Separation Anxiety Treatments for Dogs - Petco Community

SILEO: Noise Aversion, Anxiety Treatment for Dogs
Photo provided by Flickr
The treatment administered to your dog's separation anxiety problem depends on its cause and severity. A mild case of separation anxiety in dogs will be easily fixed by applying some of the proven methods listed below. More severe cases will take lots of time, commitment and possibly a visit to your Vet for some medication. Commence these techniques as soon as you identify separation anxiety to be the problem.
Treatment for Anxious Dogs – Reflections From A Chair
Photo provided by Flickr
Duration of therapy: Suggested duration for behavior medication is 4 to 6 months or at least 2 months past resolution (or satisfactory improvement) of separation anxiety. Some dogs with separation-related anxiety and underlying generalized anxiety may require lifelong treatment (although uncommon), while others may need to resume pharmacotherapy in the future. Evaluation of treatments for separation anxiety in dogs.
Photo provided by FlickrTreating Separation Anxiety in Dogs: Veterinarian reviewed information on the treatment options for dog Separation Anxiety
Photo provided by FlickrMar 26, 2015 - Some may become lethargic while others may not stop their anxiety symptoms. However, for some dogs these treatments can work wonders.
Photo provided by Flickr
Step Two: Graduated Departures/Absences
If your dog is less anxious before you leave, you can probably skip the predeparture treatment above and start with very short departures. The main rule is to plan your absences to be shorter than the time it takes for your dog to become upset. To get started, train your dog to perform out-of-sight stays by an inside door in the home, such as the bathroom. You can teach your dog to sit or down and stay while you go to the other side of the bathroom door. (You can also contact a Certified Professional Dog Trainer for assistance. Please see our article, , to locate a CPDT in your area.) Gradually increase the length of time you wait on the other side of the door, out of your dog’s sight. You can also work on getting your dog used to predeparture cues as you practice the stay. For example, ask your dog to stay. Then put on your coat, pick up your purse and go into the bathroom while your dog continues to stay.Not all dogs will respond favorably to anxiety medications and other anxiety products. Some may become lethargic while others may not stop their anxiety symptoms. However, for some dogs these treatments can work wonders. Here are some of the best choices for anxiety relief, from medications to treats and even products your dog can wear that help them feel safe and relaxed.When considering treating your dog for anxiety, it is important to know the source of the anxiety. Is your dog anxious about being left alone? Being confined? Is the anxiety caused by loud noise, or travel, or sudden changes in environment or routine? Some dogs have phobias of certain objects, types of people, or specific situations. The source greatly informs the treatment. For example, calming music might help a dog with separation anxiety, but won't do much to help a dog who has anxiety about walking in crowded places. There are pharmaceuticals available from veterinarians for extreme cases, but to minimize medicating your dog and experiencing any potential side-effects, try these options before going in for a prescription.Regardless of the anxiety-related problem, behavior modification will top the list of treatment options. Three behavior modification methods are commonly used to treat anxiety and fear in dogs and cats: avoidance, desensitization and counter-conditioning, and classical conditioning or response substitution.6

Avoiding the anxiety-provoking trigger is very important, especially in the early stages of treatment. For example, if a dog lunges, barks, or growls every time he or she encounters people or other dogs on a walk, the client needs to stop taking the dog for walks, because the patient’s aggressive behavior is reinforced each time. Give the client “permission” to do something else with his or her dog, such as agility training in the backyard.