Treating dogs with severe separation anxiety

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When moving into a new house you are completely changing everything about life that your dog has grown to know. One way to alleviate this high energy anxiety is to play some soft music, such as classical. Take your dog with you and the rest of the family when you are moving boxes to and from the new house.
To alleviate this stress, help him become used to the new house by letting him inside for short intervals when you’re bringing over boxes. Separation anxiety can result from suffering a traumatic experience, such as a major earthquake or becoming lost in unfamiliar surroundings. Unfortunately, sometimes separation anxiety just isn’t preventable, especially with an older dog. Recent study with rats challenged that assumption, and now it seems like placebos can deceive dogs too. Domesticated pooches are so uniquely harmonious to human social cognitive cues and bond so closely with their owners, they’re also vulnerable to separation anxiety.
Hungarian ethologists Zso?fia Su?megi, Ma?rta Ga?csi, and Jo?zsef Topa?lset out to discover whether the placebo effect exists in dogs or not. The strange situation modified for dogs had four stages: first the dog was introduced to a new room with its owner. After finding the baseline, each dog had three conditioning trials that were done on different days. By underscoring the environmental and procedural aspects of the drug administration instead of explicitly linking the medication with owner separation, the researchers assured their own success. It will save the owner the cost of the medication and it may also avoid the need to continually medicate dogs.
Because he is such a routine-oriented pet, your dog will need some extra understanding and a little bit of patience in order to make him feel safe and confident while undergoing such a radical change, even if it only lasts for a few days. When you are packing up your household items, shipping boxes, coming and going at all times during the day, handling phone calls and delegating family members to help, all of these things create an extremely confusing atmosphere for your dog.
Many people make the mistake of isolating their dog in the backyard or in a crate while they are busy moving and packing boxes. If you thought that your dog will get stressed out from all of the changes at the old house with packing and moving, imagine what it’s going to be like when he is faced with a strange and foreign area in the new home.


Doing so will help your puppy become more comfortable with the changes taking place and slowly adjust to making the new house his home. If you come home to find your dog chewing on your old house slippers, in all probability he simply finds the activity enjoyable and uses your absence as a chance to gnaw away, uninterrupted.
For example, your dog knows that when you put on your jacket, you’re about to leave the house. Dogs who’ve been properly introduced to their crate tend to feel safe and secure in this private den. Left untreated, it causes damage to your house and belongings — and serious psychological suffering for your dog. That sugar pill you just took helps relieve your headache only because YOU THINK it will work. The researchers weren’t necessarily asking if using a placebo effect was a useful cure for separation anxiety.
To avoid any potential confusion, they ruled out dogs who were already taking meds and who had any known health problems. Half of the dogs were given a dose of Sedalin before each trial, while the others were given a vitamin.
The focus was on the dogs’ inner psychological condition, rather than on the separation itself. A dog that is chewing on what it is allowed to chew on is not destroying furniture or other items and is also not barking incessantly. Put the toy on the ground before you leave and don't let the dog touch it until right before you leave.
If your dog has serious problems it might be a good idea to let them see a dog-psychologist, with you, of course. You don't need to make an appointment in many cases; the staff should be happy to help you over the phone with suggestions.
A bored and lonely dog might get mischievous, and chew or eat the wrong thing, so keep anything your dog might grab out of the way! Anything that can help lower the stress vibes of the rest of the family, in which your dog can sense, will go a long way in making him feel safer.
The results — including the destruction of your belongings and the deterioration of your dog’s mental and physical health — can be devastating.


It is strongly recommended that you seek help from a reputable behaviorist if you think desensitization is your best treatment option. This signals to your dog that coming and going are casual, common occurrences — no need for drama or spectacular displays of emotion. In some cases, dogs prefer the sanctuary of a crate to being left alone in a big open house. Instead, they used separation anxiety as a way to see if dogs are susceptible to the placebo effect.
While the owners all gave informed consent, they were not told if their dogs would be receiving the Sedalin or a vitamin instead. As predicted, the dogs given the medication were more relaxed, including when the owner left the room, than were the dogs given a vitamin. Consistent with the placebo effect, those dogs who had previously taken the Sedalin still demonstrated the same relaxed behaviors, despite not being given the drug itself. These therapeutic interventions can be expensive, and there are welfare concerns involved in continually treating dogs with anti-anxiety medications. Most countries will actually have laws which limit the time a dog can be left alone to between 4 and 6 hours, which is really the optimal time. Most will recommend that you use the drug combined with seeing a dog-psychologist or trainer. In fact, a diagnosis of separation anxiety in no way precludes a healthy and happy existence for your dog. When a dog results to destructive behavior or incessant barking, these can be signs of separation anxiety. The dog might eventually look forward to your leaving and, since it takes some time for the dog to get the treats out of the toy, it will be happy for a long while after you leave. She says, “I love to write, and helping people in the process is killing two birds with one stone.” To new editors she says, “Just try things out!



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