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How To Help My Dog With Separation Anxiety

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Try Some Soothing Herbs

Cesar Explains How To Fix Separation Anxiety With Your Dog

There are many different herbs that can help with your dogs separation anxiety.


Passionflower is a calming herb that quiets the entire nervous system. Thats why its used as an alternative to sedatives, which are often prescribed for dog anxiety. Passionflower is also fast acting and non-addictive.

You can give your dog passionflower in tincture form and add it to his daily water. Use 0.5 to 1.5 ml per 25 lbs of body weight.

Scutellaria and Valerian

These are great herbal medicines for the symptomatic relief of anxiety and nervousness. And theyre invaluable when it comes to dogs with separation anxiety.

You can use skullcap and valerian together or on their own in tincture form.

Skullcap: Give your dog 0.5 ml of skullcap per 20 lbs of body weight 3 times daily for up to a week.

Valerian: Add the following amount of tincture to your dogs food or water based on his weight.

1 to 20 lbs 1-4 drops, 2-3 times daily20 to 50 lbs 5-10 drops, 2-3 times daily50 to 100 lbs 10-20 drops, 2-3 times daily


German chamomile is a potent sedative used to reduce anxiety in stressed animals. It can also calm your dogs belly and helping him sleep.

Some pets enjoy chamomile tea as much as humans do. Depending on the size of your dog, put 2 tsps to 2 tbsps of tea into his drinking water. To help calm your dogs separation anxiety, you can also give him .25 to .5 ml of chamomile tincture twice daily in his water.

Hypericum perforatum

Avena Sativa

How To Prevent Separation Anxiety In Dogs

Active, stimulated dogs may be less likely to develop separation anxiety. Keeping your pet active can help, and regular training sessions even for well-behaved dogs will reinforce positive behaviors. Routine exercise and training also provide structure. Sometimes, relaxing a training routine can actually lead to separation anxiety, which is another possible cause to consider when you speak with your veterinarian.

Discouraging certain behaviors can also help prevent separation anxiety from developing. Needy behaviors like scratching or excessively seeking attention may seem cute but could be a sign that your dog does not know how to comfort themselves. You can help them become more self-sufficient by gently discouraging or ignoring these behaviors.

Tips For Mild Cases Of Puppy Separation Anxiety

  • Start right back at the beginning and teach them how to deal with time apart from you before leaving them again. They should not be left alone during this time, so you need either a pet sitter or a friend to help you. Doggie daycare could also be a good option.
  • When you start leaving them again, build up to it over time and use a webcam to monitor how well your dog adapts to being alone.
  • Leave them a safe, interactive toy and the radio or tv on.
  • Make sure your dog is tired when you leave themthat way, they are more likely to sleep than if they were full of energy. A good walk or playtime can help.
  • Dont make a big deal of leaving or coming back, which makes your absence more of an event for your dog.
  • Try to vary your leaving routine, so your dog doesnt get wound up expecting your imminent departure.
  • If your puppy has a more serious separation-related problem, you should ask your veterinarian or contact a dog behaviorist to help you work out a puppy separation anxiety training program to try and overcome it.
  • Puppy separation anxiety is easier to prevent than to address months or even years later. Remember, dogs are social animals, so if theyre going to be frequently left alone, give them ample time to play with you.

    Discover more tips for dog and puppy owners by hearing from our pet experts on our Pet Expertisepage.

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    Causes Of Dog Separation Anxiety

    Dog separation anxiety is often unknowingly encouraged by dog owners. We make a big fuss when we leave or come home, and in doing so we reward the dogs concern with our absence, provoking in him even more stress every time we leave.

    We like our dogs to be with us and when they are puppies, we take them everywhere for socialization. Then, we have to leave them alone, but they reach an age when they not only want, but also feel the need to be with uswe are their source of confidence, their security, and their pack.

    A change in their routines can create the symptoms of dog separation anxiety, but destruction and stress can also be created by boredom and lack of exercise. Terriers are born to dig, retrievers to carry and protection breeds to protect. So, in some instances we are holding them back from their instincts and drives, rather than nurturing them.

    Remember Cesars mantra, which is a good start to correcting these problems: exercise, discipline, and only then, affection. You need to establish a balance between patience, obedience, and confidence in your dog.

    Aim to develop a behavior in our dog that reflects the harmonious partnership you both share. He should have enough confidence in himself and in your leadership. This way, he can be confident in situations, such as being left alone, because he knows that you will always provide the leadership and guidance required. He trusts and knows that you will come home.

    Resources For Managing Canine Separation Anxiety

    Understanding Separation Anxiety in Dogs &  Cats

    Not all dogs with separation anxiety can be treated by this one little trick alone much of it will depend on how anxious your dog is when you try it. If your dog is already too stressed out to show any interest in a stuffed Kong theyre going to need more help managing their anxiety.

