title:Dog Anxiety – How to Deal With It
Anxiety in dogs can be caused by any number of things – illness, travel, thunderstorms, death in the family, separation, or they may develop unexplained phobic or neurotic behaviour, or barking or other antisocial behaviour.
If you can identify the cause of the anxiety, then the best solution to the problem is to remove the cause.
This is not always possible, though. If your dog is experiencing separation anxiety every time you leave the house, and you work full time outside the home, you’ve got a problem! I suppose you could give up work and stay home with your dog, but sometimes we need to be a little realistic!
For this particular problem there are a number of things you can do to alleviate your dog’s anxiety when you leave – many people have found that playing soothing music while they’re out works wonders.
Mozart? – that certainly used to calm my hyperactive son down a little, so Mozart would be my personal first choice, but there are many soothing classical and new age, or even some light rock or jazz music might work – try out whatever you have in your CD collection for starters.
Another wonderful idea I read about recently is making a tape recording of your own voice and playing that on a continuous play while you’re gone.
And there are certain homeopathic and herbal remedies which really do calm your dog. So those may well assist with your dog’s separation anxiety.
But what about dogs who are afraid of loud noises – my dog Kara has an irrational fear of thunderstorms, and fear of fireworks, and, well, actually, she’s scared of just about any loud noises. Many dogs are like this.
One New Year’s Eve when I was away, Kara dug her way under the house and escaped (due to being terrified of the fireworks which were going off). My neighbours had to pick her up from the pound the following morning. Apparently the dog catchers are out in force on New Year’s Eve because they round up many dogs and impound them! A nice little revenue booster for the local authorities. From memory it cost about $100 to get her back.
Anyway, I’ve found that peppermint oil applied to the pads of her paws has some calming effect. And a natural stress remedy also works very nicely.
Some years ago, before I became interested in natural remedies for dogs – actually it was following the fireworks incident – Kara became quite determined to continue escaping, for some reason. Once she realised she could get out, she just kept on trying. She was even destroying part of my house in her determination to try to get through the thick wooden boards I had put up to prevent further escapes. So I took her to the vet, as I was at a complete loss to know what to do with her. She was prescribed an anti-anxiety medication. This made Kara quite dopey, and seemed to take some of her personality away somehow. In other words, I suppose she appeared drugged. I didn’t like it at all.
Now I know that there are much more pleasant, all natural anxiety treatments for dogs, which have no nasty side effects. And they really do work just as well.
(c) 2005, Brigitte Smith, Healthy Happy Dogs