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Separation anxiety in dogs

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Separation anxiety in dogs describes a condition in which a dog exhibits distress and behavior problems when separated from its handler. Separation anxiety typically manifests within 30 minutes of departure of the handler.[1] It is not fully understood why some dogs suffer from separation anxiety and others do not.[2] The behavior may be secondary to an underlying medical condition.[3] A visit to the veterinarian is always recommended if a dog's behavior changes suddenly.

Typical behaviors Edit

Dogs suffering from separation anxiety typically exhibit these behaviors:

  • Following handler excessively
  • Pacing
  • Excessive salivating
  • Vomiting
  • Destructive chewing
  • Barking, howling, whining
  • Urination, defecation in the house
  • Self harm
  • Digging and scratching at doors or windows in an attempt to reunite with the handler[4]

Causes Edit

The cause of dog separation anxiety is unknown, but may be triggered by:

  • a traumatic event
  • a change in routine [4]
  • major life change (e.g. new home, new baby, death of a family member)
  • an underlying medical condition[5]


Treatment for separation anxiety in dogs Edit

Dogs suffering from separation anxiety are often "owner addicts." Setting boundaries will boost a dog's confidence and prepare it to be on its own.[6]

Various techniques have been suggested for helping dogs cope with separation anxiety:

  • Leaving and returning home quietly, without fuss [7]
  • Providing plenty of exercise, play, and fun
  • Practicing leaving to adjust the dog to your departure
  • Feeding the dog before you leave
  • Leaving the radio on
  • Giving the dog something to do such as a large cardboard box to shred
  • Medicating the dog with over-the-counter calming products

As of 2012, a San Diego cable channel is offering "Dog TV," a cable-based television channel especially for dogs whose owners are away. The programming, created with the help of dog behavior specialists, is color-adjusted to appeal to dogs, and features 3-6 minute segments designed to relax, to stimulate, and to expose the dog to scenes of everyday life such as doorbells or riding in a vehicle. The channel's proponents have indicated positive reviews from a humane society shelter in Escondido, California.[8] The "doggie resort" hosts of the opening party for Dog TV in San Diego reported that some of their dogs seem to enjoy watching the animated series SpongeBob SquarePants. The show's creators anticipate that dogs will watch Dog TV intermittently, throughout the day, rather than remaining glued to the set.[9] [10] [11]

External links/References Edit

  1. Woodard, Sherry Separation Anxiety in Dogs. Best Friends Animal Society. URL accessed on 9 August 2012.
  2. of the US, Humane Society Separation Anxiety. URL accessed on 9 August 2012.
  3. MD, Pet Separation Anxiety in Dogs. URL accessed on 9 August 2012.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Separation Anxiety : The Humane Society of the United States. URL accessed on 2012-03-08.
  5. Woodard, Sherry Separation Anxiety in Dogs. Best Friends Animal Society. URL accessed on 9 August 2012.
  6. Kilcommons, Brian How to Cure Your Dog's Separation Anxiety. URL accessed on 9 August 2012.
  7. Separation Anxiety In Dogs and How to Deal with It - Coping with Destructive and Obsessive Compulsive Behaviors. URL accessed on 2012-03-09.
  8. Gorman, Steve. Dogs like to watch SpongeBob on TV. The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
  9. Fetch the remote, it's DogTV. URL accessed on 2012-03-08.
  10. Can Dog TV Make a Profit? - Businessweek. URL accessed on 2012-03-08.
  11. DOGTV - Watch. URL accessed on 2012-03-08.

Dog Anxiety Dietary Solution

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