Treating dogs with severe separation anxiety

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Prepare Him for Your DepartureWork to ease your dog's panic before you ever leave the house. Be CasualMaking a big deal about leaving, reassuring your dog that you'll be back and cooing over him will only make him more anxious. Outside ResourcesWhile you work on reducing your dog's panic while you are away, it's best to only leave him alone for brief periods of time. 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. Separation anxiety can range from mild to severe, but regardless of how badly your dog panics when you leave, you can improve his behavior. 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.
This is a temporary measure while you help your dog come to terms with his separation anxiety.
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.
Changes to your dog's routine, such as a new family member or moving to a new location, can trigger separation anxiety in previously unaffected dogs. Sticking your dog in the backyard by himself doesn't count -- take him for a walk, play fetch with him or spend some time working through obedience exercises to wear him down a little. In fact, a diagnosis of separation anxiety in no way precludes a healthy and happy existence for your dog. There are non-sedating anti-anxiety medications available that do a good job of treating separation anxiety.



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