Do you avoid going out because you worry about your dog being home alone? If he barks, whines or howls when you leave, he may be suffering from separation anxiety.
Research shows that about 17% of dogs in the U.S. have issues with separation anxiety when their humans leave them alone. Some dogs are genetically predisposed to separation anxiety, while the rest acquire it for reasons not always easy to understand.
Your dog may communicate his distress in several ways, including excessive vocalization, destroying property or belongings, urinating or defecating on the floor, excessive salivation, or refusing to eat.
As always, it is wise to take your dog to a veterinarian to get him checked out for anything physical that might be wrong. Barring any health problems, your vet may determine your dog has separation anxiety.
What Can You Do to Help?
Successful treatments are available to help your dog — and you — find some peace of mind. Sometimes, natural treatments can’t get to the heart of your dog’s anxiety issues and a medication combined with a behavioral modification training program might be needed. Talk to your vet about the right medication and program for your dog.
An FDA approved drug with a lot of success around separation anxiety is Reconcile® (fluoxetine hydrochloride), used in conjunction with the BOND™ training program.
Reconcile® is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or SSRI. Serotonin is a brain chemical responsible for many functions, including anxiety control. Low serotonin levels may result in an increased level of anxiety that Reconcile® can help control by making your dog more receptive to a behavior modification training program like BOND™.
The BOND™ training program involves four steps that help you manage your dog’s stress:
- Be positive: focus on positive behavior and ignore undesirable behavior
- Only reward calm behavior
- No more emotion when you come and go
- Develop your dog’s independence: provide a safe place for him when you’re gone.
What the Research Shows
A PRN Pharmacal study of 229 dogs receiving behavior modification training demonstrated that dogs treated with Reconcile® showed significant improvement compared with those receiving a placebo.
After one week, results showed that behavior modification alone had an efficacy of 18%, while Reconcile® and behavior modification combined showed a 42% effectiveness rate. After eight weeks, behavior modification yielded an efficacy of 51%, while Reconcile® and behavior modification demonstrated an effectiveness rate of 73%.
Reconcile® in conjunction with a behavior modification plan may well be exactly what your dog needs to feel safe and secure. The dose is a once-a-day, flavored, chewable tablet that dogs love and is easy to administer. It’s affordably priced and proven safe and effective under the guidance of a veterinarian.
Not only does Reconcile® relieve your dog’s stress, it also reduces yours, and helps strengthen the human-animal bond.
For more information, see the product label or check out the prescribing information.
Important Safety Information
The most common adverse events from Reconcile®, in decreasing order of reported frequency, are decreased appetite, depression/lethargy, shaking/shivering/tremor, vomiting, restlessness and anxiety, seizures, aggression, diarrhea, mydriasis, vocalization, weight loss, panting, confusion, incoordination, and hypersalivation. Reconcile® chewable tablets are contraindicated for dogs with a history of seizures or when used with MAOIs.
Reconcile® chewable tablets are indicated for the treatment of canine separation anxiety in conjunction with a behavior modification plan. Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.