Majesty Dog

Helping Your Anxious Dog: Understanding and Treating Separation Anxiety

Being a dog owner is a rewarding experience, but unfortunately, sometimes it’s necessary to say goodbye to our beloved pets. Reasons why dog owners say goodbye to their dogs can vary from personal circumstances to the dog’s behavior.

One common reason is separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is a fear-based behavior that occurs when a dog is separated from its human caregivers.

Most dogs show signs of anxiety when left alone, but dogs with separation anxiety have an enhanced anxiety that can lead to destructive behavior. Separation anxiety is a common problem for both adopted and rescued dogs, and it’s essential to understand the condition to provide the best care possible.

Dogs’ Understanding of Leaving Cues

Dogs can understand leaving cues. “Owners’ departure signals” refer to the owners’ actions before they leave their dogs at home.

Dogs can pick up on these cues and start to feel anxious. “Contact-calling behavior” refers to dogs following their owners around the house or trying to get their attention.

These actions show that dogs are sensitive to their owners’ emotions and can pick up on any changes. Dogs’ Reactions to Owners’ Departure

Dogs’ reactions to their owners’ departure can be an indication of separation anxiety.

Whining, barking, howling, scratching, and window watching are common signs that dogs exhibit when their owners leave them alone. These behaviors can be problematic, as they can damage the dog’s well-being and that of anyone living around them.

Dogs with separation anxiety can ruin furniture, scratch doors, chew on household objects, destroy carpets or slippers, and soil the house.

Dogs with Separation Anxiety

Record your dog’s behavior- by keeping a log of your dog’s behavior when left alone, you can monitor the severity of their anxiety. Some pet owners use the Petcube Bites Wi-Fi pet camera or Pawbo+ Wi-Fi interactive pet camera to watch and track their dog’s behavior.

It can help owners establish how they can help their dogs overcome separation anxiety.

Signs of Separation Anxiety

Scratches, chewed items, house soiling, and vocalizing are common signs that dogs with separation anxiety exhibit when left alone at home. Dog owners can often distinguish between normal behavior and separation anxiety behavior.

Normal behavior will generally be confined to one area, whereas separation anxiety behaviors will seem to be isolated incidents.

Treating Separation Anxiety

Mild separation anxiety can be remedied through long-lasting treats that keep dogs occupied while the owner is away. Behavior modification exercises such as teaching dogs to sit, stay, lie down, or come can help alleviate mild separation anxiety.

Moderate and severe cases of separation anxiety will require medical interventions like anti-anxiety medication from a veterinarian. A veterinary behaviorist can also play a pivotal role in identifying the root cause and determining the best course of action.

Treats in a dog puzzle toy can also help to occupy a dog’s mind while their owner is away. Downplaying departures and arrivals can reduce the amount of anxiety your pet experiences.

Prescription pet medication such as Clomicalm can help relieve anxiety symptoms. Dogs can also attend daycare or get a pet sitter.

These options will provide them with company and prevent them from feeling anxious. In conclusion, separation anxiety is a common problem in dogs.

Dog owners need to understand the signs of separation anxiety, the behaviors associated with it, and how to treat it to provide the best care possible. With patience and effort, dog owners can help their dogs overcome separation anxiety and return to normal, happy lives.

Dogs are our devoted companions, and as their owners, we strive to give them the best care possible. Unfortunately, some dogs suffer from separation anxiety, which can damage their well-being and that of anyone living around them.

While mild separation anxiety can often be remedied through simple treatments, severe cases require professional help.

Diagnosis and Treatment Plan

A board-certified veterinary behaviorist can diagnose separation anxiety and develop a treatment plan accordingly. The treatment plan usually involves a combination of behavior modification and pet behavior meds.

A veterinary behaviorist will assess a dog’s history and behavior during a consultation, and look for underlying factors that may be contributing to anxiety. They may also recommend a follow-up session to assess how a dog is progressing and make any necessary modifications to the treatment plan.

Pet Behavior Meds

Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists (CAAB) can prescribe medication for severe separation anxiety. According to a study by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the anxiety medication is effective in reducing symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs.

Medication for separation anxiety is typically used in conjunction with behavior modification exercises and is not a permanent solution. Some of the common medications prescribed for severe separation anxiety include clomipramine (Clomicalm), fluoxetine (Prozac), and sertraline (Zoloft).

These medications have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) but need to be prescribed by a certified veterinary behaviorist or CAAB. It is essential to note that medication alone will not cure separation anxiety.

It provides temporary relief and should be used in conjunction with behavior modification exercises to have a lasting effect.

Mental Health Crisis

Severe separation anxiety can lead to a mental health crisis for dogs. Distressed dogs can injure themselves or cause damage to the house, which can impact their prognosis.

Professional help for dogs with severe separation anxiety is essential to prevent their mental health crisis from worsening. In severe cases, the prognosis for dogs with separation anxiety can be grim.

Dogs with severe separation anxiety may need to be rehomed, especially if their behavior poses a danger to themselves or others. Professional help is crucial in ensuring that dogs receive appropriate care throughout their lives.

In conclusion, professional help for dogs with separation anxiety is a critical aspect of their treatment plan. A board-certified veterinary behaviorist can diagnose dogs and develop a treatment plan involving behavior modification exercises and pet behavior medication.

Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists (CAAB) can prescribe medication for severe cases of separation anxiety. It is also essential to note that medication should be used in conjunction with behavior modification exercises and is not a permanent solution.

Severe separation anxiety can lead to a mental health crisis, and professional help is crucial in ensuring that dogs receive appropriate care throughout their lives. In summary, separation anxiety is a common problem in dogs that needs proper attention to improve the dog’s well-being and prevent damage to the house or injury to the dog.

It is essential to understand the signs of separation anxiety and seek professional help when necessary. A board-certified veterinary behaviorist can diagnose and develop a treatment plan for dogs, involving behavior modification exercises and pet behavior medication.

Medication alone cannot cure separation anxiety and should be used in conjunction with behavior modification exercises. Remember that with patience, consistent effort, and professional help, dogs can overcome separation anxiety and return to normal, happy lives.

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