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Old 09-16-2009, 08:34 AM   #1
Annette
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Default Tips for distressed dog?

Does anyone have any tips for calming a distressed dog?

My mother is finally in the hospital for her knee surgeries - she had one yesterday, the other one gets done next week and then she'll be home at the end of the month. I've got her dog during the days and her boyfriend is staying at the house overnight so she (the dog) will have company overnight. But she's absolutely distraught at the moment - she keeps pacing about, whimpering and crying. I'm going to try giving her some Rescue Remedy to see if that helps, but aside from that does anyone have any tips?
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Old 09-16-2009, 09:03 AM   #2
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Separation anxiety is very real as you've found out. Here are some of my tips, and some from the shelter at which I volunteer.
  • At your home bring some of her toys from your mother's for her to play with.
  • If she uses a particular blanket or towel to sleep or rest in, bring that back and forth for her.
  • Take her out for a couple of extra walks, or a run. That will help prove to her that she's wanted by those currently around her, and hopefully tire her out which will also help.
  • Try the drug Clomicalm, which the Refuge says has proved to be very helpful in separation anxiety situations.
  • Change her diet somewhat to increase levels of serotonin which will help calm her. Lower quality dog foods frequently contain a large quantity of corn which is thought to decrease the level of serotonin in the brain. Dietary tryptophan helps to make serotonin in the brain. Diets high in protein tend to deplete tryptophan levels, thereby decreasing serotonin levels. Diets high in carbohydrates actually increase available tryptophan. Innova and Nutrience are examples of some high quality dog foods which contain a mix of food which should increase serotonin. You should take 8-10 days to switch to a high quality food. Try to focus on rice, potato or barley as a carbohydrate source instead of corn. The Refuge suggests to start with 90% of the old diet and 10% of the new diet. Increase the percentage of the new diet each day until she is switched over.
  • Providing her with a soft item which has your mother's scent can be beneficial.
If I come up with other ideas I'll post them. Good luck.
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:25 PM   #3
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Geez Ned! You're a wealth of information on just about any subject - a veritable library! Channeling Bobby Goren?
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:41 PM   #4
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Some days you just make me laugh.

Having volunteered at an animal shelter for the last 25 years, and having dogs of my own for most of my adult life, you pick stuff up.
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