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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Understanding Your Dog's Separation Anxiety: And How to Help

Since I suffer from just a touch of separation anxiety (On some days, I wail for an undetermined amount of time after Parental Unit leaves), she has been looking into ways to ease both my anxiety, and her resulting anxiety from hearing me wail when she departs without me. Symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs can be a lot more severe that just some short-term wailing though. Can you say: spinning in circles, pacing, digging, urinating and defecating in the house (when otherwise housebroken), destroying furniture and other sundry items within reach, including compulsive chewing on our own paws-yikes!

You're not leaving, are you?


We rounded up some excellent information to share with you from a variety of sources: The ASPCA, Cesar's Way and Dog Fancy, about the possible reasons for separation anxiety and tips for easing it. And after reading through this information, it seems that there's agreement on several key points:

1. Pay a visit to your veterinarian to rule out any medical causes for unusual symptoms. For example, urinating in the house can signal a urinary tract infection.

2.. Exercise your dog before you leave (how about that long daily walk all dogs crave?) We think it's true that a "pleasantly tired" dog (resulting, say, from a good romp in the park) is both a good and happy dog.

3. Don't make a big fuss when you leave or when you return home. Wait till your pooch is in a totally calm state before lavishing affection.

4. Provide a special chew toy right before leaving to keep Rover busy for at least a little while, and to help him or her associate your temporary departure with something pleasant.

5. Slowly desensitize your dog to departures by leaving for only short periods of time, say five or ten minutes, then gradually extend that time until you've reached your full work day (This one seems pretty difficult to do if you're already working...anyone have any ideas?)

So check out these sources and tell us what you think: Does your pooch have symptoms of separation anxiety, and if so, how have you dealt with it. Have you been successful? Will you try any of these tips?
www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/overcoming-separation-anxiety.aspx
www.cesarsway.com/tips/problembehaviors/5-tips-for-separation-anxiety
www.cesarsway.com/news/dognews/Study-Claims-Separation-Anxiety-in-Dogs-Causes-Pessimism
www.dogchannel.com/dog-health/dog-separation-anxiety.aspx
www.dogchannel.com/dog-training/treating-dog-separation-anxiety.aspx

4 comments:

Hound Girl said...

These are all very good for our furfriends who might have this issue

Julie said...

This is so helpful, I'm going to check out some of these resources. Thank you for sharing!

Benny and Lily said...

This IS really helpful, thanks
Benny & Lily

Bocci said...

Glad you all found it helpful-we did, too!
Thanks for your support:-)

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