with an uninterrupted stare that won't subside. And the very instance you attempt to move, they are on their tracks too.
Clingy dogs may become aggressive, howl, or bark uncontrollably when you leave them behind. This behavior could result in them chewing on doorknobs, window sills, and other objects in the house.
Another sign of a clingy dog is when they continually try to escape in the attempt to follow you. They may use the balcony or the window to get to you.
Lastly, when you come home to a room full of fecal waste in every corner, it shows that your dog might be anxious since you were not around. And this then brings us to the next section that may answer why my dog is suddenly so clingy.
Reasons for Sudden Clinginess
Illnesses or Medical Complications
Do not always shrug your dog when they become too clingy all over sudden.
More often than not, they might be trying to communicate to you that there is something wrong; something medical, perhaps.
Epileptic dogs tend to move closer to their owners when they feel the possible onset of an episode. And since they trust you as their caregiver, they feel more secure being closer to you.
After confirming that it is epilepsy, it is advised that you take your dog to a vet immediately to sort out the underlying issue, which might be a brain tumor, an infection, or exposure to toxins.
Well, if you did not know, now you do; dogs get stressed too.
They could be getting this stress from a sudden change in their routine, unfamiliar surrounding, foreign faces, loud noise,s, and other external factors.
And when this happens, they find peace in following you around since they are familiar with you.
Just like human beings, dogs also have phobias that root from past traumatic experiences or mere lack of exposure to the stimulus.
Things like going up and down the stairs, fear of strangers, fear of a particular gender, or fear of children might root from the lack of early socialization.
Phobias of fireworks, thunder, and machines that make loud noises are also possible triggers. Lastly, some dogs might dislike certain things that remind them of a traumatic experience, like water from when they almost drowned or fire from a burning building they were once trapped.
Nearing any of these scenarios will have your dogs sticking closer than usual.
An aging dog
When a dog starts aging, their senses deteriorate more and more. They hear and see less and prefer sticking nearer since they are familiar with you.
More reasons your aging dog might now want to leave your side is because of separation anxiety, and they feel you are about to dash.
They might also hang around you if they smell danger lurking or hear an unfamiliar sound that makes them nervous.
The dog is about the have puppies
Pregnant dogs may sometimes become distant and overly overprotective or, on the flip side, very clingy and stick by you every step you take.
A heavily pregnant dog could be nearing her pups' birthing and is calling out for some help. They might not really need your help, but it would be nice to have you around to cater to her regardless.
Pregnant dogs will mostly stick around because the place you ideally lounge is cozy, which is the perfect place for her to deliver her puppies.
You are expectant
It has also been reported that pregnant women with dogs, their companion tends to be closer than usual.
The science behind this is that the dog is sensing the heightened emotion and anxiety that accompany pregnancy, which prompts them to be more protective.
If someone unfamiliar comes close, they are bound to get aggressive by growling and agitated.
What Can You Do To Help Your Clingy Dog
Before going ahead to sort out why my dog is suddenly so clingy, you must first get to the root cause of the clinginess.
And the best person to help you with this is a vet. Through a routine check-up, they will evaluate all possible causes and get to the bottom of it.
If sickness is the root of the clinginess, then medication for the specific condition is given out. Under this, you must follow the veterinary advice to the latter. Unfortunately, some states may have progressed further, attracting the need to put down the dog to ease their suffering.
If the reason for your dog becoming clingy is caused by stress, try in as much as you can to keep them away from the stressing factor. If it is a food they are allergic to, eradicate it from their diet. And if it is a change of routine, gradually shift it so that it is not an issue.
If triggered fears and phobias are the cause of why my dog is suddenly so clingy, keep them away from the stimulus.
In cases the trigger is unavoidable like thunder or fireworks episode, mild sedatives can help them relax. Physical stimuli like water and fire, also keep them far away to avoid a clinging reaction from your pup.
With aging dogs, there is nothing much you can do but show your pet some love. The fact that you may not have a lot of time to spend with them should prompt you to utilize the time you have to the fullest.
All in all, make sure they get checked by a vet to ensure that everything is fine and love them every step of the way.
A pregnant dog needs you to help, and that is why they stick around. Their silent cry for attention keeps you in the loop and is beneficial.
Your role in all this is to stay vigilant and attend to their needs as soon as they need it. After the birthing process, you could make the puppies extra cozy by providing a warmer location and giving the mother something to eat.
If you are the pregnant mum, your pup is merely being an extra security companion, which is a plus. A dog can be very instrumental in getting you help if labor starts abruptly. If there is imminent danger, they can help you help or protect you if the threat is directed to you.
Activities to Reduce Clinginess In Dogs
Excite their minds
Instead of exposing them to the same things over and over, get them a new toy, play them a clip of another pup, or simply start training them on a new skill.
These actions stimulate your dog's brain and reduce their clinginess since they have something else to focus on. Bored puppies become very clingy.
Dogs are pretty playful and need lots and lots of exercise. And giving them some extra runs up and down the hill at the park will eradicate instances you asking why is my dog suddenly so clingy.
Give your dog a designated space
This means setting space aside that is intended for your dog. Set up a teepee and a cushion to ensure that they have a very comfortable place to call their own.
This space gives them a sense of security, which encourages calm and wards off anxiety, which might cause clinginess.
Make your movements unpredictable
If you always go to the kitchen to hand your dog a treat, change it up so that your dog won't find it necessary to follow you everywhere.
Instead, go and pick a phone call or do some cleaning. This way, your dog will see no point in following you around unless summoned.
Taking care of a clingy dog might be just as easy as getting them stimulated or complicated like getting meds, but as seen, it depends on the issue causing the clinginess.
Regardless, always consult a veterinarian to ascertain why my dog is suddenly so clingy, and the best remedy.
If, by any chance, you notice no change, take your dog back for a thorough evaluation. Something worse might have been missed the first time. When dealing with clingy dogs, it's always better safe than sorry.