How To Help A Dog With Separation Anxiety

How To Help A Dog With Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety can be difficult to diagnose over the internet, but some of the most common signs are:
  ⁓ panting
⁓ drooling
⁓ vomiting
⁓ whining and crying
⁓ toileting
⁓ chewing
⁓ eating through walls, doorframes, entry points
⁓ pacing and restlessness
⁓ jumping through open or closed windows
⁓ excessive vocalization
⁓ even harming themselves in the process of any of these activities
Many of these symptoms of separation anxiety are also symptoms of other medical conditions, so before deciding on a diagnosis of separation anxiety, I would recommend consulting with your veterinarian (preferably an integrative veterinarian) to rule out any medical conditions.
Treating separation anxiety is a very customized and tailored action plan for each dog, depending on the severity of the anxiety and if they are causing harm to themselves.
Often, people seek out band-aids to cover up the symptoms of anxiety in their dog.
And I can’t say I blame them, it’s how we’ve been conditioned to react to any behavior or medical symptom, even in ourselves. Instead of looking for the cause, we try to make the symptoms go away.
But with separation anxiety, band-aids tend to fall off pretty quickly. We need to address the source of anxiety and recondition your dog to understand that the world is not going to end if you leave the house, that everything will be ok and you’ll be coming back.
Again, not a one size fits all solution for each and every single dog.
For me, the best way to start a treatment plan for separation anxiety in your dog is through empathy. Seeking the reason and understanding that your dog is going through some very traumatic emotions and needs your help to understand that everything will be ok.
And then the treatment can begin. It’s very much working in baby steps. For some dogs, we have to start with a second at a time. Literally one single second. Other dogs can start with a few, maybe 5-10-15 seconds at a time, being out of eyesight from their owner.
It’s all about the baby steps. …. And not pushing your dog past their threshold.
Doing so, just once, can set your whole treatment plan back to the beginning.
Here are my recommendations for anyone dealing with symptoms you think may be separation anxiety:
🔗 Read my book https://bit.ly/caninesecrets which will give you the foundation of training, everything I teach my in-home clients on our first sessions together. These 7 Canine Commandments must be put in place before you can start any treatment plans for individual issues.
🔗 Read the book on Treating Separation Anxiety by Malena Demartini Price https://amzn.to/2VEVxn5 It is what I base all of my in homework on, including what I used for my own dog to help her overcome her separation anxiety.
Seek the help of a force-free positive reinforcement dog trainer who specializes in separation anxiety. This is a very specialized form of training, much like a heart or brain surgeon. Not just any dog trainer will do.
I take private clients and am well versed in separation anxiety, but my time is limited as I am only one person. Feel free to reach out to me if you would like a consultation https://www.thefurryfamilycoach.com/help
📖 While you are reading up on separation anxiety and finding a trainer who you are comfortable with, there are a few things you can do to help your dog, and I recommend trying each of them separately and then in combinations.
Each dog is different and will respond to different things in different ways.
Again, there is no one size fits all solution to anxiety.
These products I have used and recommend:
➡️ the Thunder Shirt for Dogs https://amzn.to/2M9ZiBQ
➡️ Ewegurt sheep’s milk dog treats https://amzn.to/2JXHLKb
➡️ animalEO essential oils, specifically the Calm-A-Mile blend (veterinary grade essential oils) https://www.animaleo.info/calm-a-mile-rtu.html
➡️ Source CBD (there is a dosing calculator on the website) https://sourcecbdhemp.com/product-category/pet-tinctures/
If you feel that your dog may be experiencing separation anxiety, I highly recommend following these guidelines and trying these products to help ease your dogs’ stress.
Removing the source of the anxiety is also a key component, but identifying that stress source can be difficult for a pet owner, and is certainly difficult to do on a social media platform such as Facebook.
It is the last resort that I would recommend using prescription drugs on your dog as they have side effects that can be damaging to your dog.
If you find that you need to resort to prescription drugs, use the smallest amount possible to obtain a level of calm that will calm your dog enough to be able to work through the steps above.
You will want to work with your veterinarian (hopefully an Integrative veterinarian) to wean your dog off of the medication as you progress in training to help your dog learn coping mechanisms that will help them better deal with their anxiety.
In the book by Price, you will find a number of avenues to help occupy your dog, including stuffed Kongs, while you slowly move out of eyesight and then slowly out of the room a second at a time, and then a few seconds at a time, and so forth and so on. 
What we want our dogs to understand is that it is ok to be alone for short periods of time because we will be coming back. So coming back quickly, within seconds at first, is the key here. Build up to longer periods of time.