How to Keep Your Dog Calm During a Storm

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This article by Jennifer was originally published on FOMO Bones.

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Batten down the hatches, draw the curtains—there’s a storm about to hit and the forecast isn’t looking good (especially for Fido). Hiding, whining, scratching, peeing—these are just some of the symptoms of a dog suffering from “Thunder Phobia,” a condition that typically begins between the ages of two and four, and which gets worse over time. But no matter how long your pup’s panic has been in full swing, the following top tips should soon soothe his jangling nerves.

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Why are Dogs Scared of Thunder Storms?

Vets and animal behaviorists have studied this topic to the -nth degree, yet there’s still no concrete answer. The consensus is that the noise of the thunder and the flashes of lightning are unpredictable and, to a dog, seemingly come out of nowhere. However, there’s also the complexities of how dogs are hardwired to pick up on changes in air pressure and to hear the super low-frequency rumbles of a storm before it arrives. Another hypothesis is that dogs may even suffer from shocks, as static electric builds up as a thunderstorm approaches. Herding breeds (such as Border Collies) are especially affected, as well as naturally nervy dogs who are anxious in everyday life. Whatever the facts of the matter and actual root cause of their fear, there are tactics that can help. And here they are…

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Always be Prepared

First thing’s first—you should always be aware of the forecast if it seems that bad weather is swirling overhead. Getting caught outside in a storm can be incredibly stressful for your dog (and you can multiply that by ten if they also hate getting wet). All in all, it can serve to worsen their already serious fear. Launch into some positive association training with the help of a downloadable thunder storm app or soundtrack. Over the next two weeks, play the storm audio at increasingly louder levels, and while doing so play with your pup and feed him treats. Once you switch off or pause the audio, stop all play and all treats—the point here is to link the sounds of thunder with tail-wagging happy times.

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Reward Calmness

You may have trained your dog to sit, lay, and maybe even shake hands. But what about training them to settle down? This isn’t nearly as impossible as it sounds. Simply put on a special “inside” leash and direct your pup to lie at your feet, rewarding him when he follows your instruction. Practicing this routine all year through can ensure that your pup has a reassuringly regular cue to follow, even as the thunderous rumbles begin.

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Classic Distraction Techniques

Do as much as possible to lessen the effects of a storm by getting the basics covered—that includes drawing the curtains, having a TV or music on medium-to-loud, and creating a cozy hideaway complete with overhead blankets and plenty of pillows. You should also observe your dog during a storm—is there a place he tries to gain access to, such as a bathroom, office, or basement? If possible, try and prepare this area with his blankets. Over the course of the storm try to keep your pup engaged with treats, training, and toys where possible.

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Swaddle that Pup up like a Real Human Baby (kind of)

Not so long ago a product hit the shop shelves that claimed to calm the nerves of our canine mates. It was called the Thundershirt—a type of tight dog jacket that provides an experience of pressure and closeness. It works in the same way as swaddling a baby—reminding them, on a subconscious level, of being in the womb. You can create your own DIY version of this jacket by purchasing a suitably sized human t-shirt and placing your dog’s front legs in the arm holes. If you get the sizing right, this should provide at least a partial sensation of pressure.

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Give the Dog a Bone (but not just any old bone)

Nope, we’re talking CBD dog treats (CBD standing for cannabinoids). Contrary to common misconceptions, CBD is nothing to do with recreational cannabis. It’s simply derived from the same family of plants—namely hemp (the plant material that’s used in everything from clothing to cosmetics). CBD dog treats are proven to relax, ease anxiety, and calm even the cagiest of canines by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, which is in charge of physiological reactions including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory.

So effective is CBD, that it’s even been shown to help with a multitude of other dog conditions, including skin allergies and dry, itchy skin (you can thank the high content of Omega 3 fatty acids for that); as well as easing seizures and epilepsy, and even overcoming low energy.

If Eddie the English Springer was in the eye of the storm with a FOMO Bone in his mouth, he’d be a whole lot less stressed.

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Author bio: Jennifer is the voice behind the FOMO Bones blog. She’s pretty sure she was a Great Dane in her past life, but her team at FOMO pegs her as more of a Labrador. Regardless of her breed, she’s a dog enthusiast with 15 years’ experience training dogs and owner.


7 Steps To Build Confidence In Your Dog

This article by Jennifer was originally published on FOMO Bones.

 

Oh Fido. It’s tough to see him frightened and not really have a clue as to how to help (or what he’s even scared of). From jumping at the slightest sound to following you everywhere and showing tell-tale signs of fear (dropped tail, crouching, panting), it’s always pretty clear when you’ve got a nervy canine on your hands.

The question is: What can you do about it? Try following these seven simple tips.

