Research on canine domestication varies wildly, with timelines extending anywhere from 9,000 to 35,000 years and geography covering the globe.Such a colossal scale may beg the idea that canines have domesticated humans as well — the man-dog bond is marked by everything from multiple burials to billion-dollar marketplaces devoted to each party’s comfort and longer life.The partnership has yielded an array of literature on the signs of animal anxiety, specifical techniques on identifying and how to reduce separation anxiety in dogs.
Signs of anxiety in dogs manifest in several ways, but separation may be the most problematic — in nature, dogs are almost never away from their pack. Following is a look at dog anxiety, its expressions and its solutions — including one key derivative that’s garnered widespread attention in curing what ails ya.
Combating Separation Anxiety In Dogs
A 2016 American Kennel Club article cites the Merck Veterinary Manual in naming three main types of anxiety in dogs — fear, aging and separation.
Fear-related worry can be caused by an array of circumstances such as loud noises, unfamiliar speech or visits to the veterinarian, while age factors include a decline in learning, perception and memory, similar to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease in humans. Separation anxiety is said to affect around 14 percent of dogs, which become agitated when left alone or apart from family.
Often, unwelcome behaviors follow, including barking, destruction of furniture and urination and defecation indoors despite toilet training. Dogs with heightened anxiety are also at risk of injury to themselves, which may result in costly treatments and potentially chronic medical conditions.
There are several keys in how to reduce separation anxiety in dogs, most of which involve exercises in psychology. Background music and the presence of clothing can serve as reminders of the owner’s impending return; a dog bed fuels the animal’s independence from the owner (and, by extension, when the owner’s away); treats just prior to leaving and vigorous morning exercise can diffuse the worry; and unceremonious daily departures can help calm the dog for the duration of the absence. Vets can also prescribe medications for separation anxiety — but one derivative is gaining attention for its relief properties in pets.
Cannabidiol, best known through the acronym CBD, is one of at least 113 constituents identified in hemp plants (including marijuana) and accounts for 40 percent of hemp’s extractable byproducts. Moreover, it’s non-psychoactive, meaning it doesn’t produce the loopy disorientation linked with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the main constituent in marijuana. Hemp products on their own contain less than 0.3 percent THC.
CBD oil, administered orally, is easily found in pet stores amid cries of “My dog has severe separation anxiety.” Relief comes as the cannabinoids in marijuana interact with the body’s receptors amid something called “the entourage effect.”
Given the proper dosage, CBD oil doesn’t damage the kidney, liver or GI tract, and it doesn’t leave the dog sedated or high. Ideally, the animal is far calmer and less prone to the owner’s assertion that “My dog has separation anxiety.” Breaking separation anxiety in dogs may constitute a challenge, but centuries-old friends deserve our best efforts in accepting it.
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