    More severe cases of canine separation anxiety will likely need repeated desensitization techniques, and I highly recommend reaching out to a professional for help. Heres some resources if youre looking for more information on canine separation anxiety and various management techniques.

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    What Are Signs Of Separation Anxiety In Dogs

    There are many levels of severity of separation anxiety. On the less-severe end of the spectrum, a dog with separation anxiety might refuse to eat unless there are people around. At the extreme end, dogs with severe separation anxiety may destroy crates, chew at door frames, and even break windows to try and get out of the house to find their family.

    Signs of separation anxiety in dogs vary but may include excessive vocalization, drooling, and house soiling when left alone. Sometimes, dogs will lick a particular spot on their body until they cause a wound. Anxious dogs may follow people from room to room when they are home, never wanting to be separated by even a few feet.

    Dogs who have one type of anxiety, such as storm phobias, are more likely to be anxious in other stressful situations, including separation. Breeds whose job is to follow people around, like herding dogs, are more likely to develop separation anxiety than dogs bred for property protection or other solo work.

    If your dogâs signs are severe or you are worried they might hurt themselves trying to escape, see your veterinarian right away. Some medical issues come with symptoms that can be easily confused with signs of separation anxiety, so it is best to get your veterinarian involved early to make sure you are treating the right thing.

    Video Answer: Separation Anxiety In Puppies And How To Cope

    Doggy daycare could be a good way to provide your dog some relief from boredom and .

    Photo naughty playful puppy dog after biting pillow tired of hard work.

    However, not all dogs are cut out for a group environment.

    And while that second dog may help alleviate the first dog’s symptoms, his presence doesn’t fix the underlying separation-related anxiety.

    If you really DO want a second dog, the first course of action is to help your existing dog overcome the separation-related anxiety before bringing in the new addition.

    And while that second dog may help alleviate the first dog’s symptoms, his presence doesn’t fix the underlying separation-related anxiety.

    If you really DO want a second dog, the first course of action is to help your existing dog overcome the separation-related anxiety before bringing in the new addition.

    Punishment. Punishment isn’t effective for treating and can make the situation worse. Another dog. Getting your dog a companion usually doesn’t help an anxious dog because their anxiety is the result of their separation from you, not just the result of being alone.

    And while that second dog may help alleviate the first dog’s symptoms, his presence doesn’t fix the underlying separation-related anxiety.

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    Puppy Separation Anxiety Symptoms

    Symptoms of puppy separation anxiety vary from mild to extreme and may include the following:

    • Excessive barking or howling when left alone
    • Chewing and other undesirable behaviors
    • Accidents in the house, although this could be related to age and not a symptom of separation anxiety
    • Scratching or digging at doors or windows

    Dont Leave Your Dog Alone For Too Long


    Your dog can learn to be alone for part of the day, but if you need to be away for longer than 6-8 hours, bring them to work if possible. You can also structure your errands so that you are only away for short periods of time. If you need to leave for several days, ask a friend or a relative or consider a doggy daycare service or hotel to make sure they’re taken care of when you’re away.

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    Switch Up Your Dog Walking Routine

    If you really want to make sure you have your dogs undivided attention, now and again you should switch up your routine. An easy way to do this is by changing the route you typically take when you walk your dog. You can start off by going in a different direction or making a left when you normally take a right, but can also try somewhere completely new to challenge her even more.

    Exposing your dog to new sights, smells and sounds will throw them for a loop, so you want to make sure that they are paying attention to you and following your lead. Make sure before exposing your dog to a new walking environment that its safe for both of you.

    Dont Leave Your Dog Home Alone During These Training Stages

    One of the primary challenges in dealing with separation anxiety is that once the training process begins, your dog should never be left alone. Flores notes that even if you cant be home with your dog, you can enlist a neighbor, friend, family member, dog walker or daycare to help during the training process.

    Managing absences is extremely important to protect the progress we are making during training. If for example, we get the dog to a point where he is comfortable for 30 mins, but the next day hes left alone for two hours, weve potentially undone all the work weve put in. Hes no longer able to trust that his guardian will return before he starts to panic, explains Flores.

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    If The Problem Is More Serious

    A dog with severe anxiety won’t be distracted by even the tastiest treats. You’ll need to slowly get them used to your absence.

    They may start to get nervous when they see signs you’re about to leave, like putting on your shoes or picking up your keys. So do those things, but then don’t leave. Put on your shoes and then sit down at the table. Pick up your keys and watch TV. Do this over and over many times a day.