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1: Begin with firm foundations—set up good obedience during walks

Sit, stay, heel—these are the basic commands that your dog should know (and obey) during your walks. These cues and the consequent treats that follow (such as being handed a ball or toy) are essential distraction techniques for when you spot a hazard looming. Speaking of which…

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2: Worried during walks? Distract your dog

A cautious, concerned canine during a walk can lead to disaster around other dogs or unpredictable people. The solution? Distraction. By giving your dog something to do while walking (like chewing a bone or carrying your bag), you give him something to focus on. In doing so, he’ll hopefully remain distracted on what he’s doing, rather than what may happen (and being hyper-sensitive to all that’s around).

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3: Switch items from scary to something to salivate over

If your dog is scared of certain items, try exposure management. Simply take the item that your dog is afraid of and place something on it that your dog loves (treats usually work best). So if Sammy’s scared of skateboards, place a few treats on the top and encourage him to explore. Once he’s comfortable with that, move on to pushing the skateboard slightly (with items such as this, which are common in parks) it’s usually the movement that dogs are uncomfortable with. Remember, with exposure management slow and steady wins the race.

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4: Seek out fresh new places where your dog can taste success

Practicing and repeating problem behaviors only reinforces them. Staying cooped up inside isn’t helpful for anyone—not for humans, not for dogs. Getting out and about to new places can allow your dog to explore and be fascinated by the new smells and sights around him.

This may not necessarily mean a walk in a forest (some dogs aren’t comfortable in the great outdoors); it may mean a late-night wander in a dead-quiet park. But no matter the environment, it’s the newness of the place that will encourage his innate curiosity to explore.

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5: Sign up for agility training

Agility training involves plenty of physical effort and dexterity on the dog’s part. And yet agility isn’t really the key skill being learned.

By showing them how to complete new tasks, and with your dog gradually working towards getting it right every time, their trust in you grows and their confidence in their own abilities increases. With each tunnel, pole, or hoop successfully navigated, they’ll learn that what once seemed insurmountable can be mastered. And so their confidence will (hopefully) grow and grow.

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6: Have a trial run with another dog

For dogs that don’t fear (or show aggression) to other dogs, a more confident canine pal can prove to be a real behavior-changer.

After all, dogs (much like humans) observe the actions and interactions of others, and can mirror behaviors that they come to see as appropriate.

A key pointer here is that some companionship is more effective than others, and it may take a few trial play dates to discover a dog that’s a natural, positive fit with yours.

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7: Harness the targeting technique

Targeting is the practice of touching a specific part of your dog’s body to re-direct his attention to you. This becomes more effective than simply calling his name during a frightening experience, as it’s used less often.

To train him, hold a treat in your hand. Once he begins to sniff around it, say ”nose” and pass him his treat. Regularly practicing this will show your dog that bumping his nose on your hand, and giving you his focus, will result in a yummy treat being given.

Alaskan Husky struggling with dog anxiety? Stressed out St. Bernard? We’ve got just the thing. 100% natural CBD dog treats that are packed not just with stress-exterminating cannabidiol but also with plenty of good stuff to boot (good stuff such as potatoes, natural bacon flavoring, whole peas, sweet potatoes, potato starch, dried plain beet pulp, mixed tocopherols, carrots, and rosemary extract).

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Author bio: Jennifer is the voice behind the FOMO Bones blog. She’s pretty sure she was a Great Dane in her past life, but her team at FOMO pegs her as more of a Labrador. Regardless of her breed, she’s a dog enthusiast with 15 years’ experience training dogs and owner.


Do Puppies Grow Out of Separation Anxiety?

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This article by Jennifer was originally published on FOMO Bones.

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Dog separation anxiety, especially in puppies, is a common problem that affects thousands of dog owners across the world and, if left untreated, it can become quite serious. Although we have not been able to pinpoint an exact root cause of separation anxiety, we are aware that it is usually because animals are not created to be alone. Dogs, in particular, are pack animals, so when we take a pup away from the rest of its litter, this is when we start witnessing the symptoms of loneliness. Sometimes, the symptoms can be limited to just a bit of initial barking and crying when we leave, but more often than not separation anxiety will produce destructive behaviors like chewing and biting.

It is important to recognize puppy separation anxiety, and that he is not acting out on purpose to upset you. They are more prone to experiencing separation anxiety due to their need for more human interaction and attention. They also haven’t developed the skills that older dogs have, so your puppy probably doesn’t realize that you will be coming back.

Thankfully, there is a whole range of tools and techniques that you can use to get your puppy’s separation anxiety under control, and this is what will set them up for good behavior and habits for the rest of their lives.

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Only Leave Your Puppy Alone When it is Appropriate

Puppies simply can’t be left on their own for long periods of time. It is likely that you are still potty training your puppy if he is young, so you will need to make sure that you are taking him out frequently enough to get a good routine down. During puppyhood, dogs will absorb everything they notice going on around him and a lonely, bored puppy can result in an insecure and unhappy adult dog. If you work full time and you have recently added a puppy into the mix, then you may want to consider paying a dog sitter or friend to come over every few hours to check on them.

