Treatments For Canine Separation Anxiety
It has been suggested that adding another animal, such as another dog, to the household may help dogs with separation-related behavior problems to cope with absences from their owner., However, evidence suggests that the presence of another dog in the household does not prevent another dog from developing separation-related problems.,,
Owners may respond to the separation-related problem behaviors of their dogs by confining the dog to a crate. Some authors have recommended this approach because once the dog is accustomed to the crate they rarely engage in the stress-related behaviors exhibited by dogs that have free access during periods of separation from their owner. However, others have found that dogs left in crates or cages while at home alone are no less likely to display separation-related problem behaviors than dogs that have free access to the home. In fact, confining a dog with separation anxiety to a crate can increase lip licking, a response consistent with stress, and dogs can injure themselves in attempts to escape from the crate.
The Top 10 Tips For Relieving Your Dog’s Stress
Dogs can have a number of different behavioral problems, everything from aggression to separation anxiety. Just like humans, canines often suffer from everyday stress that can lead to issues that can cause them to act out irrationally, again similar to their masters.
While people have some means at their disposal to deal with stress, dogs arent so lucky. In this light, here are our top ten ways to help reduce and relieve canine stress.
#1 Easily the number one way to reduce a dogs stress is through regular, daily exercise. Walking, playing, trips to the dog park, swimming any form of physical activity will not only reduce your dogs daily stress level, it also helps them to live a much longer and healthier life.
#2 Providing mental stimulation is just as effective as physical exercise and the two can also be combined. Think about different types of toys available that entice a dog to work for a treat or reward.
#3 Crate training is a great practice, especially when it comes to safely transporting your pet, but it also provides them a safe haven. Just like a den for wolves in the wild, this dog-friendly space makes them feel comfortable in their own space at home.
#4 Dogya has exploded in popularity recently. When humans invite their canines to join in with this ancient practice, calming poses combined with gentle massage and stretching techniques does wonders for masters and their four-legged friends.
Examine Your Dogs Stress Level
- How does your dog act in his environment? Does he appear relaxed or tense?
- Is your dog happy and content or constantly fearful that something is going to happen? Is he defensive, jealous or angry?
- How does your dog interact with others including other animals?
The above considerations are highly important in determining your dogs level of contentment or lack of. Dogs who are easygoing, playful, interactive and well balanced will be less likely to develop chronic health problems.
Really take notice to your relationship with your dog as well as other people in the home and any other animals as well. Take notice to your dogs daily lifestyle. If there is a lot of noise and dysfunction in the home this can cause just as much major stress and anxiety issues for your dog, as it does for you.
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A Lack Of Aggression Is Not Necessarily Progress
Its not enough to persuade a dog with a fear of people to take a treat for a strangers hand. Unfortunately people look at this willing to snatch at the cookie and run away as a sign of success because the dog did not bark or growl. Then we wonder why our dog reacts badly the next time. All we have done is created a situation for the dog where they are conflicted.
A key component in behavior modification is understanding that we come to be anxious about the fear or the anxiety itself. Exposure must start at the lowest levels of anxiety so they understand that at low levels, they can cope with the anxiety. This is the only way the dog can get used to both the stimulus and the anxiety itself. This is the only way desensitization can occur.
Otherwise, if we expose them to the stimulus at higher levels, they dont lose the dread of being anxious or fearful and the continue to associate those feelings with the stimulus. All we have done is created yet another highly anxious situation for the dog and further reinforced the the association between the anxiety and the stimulus making the situation worse.
Recommendations To Dog Owners
Behavioral interventions designed specifically for individual dogs, and therefore that take into account the specific context in which the problem behavior is occurring for each dog, are preferable to generic, nonspecific instructions. If individualized behavioral intervention is not possible, or if it is financially prohibitive for a dog owner, then the instructions that follow are recommended.
All advice given to dog owners about how to prevent, manage, or treat problematic dog behavior should be clear and specific, and be limited to no more than five separate instructions. Thus, instructions should contain the five, or fewer, specific instructions most likely to have a favorable outcome. Instructions are equally effective regardless of whether they are delivered in person or by phone or email. The instructions offered are tailored to three different scenarios: 1) people who are considering owning a dog 2) new dog owners who wish to prevent separation-related problems and 3) existing dog owners who wish to treat canine separation-related problems. In each instance, five or fewer, specific instructions, based on the literature presented in this review, have been presented.
