I started to write an article about dog separation anxiety solutions, and I ended up writing a book about the subject. Dog separation anxiety solutions is not an easy subject to cover because there are numerous causes and as many symptoms. I have seen dogs have their lives ruined because of separation anxiety. Some of the problems were not because of the symptoms of the condition; it was the way the owners managed the anxiety.
Separation Anxiety Causes.
It is difficult to say what the cause of separation anxiety is. Most cases of separation anxiety start at an early age. If we look at the early life of a puppy, it is quite traumatic. The puppies are separated from the mother at quite an early age. Often a dog is taken from the mother and passed to the welcoming arms of the new owner. From that moment in time, the life of the dog changes.
Everyone who gets a new puppy is ready for a few sleepless nights, especially if the puppy is left alone in a room, alone and isolated. The puppy is suddenly expected to be able to deal with and live in this new environment. Many puppies quickly adapt and can thrive in their new world, adapting to a new family and becoming a member of that family.
Rescue Dogs and Separation Anxiety
Sadly this isn’t the case for all dogs, and they can’t adjust to being alone. They become attached to their new owner and fear they will be abandoned again. Your dog doesn’t need to be a puppy to be affected by separation anxiety. Some of the worse cases I have seen have been adult dogs who have a feeling of abandonment.
If a dog needs to be adopted from an animal rescue, It may become a victim of separation anxiety. Just because a dog has ended up in an animal shelter, doesn’t mean it has been abused. Many dogs have had loving owners who have had to surrender their dog to a rescue centre due to a change in the situation. This can have an impact on the owner and the dog. When the dog is rehomed, it may become attached to the new owner. That may sound good, and it is unless the attachment becomes an issue and the dog won’t leave the new owner. The older dog can start to show signs of separation anxiety; these can be severe.
Dog Separation Anxiety Solutions.
The treatment for separation anxiety needs to start as soon as possible; it]f, not the symptoms can get worse and can lead to dogs injuring themselves. The treatment can be split into three areas.
- Short term interventions,
- Long term interventions
- Training based therapies.
Short term interventions
Short term interventions for separation anxiety in dogs can include Alternative therapies, medication, Pheromone treatments and practical changes to routine. These treatments are not going to have a long term effect; the purpose of these treatments would be to ease the impact and symptoms experienced by the dog. The owner needs to look at long term solutions to ensure the dogs has a better standard of life or dogs. Alternative therapies can include Herbal remedies such as Ackerman’s herbal formula and CBD Oil.
Practical changes to yours and the dogs routine are solutions such as taking your dog everywhere with you or hiring a pet sitter whenever you want to leave the dog alone. These are solutions that work for most dogs, but they are not practical in the long term. the other problem is the fact you
are not curing the separation anxiety, just hiding the problem.
Long term interventions.
Long term interventions for Separation anxiety involves methods that reduce the impact of the symptoms and reduce the trigger for the anxiety. These methods involve using training based therapies. These interventions use safe areas such as crates, interactive toys, pheromones, music and changes in routines. To successfully address separation anxiety training based therapies are required to treat the condition successfully.
Training based therapies.
If you want your dog to have the best life possible and not have to live with the terrible symptoms of separation anxiety, it is necessary that implement training based therapies. These therapies need to be planned and adapted to meet the needs of your dog. Training based therapy for separation anxiety teaches you dog to enter a given emotional state via a cue. These cues can be a place, a word or a toy. They aim to teach your dog it is okay to be apart from you, whether it is is a safe place alone or with another person.
The prognosis for dogs with separation anxiety.
The prognosis for a dog suffering from separation anxiety is positive, and with the right treatment, the condition can be managed. Combining behaviour modification with drug and pheromone treatment has seen in an improvement in approximately three-quarters of affected dogs within eight weeks. Some dogs will need medication for anxiety in a certain situation in the future; otherwise, they may still demonstrate unwanted symptoms.