Can I Treat My Dog’s Separation Anxiety Naturally?

5 min read

Two Golden Retrievers tryig to get out of a white window
Dr. Sara Ochoa DVM author of Can I Treat My Dog's Separation Anxiety Naturally?

Some dogs become destructive or whine excessively when you leave them at home alone.  These dogs are suffering from separation anxiety. 

There are many ways that you can go about helping your dog with separation anxiety. Some of these are prescription medication that you can get from your vet, but there are also natural ways you can treat your dog who is suffering from separation anxiety.


What is Separation Anxiety in Dogs?

Separation anxiety in dogs is when one of your dogs is very attached to a person in the family. When this person is away from the dog, the dog gets very nervous. Many times, this occurs when you leave the house for work or when running errands, they may destroy things in the house, or they may hurt themselves trying to get to this person.

Separation anxiety may be mild and something that you do not notice every day or can be so severe that you are afraid to leave your dog at home alone for fear of what they may destroy while you are gone.

Some people believe that you can teach your dog how to understand that no matter when or how many times you leave that you will always come back.


Symptoms

Many signs will help you figure out if your dog has separation anxiety. When you are gone, your dog may try to escape by scratching and digging near the door or windows in the house. You may notice that the carpet around the door or wall is destroyed. Some dogs will become destructive and chew up furniture or other things in the house. 

Some dogs will bark, howl, or excessively whine when you are gone. Some dogs will become self-destructive and lick and chew themselves. Some dogs will get so scared when you are gone that they may urinate or poop in the house. Many dogs who suffer from separation anxiety will display many of these behaviors when they are left at home alone.


Causes

Many times, there is a reason for this behavior in your dog. If you have just gotten a new dog from the shelter, the dog may be showing these signs due to the change in ownership. Their routine or schedule may be different than what the old owner was doing.

Sometimes dogs will go through separation anxiety if there has been a loss of a family member, especially one that the dog was very attached to. Many dogs in a shelter setting may be experiencing abandonment from being left alone or left at the shelter. Some dogs may have been taken away from their mothers at a young age. Others may have endured a traumatic event while they were away from their owners.

No matter what the cause the dog may have endured, there are many things that you can do to help your dog deal with their separation anxiety.


Common, natural treatments for separation anxiety

There are many natural treatments that you can give your dog who is suffering from separation anxiety.  All of these are very safe and natural supplements that you can give your dog daily to help with their anxiety. Sometimes giving your dog an old tee-shirt that you have worn will help them stay calm while you are gone.  This gives them something that smells like you for them to sleep with while you are gone.


CBD Oil

CBD oil for dogs is a great way to help dogs who suffer from separation anxiety. CBD has been shown to calm anxiety and nervous behaviors. CBD products exist as dog CBD treats, in droplets, or oils that can be mixed with your dog's food.

Many dogs have shown to have great improvement with their anxiety when they are taking these supplements. CBD not only helps with anxiety but also helps decrease pain and inflammation, helps with seizures, and increase appetite. This is a great supplement to add to your pets’ diet daily for all the other wonderful added benefits.


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Natural Doggie Organic CBD Hemp Oil helps relieve pain and anxiety in pets.


Herbs

Some herbs can help a dog who is suffering from separation anxiety.  These are two common herbs that you can give your dog to help with anxiety and nervousness.

  1. Chamomile: this herb has been shown to help calm nervous behavior in dogs.  This also helps your dog sleep better too. You can give them chamomile tea to drink, or soak some of their treats in the tea and give it to them.  Chamomile also comes in dog treats or capsules that you can give your dog.
  2. Valerian: This is a very widely recognized herbal sedative.  This herb is very safe and helps relax the whole body.  This herb also comes in treats, oils, or teas that you can give your dog.  

It is best to consult with your veterinarians on proper dosing before giving any of these herbs or other supplements to your dog. They can advise you on the best treatment for your dog’s separation anxiety.


Essential Oils

Essential oils for dogs can be another great alternative for dog owners looking for a more natural option.

Essential oils such as Neroli, Violet Leaf, Vetiver, Lavender, and Rose Hydrosol have been shown to help with a dog's separation anxiety. You can put these into your diffuser for your dog when you are gone. Make sure that your dog has a way to leave that room if the smell gets too strong.

Always try the diffuser with your dog when you are home so you can monitor for any reaction. Never allow your dog to ingest any of the essential oils or put them directly on your pet's fur or skin. When mixing essential oils, only put 2 to 4 drops in a diffuser.

If your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, there are many things that you can do to help. Sometimes it is best to see your veterinarian for advice, especially if your dog is very destructive when you are gone.

If your dog has mild signs, you can try natural remedies for their anxiety. These are very safe and have wonderful added benefits for your dog. By keeping your dog calm before you leave can help your dog stay relaxed while you are gone. Giving your dog a natural supplement will help calm their anxiety and help them live a healthy and happy life.

A final thing to keep in mind when using essential oils for your dog or even yourself is that pairing essential oils with carrier oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil and so on, will really help to lessen the intensity of many essential oils.


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Meet The Author 

Dr. Sara Ochoa DVM author of Can I Treat My Dog's Separation Anxiety Naturally?

Dr. Sara Ochoa DVM

Since she was a little girl, she knew that her dream was to become a veterinarian. With a tremendous passion and love for animals that makes her a great source of knowledge for others. She lives happily with her husband Greg and her babies Ruby the Schnoodle, and Bam-Bam the bunny.


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