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Easing Separation Anxiety in Dogs

 by petbucket on 24 Nov 2015 |
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Having a dog with separation anxiety isn't that uncommon. Many dogs experience it, especially those who were adopted. Separation anxiety occurs when the owners leave the home or the room. When left alone, dogs with separation anxiety will usually bark, whine, howl, be destructive, try to escape the home or place they are confined, and may urinate or defecate inside the home. 
 
Sometimes, the behaviors associated with separation anxiety can be deterred through training. The training doesn't focus on curbing these behaviors, but instead focuses on easing the dog's separation anxiety when you leave. The training can be summarized in two words--leave often. Begin the training by leaving for a few short minutes. Before leaving, follow the routine you would if you were to leave for work or to run errands. This includes picking up your keys, purse, phone, wallet, and whatever else you might bring with you when you leave the house. After you walk out the door, stay quiet, out of sight, and near the home. The first time you attempt this training, stay outside for about five minutes before entering the home again. It is important to wait until the dog is quiet before entering the home. Continue to do this and leave for longer periods each time you attempt it. This helps the dog to understand that you haven't left them forever.
 
While training can help to alleviate separation anxiety for some dogs, other dogs have a much more severe case. If the training hasn't eased your dog's separation anxiety, talk to your vet. There are medications that can help dogs deal with their separation anxiety. While this may seem like an extreme step to some, for others it's essential. Having a dog placed on an anxiety medication can help keep them calm while you're away, and prevent them from injuring themselves. Once a dog is properly medicated, the training discussed above should be added to the regimen to help ease the dog's separation anxiety even more.
 
If you aren't comfortable medicating your dog, there are some other options. Some vets say that using calming oils, such as lavender, can help to relax the dog. There are other options available that uses pheromones to help relax the dog which are usually available at your local pet store.
 
The important thing to know is that there is no right answer when it comes to easing separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is different for every dog so it's important to be flexible about finding a solution. Don't be afraid to talk to your vet as they may have some other helpful suggestions.

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