The Holistic Approach to Dog Separation Anxiety

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The Holistic Approach to Dog Separation Anxiety

by Kristi Patrice Carter

While the majority of our canine companions can handle being left alone in the house, there are others who can be so traumatized by their owner?s departure that they engage in destructive behavior. This behavior is a response to stress and can come in the form of barking, howling, going to the bathroom indoors, and destroying things like your furniture and shoes.

Dogs are pack animals and therefore social by nature, which is why they feel the most secure when surrounded by members of their human or canine family. A puppy should be taught early on how to be away from their owner and left by themselves for a bit. Unfortunately, that?s not always possible, however, it is always possible for a dog of any age to develop separation anxiety.

Many pet owners are turning to a holistic approach to their dog?s separation anxiety, which includes special care for their nutritional and physical needs as well as their emotional ones. Some natural, holistic remedies for dog separation anxiety include:

Flower Essences and Herbal Remedies

When holistically treating a dog for separation anxiety, there are many herbal formulas that include ingredients such as ginger, chamomile, valerian root, passion and other natural flowers. While there are several herbs to choose from, a chronic, troublesome problem such as this should be treated in conjunction with behavioral modification and guidance from a holistic veterinarian who will be versed in the exact types and amounts of herbs and essences to use.

Named after British physician Dr. Edward Bach, Bach flower essences, sometimes called Bach flower remedies, are a combination of 38 plants and flowers known for their healing properties. They include clematis, cherry plum, and impatiens and have been successful in treating anxiety disorders in humans as well as dogs. Flower essences have proven to be quite safe with very little chance of side effects and can easily be administered orally, added to their water, or even rubbed onto the skin near the ears and paws.

Nutrition, Exercise and Behavior Modification

Plenty of rigorous exercise on a regular basis will not only help your dog?s physical self, but it also keeps their mental health in tip-top shape as well. Keeping with the holistic approach, it?s essential that you feed your dog a diet free of chemical preservatives and similar toxins.

Your dog isn?t the only one who needs to modify his behavior to correct his or her separation anxiety. It?s up to you to facilitate the process by changing how you act. Watch TV with your shoes on, keys in hand, to confuse your dog. Leave the house via the back door if you normally leave through the front. Changing your routine will make your dog less able to predict departures and be less likely to experience separation anxiety after you?ve gone.

What Doesn?t Work for Dog Separation Anxiety

Never punish your dog in any way as a reaction to his separation anxiety. This only makes matters worse by confusing him and adding to his stress. It?s important to keep in mind that behavior exhibited by a dog in response to separation anxiety is not a way of ?punishing? or ?getting even? with his owner for leaving him alone. When a dog destroys furniture or bedding and urinates inside the house, he is not doing it for revenge, it?s simply an uncontrolled response to his fear and anxiety of being left alone.

Is your dog traumatized when you leave him alone? Don?t get mad or frustrated. He may be suffering from dog separation anxiety. Learn proven and humane tips to help him overcome dog separation anxiety once and for all! Visit today!

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