Treating dogs with severe separation anxiety

Personal protection puppy training
There’s something disconcerting about being middle-aged and watching my once-agile dog leap ahead of me into old age. She’s depressed about getting old, I decide—never dreaming that it’s I who haven’t made the necessary accommodations. Other dogs develop anxiety disorders for the first time, anything from separation anxiety to storm phobias or nocturnal panic attacks. Start by accommodating your dog’s physical changes: Put down carpet runners, plug in a night-light, buy a memory-foam dog bed or steps or a ramp up to your bed. You may have inadvertently encouraged the barking, especially if she appears pleased to see you.

Most dementia dogs display some degree of stress, especially when lost in the corner of a room or if they find themselves awake and alone in the middle of the night.
Additionally, I also recommend crate training early on in life, which can sometimes help curtail stress-exacerbating nighttime wanderings. Luckily, dogs are so firmly entrenched as family members that manufacturers have responded with a variety of products that improve seniors’ quality of life: There are thermoregulating cooling pads for dogs who don’t handle heat well and heated beds for dogs with arthritis (there’s a reason old dogs are always sleeping by the fire in those chilly English country houses). Her whitemuzzled black Lab, Ollie, is the model for Planet Dog’s line of Old Soul toys, which are made from a compound that’s gentle on dogs with older jaws, sensitive teeth, reduced “snout strength”and weakened muscles and joints. The Senior Dogs Project posts pictures of dogs in your area who need homes, provides healthcare and fostering tips, and lists agencies that help rehome senior dogs.

Some develop a canine equivalent of Alzheimer’s: “It’s called cognitive dysfunction syndrome,” Haug explains, “and it shows up with dementia, changes in their sleep-wake cycles—they might pace all night and sleep all day—vocalizing at night, forgetting their training.

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