Separation Anxiety Flower Essence
Handling Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety refers to a condition whereby a dog who is left alone, or left by a certain person, begins to exhibit all kinds of negative behavior.
It is important to realize that boredom and separation anxiety are not one and the same. If your dog digs or chews while you're gone, it might just be something to do, not necessarily acting out. Then again, it might be to relieve stress. If you are gone short times and your dog sometimes destroys things and sometimes not, odds are he's just bored. If he starts acting anxious before you leave, that's your best clue. If all else fails, set up a nanny cam to see if there's a bunch of pacing, howling etc. or if it's a "Whoo hoo, the parents are gone, lets chew shoes!" party.
If you decide that it separation anxiety, then you need to differentiate whether it's abandonment in general or if it's being left by one person in particular that's causing the problem. Excessive attachment to certain people points to Bleeding Heart and Pearly Everlasting essences. A more generalized essence would be Chicory, especially if the acting out happens in front of you when you're getting ready to go. Chamomile and Lemon Balm are good calmer-downers. More specific essences to use are Oregon Grape, for dogs who've been abandoned by ex-owners and are expecting you to do the same, or Star of Bethlehem if they were weaned too early, or Lemon Balm if you believe they are afraid to be home alone due to something scary occurring before when they were home alone.
Other things to try: Exercise. A tired dog is a good dog I always say. Lots of behavioral stuff can be helped by exercise. If you can get a walk in before you leave that should help. Walks are relaxing, ball playing wires 'em up. Sometimes it's hard when you work a lot, maybe you can find an elderly person or a kid that wouldn't mind coming over to visit or walk you dog. Doggie Day Cares are becoming more common. Dogs don't have to go every day to benefit. Zoe goes to doggie day care, AKA Granny's House, one day a week. Mom runs the legs off her and we get her back looking like the "End of the Trail" horse. We don't hear a peep out of her for the rest of the night and the next morning she's happy to get rid of us and have a day to herself, most likely laying on our bed. She does not have separation anxiety issues however.
Don't make a big deal out of your comings and goings. You can say goodbye so they aren't surprised and later feel they need to watch you all the time so you don't disappear on them, but keep it pretty nonchalant. Same for coming home.
Finally, when you bring a dog home for the first time, most people tend to do this when they have some time off to bond with the puppy and help them feel at home, makes sense right, until everything goes back to normal and the puppy is suddenly all alone. A better solution is to begin leaving the dog alone for short periods early on and gradually increase the length of time that you are gone. By the time you are back to work, it's life as usual for the pup.
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