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Separation anxiety in dogs can be a difficult thing to treat. The best treatment is behavior modification. This can start with finding the stimulus that is the key to your dog's anxiety. It could be something like picking up your keys, putting on your shoes, etc. Once you have identified the trigger, you can start to try and desensitize the dog to the stimulus.
For example, if the keys are the stimulus you pick up the keys and then don’t go anywhere. If your pet gets excited, ignore him until he is calm. Then you praise him and let him know it’s okay. You repeat this until he no longer responds to you picking up the keys. Once this occurs, you can start taking short trips or going outside without them. Then you return shortly afterwards. Then slowly start increasing the length of the trips. This can help many dogs who have separation anxiety to know that there is no reason to be upset when you pick up the keys, etc.
If this doesn’t work with your pet or you’re afraid that your pet is going to hurt himself, then it’s time to see your veterinarian. Your veterinarian knows you and your pet and can help to craft a plan to help treat the anxiety. This may include other forms of behavior modification and medications.
Certain medications can be used to help calm the pet and make them respond better to the behavior modification therapy. The type of behavior modification and the specific medications needed can be different for each pet. It may take some time for the therapy to be successful. Good luck!
John Smith, DVMVeterinarian
Dr. John Smith is a graduate of LSU, Class of 1998. He has over 10 years of experience...
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