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What Are The Signs Of Dog Anxiety
All dogs get anxious on occasion , but if your dog is always agitated, barking, and pacing, an anxiety disorder could be to blame. But anxiety looks different on every animal. Some dogs scratch when they are stressed. Other anxious dogs whine, whimper, and hide. Recognizing the many signs of canine anxiety is key to understanding your anxious dog. Dogs with anxiety often display:
Why Is My Dog Scared Or Anxious
There are lots of things that can cause your dog to feel nervous or frightened. Sometimes your dog will be nervous of something from a young age, whereas others may start to become anxious gradually or when they are older. You might never find out exactly why your dog is afraid, but the most important part is to work out what is scaring them so you can help your dog cope and hopefully they will become less afraid over time.
Some of the most common causes of anxiety in dogs include:
- Loud noises
- Unfamiliar dogs
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Strategy : Help Minimize Your Dogs Stress When You Leave The House
All dogs study their owners movements, they have memorized every step you take when you leave your home. For example: getting up from your chair, picking up your keys, putting on your coat, putting on your shoes, heading to the door, opening it, and so on. All of these steps are sources of anxiety for a dog with separation anxiety. You will need a lot of patience and a lot of practice when training a dog with separation anxiety.
The key is getting your dog used to you doing these actions without leaving the house, allowing your dog to be completely calm before moving onto the next action. Put your shoes on, then immediately take off your shoes, without ever leaving the house or pick up your keys and carry them with you around the house again without leaving. Your dog may gradually build up a tolerance to you doing these actions without triggering their anxiety.
This problem has likely taken months if not years to develop. It will take a while for your dogs brain to stop associating the steps of your departure with fear and begin re-associating those steps with a calmer state-of-mind. So dont rush it. With patience and lots and lots of repetitions it will work!
General Therapeutic Management Of Anxiety In Dogs
As we have described in the most important anxiety related disorders, the therapeutic management is the implementation of a battery of combined therapies to reduce the state of anxiety, which will depend on the degree of intensity and if there is an involvement brain neurochemistry. The best tools to correct or minimize behaviour disorders consequence of anxiety are behaviour modification techniques and the use of psychotropic drugs. Therapy must begin with a relaxation protocol which predisposes the animal to a better acceptance of the upcoming treatment. Afterwards, psychopharmacology is used and finally behaviour modification techniques such as habituation, desensitization and counterconditioning.
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How Anxiety Relates To Dog Aggression And Why We Need To Treat It
While you may think your dog is aggressive because of the neighbours black dog or the guy wearing that crazy hat, it is now believed by the scientific community that anxiety or uncertainty underlies most dog aggression . That anxiety or uncertainty in dogs underlies dog aggression is not immediately obvious. As a result it is overlooked unless you are aware of it. In fact you might want to check that any of your dogs odd personality quirks are not a result of anxiety. And can your anxious dog who has not been aggressive before, become aggressive? In a word, yes.
What Natural Remedy Can I Give My Dog For Anxiety
Veterinarians can prescribe medication for anxious dogs, but many pet owners prefer to start with a natural treatment for dog anxiety. Studies have found Omega 3 supplements can help relieve anxiety in dogs without the unpleasant side-effects of pharmaceutical treatments. Other pet owners find a useful way to calm dogs suffering from separation anxiety. Other pet owners find CBD oil a useful way to calm dogs suffering from separation anxiety. Many people give anxious dogs essentials oils, which are especially soothing to animals with such a finely honed sense of smell. We love Dog Whisperer® Essential Oil, which calms anxiety in dogs and also helps our anxious pets sleep better at night.
Benadryl is usually given to help itching dogs recover from allergic reactions, but its sedative quality helps calm dogs with anxiety, too. Benadryl shouldnt be given to dogs on a regular basis, but it could help calm anxious dogs during travel, particularly if your dog is prone to motion sickness. Dont give Benadryl to dogs prior to consulting with a veterinarian.
