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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

My dog is afraid of walking on wood floors, what can I do?

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Q.I have a 9-year-old Labrador retriever who has a fear of walking on wood floors. He will not move from an area which is carpeted onto a wood or other shiny surface floor without being coaxed and accompanied. He will stay on the carpet and whine until he is assisted across the wood floor to the next carpeted space. He does not have a problem with stone, brick or cement floors. In fact, he was brought up for the first five years of his life in a home primarily with slate floors, never with a problem. He would never however go upstairs because the stairs were wood, so this fear began early. His fear seems to be worsening recently.

The other more recent problem is whining all the time when he wants something: to play, go outside, drink or eat, or if he is just bored.

 

A.Not having more specifics on these fears and when and how they started, I will share with you factors that I have personally experienced to be associated with conditions like this. One that immediately comes to mind is a neurologic disorder with related behavioral changes. These changes are associated with reactions secondary to vaccinations, especially the annual combination vaccines which studies now show are unnecessary.

The other condition your dog may be suffering from is a thyroid disorder. Some of these are secondary to a medical condition called auto-immune thyroiditis (also a potential side effect of vaccinations). You should investigate these medical conditions first and, if existing, address them with the assistance of a veterinarian. If the problem does not appear to be medical, you could try one of the many natural products available for anxiety-like conditions. These include Rescue Remedy or other flower essence formulas, specific flower essence remedies selected for specific symptoms, homeopathic and/or herbal combination formulas indicated for anxiety. Also, if this is a cognitive disorder, you could try Neurotrophin by Standard Process (through a veterinarian) and phosphatidyls serine and choline, usually available through health food stores.