Do Dogs Outgrow Separation Anxiety?
Usually, dogs do not outgrow separation anxiety. Very mild separation anxiety may improve over time, but that isn't the case in most instances of moderate to severe separation anxiety. The condition has nothing to do with age, so it's not likely to improve on its own without some sort of intervention and treatment. In fact, when left untreated, the anxiety often becomes worse as time goes on. In the majority of cases, medication, behavioral therapy or a combination of the two will provide relief to the pet.
Dealing with Separation Anxiety
Many dogs are surrendered each year because their owners do not know how to treat their pups' separation anxiety. Owners find it difficult to deal with the destruction, loud barking or whining, and even the harm the dog does to himself as a result of the anxiety. While the condition can be overwhelming, it is possible to find help for your pet. If the condition is mild, you may able to curb it by simply leaving your pet with some of your clothing or giving your dog a natural remedy.
More severe cases require the help of your vet or an animal behaviorist. The treatments may not work right away, but there are ways to deal with the anxiety until you find a solution that works for your pet. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Set up a safe space for your dog, such as a small empty room filled with blankets and toys, yet void of anything he could destroy.
- Unless your dog is thoroughly crate-trained and used to spending time in his crate, crating is not a good idea as this will not relieve the anxiety and the dog may injure himself trying to escape.
- Punishing the dog will not do anything to help alleviate separation anxiety and often exacerbates the problem.
Even though the answer to the question do dogs outgrow separation anxiety isn't what you'd hoped, the good news is that solutions are out there, and may be as close as a call to your vet or local animal behavior specialist.
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