Naturally Treat Your Dog's Separation Anxiety
It start out with a small problem of whimpering and a bit of clawing as you try to get out the door, and grows into a larger problem of chewed up furniture and urination on the floor. Sometimes it may be hard to tell the difference between misbehavior in your dog and separation anxiety. It's an important distinction, however, because if you discipline your dog when separation anxiety is the cause of the issue, you can make things worse without actually solving the underlying problem.
Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Dogs
If your dog's misbehavior happens mostly when he's left alone, then chances are it is separation anxiety. Other signs may be:
- Following you from room to room
- Acting overly excited when greeting your arrival home
- Reacting with depression, anxiety or excitement when you prepare to leave the house
- Chewing, digging or scratching at the doorway to be reunited with you
- Barking, howling or whining until you return
- Urinating even though the dog is house trained
- Clinging to your side constantly
- Displaying other attention-seeking behaviors
Causes of Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety is common in older dogs and dogs who have experienced a traumatic event, such as being lost or being left in a new or different environment. A change in routine, such as the owner's work schedule changing, the owner going on vacation, a family member leaving home or even a new baby coming into the home can all cause separation anxiety.
Support treatment of separation anxiety by seeking out behavior modification training for both the owner and the dog, using natural supplements that have no negative side effects, or possibly seek a prescription from the vet for anti-anxiety medications ( though these should be considered a last resort, do pose a risk of harmful side effects) . If you find that your dog suffers from separation anxiety, don't wait; start treating the problem as soon as possible.
Helping your dog cope with separation anxiety issues should also involve some type of training to help him modify his behavior. This training does not need to be harsh, but should entail activities that gradually soothe the cause of his anxiety.
Increased exercise and companionship should be included in your canine's daily routine. A natural remedy along with your care and training will enable you to work toward correcting the unwelcome symptoms of separation anxiety and depression in your furry friend.
Punishing your canine friend will not only NOT solve the issue, it will likely make matters worse. Instead, work with your veterinarian to develop a healthy treatment regimen. A variety of medical and natural treatments are available to treat dog depression and anxiety.
Aromatherapy for Dogs
Aromatherapy is an alternative technique that primarily treats its patients (human and animal) by simply appealing to the senses. Essential oils have been determined to have essential aromatherapy properties called DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromones), and can be found anywhere that provides healthy pet products. Before applying essential oils to a dog's skin, make sure to dilute the essential oil according to directions in an oil base first.
Good base oils to consider are:
- Avocado oil
- Grape seed oil
- Hazelnut oil
- Jojoba oil
- Olive oil
- Sweet almond oil
- Almost any vegetable oil that is not hydrogenated or genetically engineered
When using essential oils to relieve stress and anxiety, the best oils to use are:
- Ylang ylang
- A combination of rose, ylang ylang, and clary sage
The best way to spread these essential oils is either through the use of a diffuser, or to massage the oils in manually (after mixing with the base oils). Use as directed, which is usually two to three drops, and work from the base of the neck down to the tail.
Dogs Need to Relax Too
It is important to recognize and treat signs of anxiety in our pet. Taking natural steps to relieve this stress is a positive way to take care of our dogs, and one of the added side benefits of pet aromatherapy is that the effects can have positive effects on the owner as well.