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Treatments For Dog Anxiety
When searching for dog anxiety treatments, the most common treatment methods that come to mind are medications. We will further mention the best meds that we hand-picked to treat dogs with anxiety signs. Apart from drugs, there are other treatment methods that you may want to consider. However, the best method we can see is contacting a professional vet and following their advice. When talking with them, you may discuss the possibilities of following treatment methods as you prefer.
Natural Ways To Treat Dog Anxiety
Its not all chew toys and tail wagging for every furry friend. Anxiety is a widespread obstacle that many dogs and owners endure. Some varying causes and stressors may be challenging to avoid, but luckily dog anxiety can be alleviated or lessened. As a society, we have expanded our understanding of anxiety disorders within humans, but what about our pups? They suffer from similar symptoms which may seem daunting to tackle, but we have some simple, go-to tips and tricks to keep your pup calm, cool, and collected!
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Creating A Safe Environment
Another tip from Bernal involves creating a safe space for your pet such as a small room located far from the main entrance of a space and filling it with comforting items like a familiar toy and of course, plenty of food, water, and treats. This space will serve as a place to retreat when anxiety starts to take over, she explains. Offer your pet treats in this area or store his favorite toys here when theres no stressful activity happening to help build a positive association with the space.
You may also want to play some calming music for your pet. I have dogs respond well to classical music being played, especially when left at home alone, Dr. Burch says. Certain songs are scientifically proven to decrease anxiety in your dog and create a calming environment.
Use A Pheromone Diffuser
Just like you might have an essential oil diffuser to help you relax, anxious dogs can benefit from similar diffuser technology containing canine pheromones. Dog appeasing pheromone is created by mother dogs when theyre feeding puppies it helps the puppies to bond with the mother, and may also benefit adults dogs who are anxious. Its available as a plug-in diffuser which lasts about a monthworth a try to help your anxious pup!
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Natural Remedies For Dog Anxiety
Dog anxiety is common. It can stop your dog from enjoying normal doggie activities like going for a walk around the neighborhood. So its important to find a way to help her relax and have fun!
While some vets may prescribe your dog pharmaceutical meds they may not be the best choice. Medications for anxiety can have some pretty bad side effects . Luckily, there are lots of natural remedies you can try.
Before I get to those, heres some background on dog anxiety.
What Breeds Are Prone To Anxiety
Dog anxiety is not unique to any particular breed, but there may be some breeds that are more prone to it. Any dog can develop anxiety, says Dr. Burch, who adds that dogs who are highly active, and/or working dogs that do not have a job may be particularly prone to developing anxiety. Examples of breeds that could fit into these categories include:
- German shepherd
- Border collie
Dogs of any breed can experience anxiety. As Bernal points out, A study conducted in Finland analyzing 264 breeds found that pet parents thought more than 70% displayed some form of anxiety. With anxiety being such a common issue for dogs, a multifaceted approach to treat it may be best.
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How To Cope While Your Dog Learns To Be Calm
It can take time for your dog to unlearn their panic response to your departures. To help you and your dog cope in the short term, consider the following interim solutions:
- Ask your veterinarian about drug therapy to reduce your dogs overall anxiety.
- If your dog enjoys the company of other dogs, take your dog to a well-run doggie daycare facility or kennel when you have to be away.
- Leave your dog with a friend, family member or neighbor when youre away.
- Take your dog to work with you, if possible.
Here Are Some Treatment Ideas For Correcting Your Dogs Anxiety
Its so important that you locate and correct the source causing your dogs stress.
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Give Old Dogs Some Relief
These treats make me feel like a pup again!
Older dogs suffering from arthritis may display anxious behavior due to physical discomfort, so helping to relieve that lameness can do wonders for their mood. A quality hip and joint supplement is a great solution to relieve those tired old bones! Also, if youve got a senior dog who sleeps on any old blanket or a ratty, flattened bed, invest in a quality orthopedic bed for their golden years. Youll be surprised at how much more content theyll be with a cozy and comfortable spot to relax.