In certain cases, simply changing some environmental variables may help your dog to relieve anxiety. However, if your pet's case is moderate to severe trying one of these anxiety aids for dogs may be your only option to help him. Again, always check with your veterinarian before starting your dog on dog anxiety treatment.
The physiological effects of fear can impact a dog's health
Cannas et al and King et al reported that the administration of clomipramine did not completely eliminate signs of separation anxiety. Additionally, some studies investigating the efficacy of medication to treat separation-related problems have simultaneously implemented behavior modification, ranging from systematic desensitization and counterconditioning to more general advice about owner interactions with the dog,,, making it difficult to determine the effect of medication in isolation. Some researchers, however, have found that dogs administered medication concurrently with behavior modification improved more than dogs that received a placebo and behavior modification. Simpson et al found that, among dogs given behavioral therapy, 50% of those administered a placebo improved compared to 72% of the dogs administered fluoxetine.
Calming Dogs: Most Effective Ways to Calm Anxious Pups
Behavioral modification exercises aim to increase the dog’s relaxed and independent behavior by rewarding it, while decreasing and ignoring attention-seeking and anxious behaviors. Independence can be fostered by teaching the dog to go to its bed and wait calmly before it receives a treat. Length of time the dog waits quietly on its bed can be gradually increased until the owner is able to leave the room briefly and come back. Any clingy or attention-seeking behavior should be completely ignored or redirected by giving the dog a command to sit or lie down and wait calmly. The dog also needs to be desensitized to typical “departure cues” so that they do not increase anxiety. Departure cues are routines the owner follows immediately prior to leaving, such as picking up the keys and purse, putting on shoes, and opening and shutting the front door. These departure cues normally signal to the dog that the owner is about to leave. However, when these steps are performed at random times throughout the day independent of the owner leaving, the dog’s anxious association with them is lessened. These examples are just a small sample of the types of behavioral exercises available to help with separation anxiety. Your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist can provide a more comprehensive and step-by-step approach.
Many natural remedies are available to calm and relax your dog.