Separation anxiety in dogs is more prevalent than most people realize.I had no idea how many people had dogs suffering from one form of anxiety or another.
They are not any different. They go through the same stress and worry that humans do.The only difference being that their loving owners without realizing it are causing this stress and anxiety to their wonderful pets.
Causes of Anxiety
Anxiety and stress problems are not only found in older dogs. Younger dogs can and do suffer from it too.Here are some of the symptoms, causes of anxiety and ideas to help solve this problem I will cover in this article:
- Separation anxiety in dogs
- Coping with fear and anxiety in dogs
- Symptoms of anxiety in dogs
- How to deal with stress in dogs
- Herbs to help anxiety in dogs
- Separation anxiety in dogs
Dogs are Very Observant
Quite often humans underestimate the intelligence of our beautiful dog sitting quietly on the mat. Believe me; they do not miss a single thing.The slightest change in the household routine will be observed.When you start packing they see you rushing back and forth, your excitement transfers to them.
Therefore, by the time you actually leave him/her in a kennel, with a neighbor or having someone come in to feed and exercise him, the damage is already done.He knew something was up.Your dog may react in many ways. He may sulk or refuse to eat, bark continually, be destructive or urinating in the home or in some cases they will try to escape their captive.
Preparation before separation
There are a few things to try to reduce this problem.If possible prepare your dog before you go away.
- Leave him outside without any interaction during the daytime so he becomes used to being on his own.
- Give him interactive toys, like Kong's where he has to work to get the food.
- Get him used to the sitter well before you leave home.
- Install a doggy door so he can still have access to at least one room of the home.
- Leave some of your pre worn clothes for him to sleep on, this will help make him feel closer to you.
Coping with fear and anxiety
Yes like us, dogs will be scared by different things.This could be caused by lightning, Ambulance and police sirens, Crackers on guy Fawkes night. In fact any sudden noise may cause your dog to be scared and behave accordingly.
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Relaxing your Dog
Soothe your dog
If you are home at the time talk quietly to your dog, pat and rub his ears. Never growl at him because that will make it worse.
Symptoms of Anxiety in Dogs
Your dog may hide under the bed or in a wardrobe.He may pant excessively or continually tremble. A house trained dog may suddenly start to urinate in the home, or bark excessively, tail held lower than normal, eye white showing or whining.
How to deal with stress in dogs
Humans and dogs can learn and how to cope with stress together. Use a calm voice when training your dog.You could even use a word like gentle when doing this training together.Do this at home or when out playing in the park. If you train him this way from the beginning, when he becomes excited for any reason you say gentle he will relax.By combining your calm voice and hearing the word gentle he will be more inclined to settle.
As I said earlier, dogs pick up situations quicker than you realize.If you are stressed or anxious, your dog will pick up on it and could become anxious or stressed too.
Herbs to help anxiety in dogs
There are many herbs and herbal essences that can improve the stress and anxiety of your dog.I cannot recommend any myself.Although I will say that I have a dog that after having a back tooth pulled out has suffered from a lot of anxiety.
We were traveling and since the extraction when we stopped in a parking area and a vehicle went passed our blue heeler would suddenly get a burst of terrific strength and drag my husband or I back to the car and jump inside trembling like anything.
We were recommended to try some drops called Anxiety drops which we obtained from a vet.This helped him for a while then we could not find them again as we were traveling.
He is still stressing out, especially now that we are packing to shift.We contacted our local vet and he suggested that we give him a mild dose of 25mg Endep tablets.We only give this to him when he is really stressed out as it is a form of drug.
All dogs should be given obedience training. This will also help you when your dog is going through many problems, and enable you to keep control of your dog.
I would just like to say, keep an eye on your dog for signs of anxiety.Talk quietly and calmly to your dog and try teaching him the method of using a calming word like gentle and see if it works. Also if you still have a problem seek advice from your Vet.
We understand how some problems cause humans to suffer from stress.It can be caused from the high pressure of their work, or trying to juggle work and the family home with kids to run back and forth to school and sports.We accept the implications of depression, and stress and the necessity of specialist treatments and visits to the doctor.So why are our pets any different?