    When your dog starts to feel less anxious about that, you can slowly start to disappear. First just go on the other side of the door. Ask your dog to stay, then close an inside door between you. Reappear after a few seconds. Slowly increase the amount of time you’re gone. Put on your shoes and pick up your keys. Ask your dog to stay while you go into another room.

    As they get more used to the “stay game,” increase the amount of time you’re gone. Then use an outside door, but not the same one you go out every day. Make sure your dog is relaxed before you leave.

    Only you can tell if your dog is ready to be left alone for longer periods. Don’t rush things. Give them a stuffed treat when you’ve built up to 10 seconds or so apart. Always act calm when you leave and when you return.

    Gradually build up the time until you can leave the house for a few minutes. Then stay away for longer and longer periods.

    Downplay Goodbyes And Hellos

    Understanding Separation Anxiety In Dogs Cats Canna Pet

    Dont get emotional when leaving your dog and overexcited when you come back. By paying too much attention to your departure and return, you risk reinforcing the dogs fear of your absence. Calmly say goodbye and leave. When you come back, quietly say hello and don’t get too affectionate until your dog has calmed down.

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    Does Distraction & Entertainment Solve Separation Anxiety In Dogs

    Engaging with your dog all day is NOT healthy for them, however being with your dog all day IS healthy for both you and them. Its how youre with them that counts.

    As with children, dogs need their sleep. They also need to be given space to be themselves and do their own thing. If you provide entertainment all the time, they will struggle to relax or be alone. To get balance and happiness in your dogs life and help them relax they need ample rest

    Can Separation Anxiety In Dogs Be Cured

    Yes, can be managed. However, it is completely dependent on the dog, the owner, and the cause of the problem.

    While training and consistent routines help some dogs recover, others might need a more drastic change in lifestyle staying with dog sitters or in doggy daycare centers. Dogs with severe separation anxiety may have to consume anti-anxiety medication until the effects of the other training methods kick in.

    Anxious dogs express several symptoms such as excessive vocalizations , destructive chewing, drooling, self-licking and mutilation, and house soiling despite being potty trained. Anxious behaviors are closely related to destructive behaviors.

    Therefore, if you are wondering how to treat separation anxiety in dogs, you need to start with a vet visit. The DVM will rule out medical causes and suggest further steps seeing a professional trainer or canine behaviorist.

    Xanax is a strong drug, but what effect should be expected from its proper intake? When a patient takes Xanax, he/she may experience a feeling of lethargy, slight fatigue, but such manifestations do not entail serious consequences. Immediately inform your doctor about any changes in your condition!

    To treat a dog with separation anxiety, they will suggest positive reinforcement and training sessions. Mental stimulation and reducing the time alone will help minimize the signs of anxiety and help with the treatment.

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    What Should I Do If I Come Home To A Mess

    If your dog has been anxious during your departure, and this has led to destruction or house soiling, then anything you do may increase your dogâs anxiety, making matters worse for future departures and it will not correct what has already been done. Therefore both punishment and excited greetings must be avoided. At homecomings, ignore your dog until she settles down . Your dog should soon learn that the faster she settles, the sooner she will get your attention.

    Leave Comfort Items And Background Music On For Your Dog

    How to STOP Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety (MUST TRY)

    Items that have your scent such as dirty laundry can help your dog relax and remember that you will come back. Remove stress factors such as chokers, collars, chains, or crates if your dog doesnt like them. Hide treats around the house so they can hunt them while you’re away. Finally, soothing nature sounds can help your dog relax and fall asleep. You can monitor your dog through a Petcube Bites 2, a pet camera that doubles as a treat dispenser.

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    What To Do If Your Dog Has Separation Anxiety

    Treatment for Moderate to Severe Separation AnxietyModerate or severe cases of separation anxiety require a more complex desensitization and counterconditioning program. In these cases, its crucial to gradually accustom a dog to being alone by starting with many short separations that do not produce anxiety and then gradually increasing the duration of the separations over many weeks of daily sessions.

    The following steps briefly describe a desensitization and counterconditioning program. Please keep in mind that this is a short, general explanation.

    Step One: Predeparture CuesAs mentioned above, some dogs begin to feel anxious while their guardians get ready to leave. For example, a dog might start to pace, pant and whine when he notices his guardian applying makeup, putting on shoes and a coat, and then picking up a bag or car keys. Guardians of dogs who become upset during predeparture rituals are unable to leaveeven for just few secondswithout triggering their dogs extreme anxiety. Your dog may see telltale cues that youre leaving and get so anxious about being left alone that he cant control himself and forgets that youll come back.

    Medications Might HelpAlways consult with your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist before giving your dog any type of medication for a behavior problem.

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