Separation anxiety in dogs and how to help them.

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Dogs having separation anxiety is a common problem. According to the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) there are 20% to 40% of dogs diagnosed that are referred to animal behavior practices in North America. I hear so much from dog parents regarding how their dog acts out when they leave. This is more common in rescue dogs because of the loss and change they experience in their life. Schedule changes can also trigger the development of separation anxiety.

What else can trigger separation anxiety in your dog?

  • Being left alone for the first time
  • Change in ownership
  • Change in residence
  • Losing a person or doggie sibling
  • Changes in who resides in the household
  • Changes in daily schedule
  • Possible medical issues, such as incontinence
  • Other behavior problems, such as juvenile destruction or bordem

What does separation anxiety look like?

  • Chewing, digging or scratching at windows and doors
  • Trying to escape or getting hurt trying
  • Pacing obsessively
  • Destructive behavior, destroying furniture, etc.
  • Excessive barking
  • Indoor potty accidents
  • Panting or drooling excessively

What can we do to help calm our furry loved ones?

If you have a puppy, I highly suggest crate training them. You will make it easier on yourself and also a lot of dogs find crates comforting and safe. No matter what the age, if they have separation anxiety try a crate and see if it calms them or makes them anxious. Dog’s natural habitat is to have a den. Try a small amount at a time and put something they love in their with them. Crate chart below for recommended crating times.

Something I do and suggested by the AKC is leaving them with something to keep them busy; like a bone or a chew toy with a treat inside. This teaches them that there are rewards to separation. Giving them something they love when you leave can help keep them calm. If they are in a crate, maybe put on of your old shirts in there with them for your scent.

Exercise! Exercise! Exercise!

Exercising with your dogs is great to do before you leave so they are ready to settle down. You may just fix their anxiety by exercising them more, because they aren’t getting enough, they are acting out. I can’t stress this enough, that is why we have an exercise website (<–link here)! It could help with a variety behavior problems including barking. If you don’t have time to exercise them enough, dog treadmills and treadwheels are also becoming more popular!

Dog Treadmills and Dog Treadwheels

i use Essential oils for my dogs

These also work and are fabulous. I used them on my older dog by rubbing on her chest or adding to her shampoo. They also have diffusers for their collars. Roman chamomile oil is a top one for calming dogs, it is extremely gentle and works wonders. Another with great benefits is Lemon; it can calm them and help dogs to focus and clear confusion. Lemon oil also boosts their immunity, which is good for older dogs with underlying conditions. Lavender is one I use and is great to calm and repel fleas! There are more oils available and something to look into if interested! Just make sure you don’t buy generic. Good news is you can use them on yourself as well!

cbd oil is booming.

Increasingly many Vets are recomending CBD oil and others are raving about it’s benefits also. Because it not only can help with anxiety in dogs but also for pain, seizures, chronic inflammation and digestive problems. Cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid receptors in the central and peripheral nervous systems, this helps keep balance through out the dogs body and maintain a normal healthy state. Tips for buying CBD oil: Look for organic so it’s free from toxins, the better the quality the higher the price so don’t go cheap, and buy as a liquid.

I hope this helps and as always talk to your vet if problems persist!

Dog bless~ The Dog Connection

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Resources: AKC.com, Canine Journal, AVMA.com

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