Is your dog misbehaving every time you leave the house? Do they bark, whimper, chew, or have accidents in inappropriate places?
While you might assume they’re just being naughty, these behaviours could be signs that your dog is experiencing separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety in dogs is a behavioural condition characterised by distress and anxious behaviours when a dog is separated from their owner or left alone. It’s a very common form of anxiety in dogs.
It’s important to remember that dogs are pack animals, meaning they are social and often form strong bonds with their human family members. When they are separated from their owners, especially for extended periods, they can experience a range of anxious behaviours due to the stress and uncertainty of being alone.
There are many ways to help your dog with managing their separation anxiety and nutrition is one of them.
Natural Supplement for Separation Anxiety in Dogs
PetWell’s CALM Anxiety Aid is a great solution for separation anxiety in dogs.
CALM is formulated by a pet naturopath and includes ingredients known for their calming properties. These ingredients work together to deliver the full impact of calming effects to your dog whilst supporting its immune system.
It’s important to recognise that stress can weaken the immune system, so providing support to both the emotional and physical aspects of your dog’s health can be beneficial when they are experiencing separation anxiety.
What’s in CALM Anxiety Aid?
A natural pet anxiety supplement for dogs and cats, PetWell® CALM is created by a pet naturopath, using only 100% natural ingredients. They work in harmony together for maximum effect to keep your pet healthy and happy. Below is a list of CALM’s ingredients and their benefits for assisting anxiety issues.
Chamomile is a natural source of L-Tryptophan. Known for its calming and relaxing properties, chamomile can aid stress and anxiety. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and may help alleviate digestive issues such as bloating and indigestion.
Read more about the benefits of Chamomile on the Food Profile page.
Green tea is a natural source of the amino acid, L-theanine, known to reduce stress in pets.
L-theanine assists in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with healthy, calm emotions and self-control. Serotonin has been shown to help relieve anxiety, depression and aggression in dogs and cats. Since L-theanine is a natural amino acid, it can improve pet behaviour without the concern of organ damage.
Read more about the benefits of ginger on the Food Profile page.
Australian Goat Milk
Goat milk contains valuable components like tryptophan, known for its potential benefits in reducing stress and anxiety. It provides complete nutrition as it is rich in vitamins and minerals. Goat’s milk also contains ‘prebiotic’ carbohydrates that nourish beneficial gut bacteria.
Read more about the benefits of Australian goat milk on the Food Profile page.
Lemon balm is used as a calming agent on cats and dogs, or to treat stress and anxiety. It’s also beneficial for their digestive system. Because of their anxiety, many pets can have stomach issues such as diarrhoea or pain.
Despite its sedative tendencies, lemon balm does not make pets drowsy or incoherent but rather makes them more alert and focused. This also benefits older pets who suffer from dementia.
Read more about the benefits of lemon balm on the Food Profile page.
Rose hip is a valuable source of vitamin C. Depletion of vitamin C occurs when pets are stressed and rose hip provides the replenishment needed. It also assists in fighting harmful free radicals in the body and can help reduce inflammation and cognitive ageing.
Read more about the benefits of sardines on the Food Profile page.
Oat straw is a nervous system optimiser for our pets. It is one of the best nervine tonics, feeding nervous tissues making it an effective herbal remedy for anxiety and stress. It also soothes the stomach, stimulates the appetite, promotes red blood cell production, strengthens the immune system and improves brain function.
Read more about the benefits of oat straw on the Food Profile page.
Beef liver is a powerhouse of B vitamins, including B12, B6, riboflavin, and folate, which play a crucial role in energy metabolism and nerve function. These B vitamins are known to aid in stress relief and promote overall well-being.
Rich in antioxidants, which can help protect cells from damage and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. They are an excellent source of Vitamin C. Depletion of vitamin C occurs when pets are stressed, and vitamin C provides the replenishment needed. Additionally, they are a good source of fibre and healthy fats, promoting digestive health and supporting heart health.
Read more about the benefits of Açai berry on the Food Profile page.
Raspberries are known for their high levels of vitamin C. Depletion of vitamin C occurs when pets are stressed, and vitamin C provides the replenishment needed. Boosts the immune system and supports collagen production for healthy skin. Additionally, they are high in antioxidants and may have anti-cancer properties.
Read more about the benefits of raspberries on the Food Profile page.
Separation anxiety in dogs can take time to improve, but with dedication and support, many dogs can learn to cope better with being alone
Effective Strategies to Help Ease Separation Anxiety in Dogs
Helping a dog with separation anxiety requires a combination of patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. Here are some effective strategies you can use to support your dog and alleviate separation anxiety:
Gradually desensitise your dog to being alone by starting with short periods of separation and gradually increasing the time.
Practice leaving and returning multiple times throughout the day to help your dog learn that departures are not permanent.
If your dog jumps on you or begs for your attention when you return, ignore the behaviour as it can reinforce the separation anxiety. If they are calm, then praise them and offer a high-value treat.
Create a Safe Space
Designate a safe and comfortable area for your dog when you’re not at home. Include familiar bedding, toys, and items with your scent to provide comfort.
Provide mental and physical stimulation for your dog with interactive toys, puzzle games, and regular exercise. A tired dog is less likely to experience anxiety.
Desensitise Departure Cue
Teach your dog to be less responsive to departure cues (e.g., picking up keys or putting on shoes) by performing these actions without actually leaving.
Associate your departures with positive experiences, such as offering treats or engaging in a fun activity before leaving.
Seek Professional Help
Consider working with a qualified dog trainer or animal behaviourist experienced in separation anxiety in dogs to develop a customised behaviour modification plan.
Utilise specially formulated supplements that have a calming effect on your dog while replenishing essential vitamins depleted during periods of stress. These supplements not only promote relaxation but also contribute to bolstering their immune system.
Avoid punishing your dog for anxious behaviours as it can worsen the anxiety.
Remain calm and relaxed when leaving or returning home to help your dog feel at ease.
Read more about the Tips for Relieving Anxiety in Dogs
Each dog is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Be patient and consistent with the chosen strategies and seek professional guidance if needed.
Separation anxiety in dogs can take time to improve, but with dedication and support, many dogs can learn to cope better with being alone.
Separation anxiety in dogs can be debilitating and frightening for them, causing stress for both the dog and the owner each time they are left alone. By implementing these strategies, you can alleviate their stress and anxiety, leading to happier and healthier dogs.
Being patient and consistent in your approach will provide your furry companion with the time and support needed to adapt and overcome their anxiety. This helps build trust and confidence, leading to more effective results in easing their distress and promoting a positive and lasting change in their behaviour.
Read more about Understanding Common Dog Behavioural Issues
The Science Behind It
Don’t just take our word for it, here are some evidence-based studies for you to review.
Disclaimer: The entire contents of this email and website are not to be taken as medical advice. The team at PetWell encourages you to make your own pet healthcare decisions based on your research. And in partnership with a qualified pet healthcare professional.