A quarter of British dogs are reportedly now suffering with depression because they are being left alone all day on their own by busy owners.

According to evidence, this is worst in dogs who are left alone for long periods of time or whose owners have just returned to work.

Home Alone Dogs is currently being filmed and will appear on Channel 4 later this year. The programme has revealed what sort of things dogs get up to when they are left alone by their owners.

A spokesman for the programme told the Daily Mail: "For some dogs the consequences can be shocking, including pacing and spinning on the spot. Others were seen barking and howling for long periods, defecating and even self-harming."

Owners who feel their dogs may be suffering from separation anxiety are advised to gently build up the amount of time that the dog is left alone over a period of time. This should allow the dog to get used to the change without it being an abrupt change.There are also a number of strategies which can be used in order to make your dog feel more at ease when it's left on its own.

Help separation anxiety by tiring your dog out
Dogs are never more relaxed than when they are sleeping, so try tiring them out before you leave them. Take them for a lengthy walk where they can run off the lead, this will tire them out and even if it's not enough to send them to sleep, they are bound to be much more calm and relaxed. Exercise can also level out your dog's brain chemistry so they are less likely to get anxious.

Hire a dog walker for dog exercise
If you can afford it, consider hiring a dog walker that can come in and walk your pet during the time you are out during the day. Working a walkable distance away from where you live means that you could even return home to let your dog out to stretch its legs.

Don't leave a bored dog
It's important that your pet isn't left bored as this can cause them to become anxious. Make sure you leave them with plenty of toys and familiar items which smell of you and your pet.

Written by: Hannah