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Consider Crate Training

Crate training is recommended by dog behaviorists, as it one of the most effective ways of tacking separation anxiety in dogs. Contrary to popular belief, crate training is not just a matter of shutting your dog into a cage. If you follow the correct methods when introducing your dog to his crate, he will start seeing it as his safe place where he can go to feel comforted and secure.

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Try CBD Treats

Not only will he benefit from the soothing therapeutic benefits of these all-natural treats, but he will also learn to form a positive association with being left alone. Many people prefer using CBD treats over any other treatment, especially when their dog is demonstrating severe symptoms of anxiety. You can help alleviate some of the terror that a small dog feels by having a special treat they get only before you leave. This can help them get something great out of your leaving and helps make the process a little less stressful.

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Ease Your Puppy into a Routine

Just before leaving, pick up your keys and put your shoes on. Start by stepping out the door and then come back almost immediately (if they are being quiet) and reward them with a treat. You can gradually extend the length of time you leave your dog and always remember that you should never reward negative behavior (like barking, whining, etc.) or your dog will learn that that will get them attention. Stay away for a little longer each time you go out and before too long, your pup will get used to it and even learn to accept it.

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Will My Pup Grow Out of Separation Anxiety?

Sadly, if you don’t act to correct the symptoms of separation anxiety early on, it tends to get worse. Puppies will not just miraculously grow out of separation anxiety as they get older because it has little to do with their age. If a puppy is left on its own from day one and never learns to feel safe about being alone, then they will never be able to have a positive association with you going out.

Many rescue dogs have extreme separation anxiety, due to the abandonment they have previously experienced. As our dogs are not able to speak to us and tell us what they need and how they feel, we need to step up and be responsible dog parents and do our best to ensure that we raise a well-balanced and confident dog. Due to their tiny size, puppies can’t do that much damage even if they try… but imagine what they could do once they are fully grown and suffering from a harsher degree of anxiety. Suddenly we are dealing with a whole different ball game!

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Can I Give My Dog Anxiety Medicine?

If your dog is demonstrating severe anxiety, which could include destructive behavior, being too anxious, house soiling, or never being calm, even if you just walk out of the room for a minute, then a trip to the vet or animal behaviorist is always a good idea. Many people, however, prefer not to give their dog any kind of chemical medications and instead would rather take a natural approach. Not only is it better for your pet in the long run, but it can also be less expensive. For example, giving your dog a totally organic CBD treat will not only bring his anxiety levels right down, but the treats also offer a whole load of other benefits, like improved health, shinier coats, and pain relief. We always recommend taking a natural approach where possible, and many vets now advocate and even promote the use of CBD to help separation anxiety in dogs.

Whichever approach you decide to take, if your dog has separation anxiety, always remember that consistency is key, and you won’t see a sudden improvement overnight. Stick with whichever training method you decide on and give your pet the chance to be the best dog they can possibly be.

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Author bio: Jennifer is the voice behind the FOMO Bones blog. She’s pretty sure she was a Great Dane in her past life, but her team at FOMO pegs her as more of a Labrador. Regardless of her breed, she’s a dog enthusiast with 15 years’ experience training dogs and owner.


5 Common Sudden Strange Dog Behavior Symptoms (and What to Do)

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This article by Jennifer was originally published on FOMO Bones.

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When we think of dogs, we tend to imagine a happy, goofy companion that loves to play and, most of all, loves to sit right by our side. A running joke in the dog-parent community is the fact that our pooches absolutely lack personal space and it is usually impossible to even go to the bathroom in peace. What most people don’t realize is that our canine companions can experience emotional issues like stress, anxiety, and depression. What’s more, because the powers that be failed to give dogs the ability to talk, the only way they can get our attention to alert us that something is wrong is by acting out in some very strange ways.

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Why Do Dogs Start Behaving Strangely Overnight?

More often than not, if your dog’s behavior is normal and he is otherwise in good health, a sudden change in behavior could indicate that your pup is experiencing stress and/or anxiety. And here’s the thing about anxiety—we can’t control it most of the time and we have no idea where it comes from. The same is true for our dogs when they start feeling anxious as a result of being left on their own for extended periods of time or due to a lack of exercise or a change in environment. So, it’s not that they have suddenly become anxious or unwell; it’s more that their symptoms have become severe enough for them to seek help by getting our attention, or they could also be self-soothing by using bizarre behavior as a coping mechanism.

If you notice any of the following strange behaviors in your dog, then they are sending you a signal that something is awry, and you should take action right away to stop the problem worsening.

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1. Your Dog Seems to Be Unable to Focus

If your seemingly intelligent dog starts randomly distracting himself and is unable to focus on one task (like a game of fetch) he could be trying to release pent-up stress. A common displacement behavior is pacing and obsessively sniffing the ground, or compulsively licking paws. If you notice that your dog is suddenly acting out in this way, then it is likely he is suffering from a bout of anxiety. At this stage, you should make a mental note of any poignant changes that have taken place regarding your dog’s routine or living environment and try to restore normality as best as possible.

2. Obsessive Compulsive Behavior

Sometimes a pet will obsessively scratch himself or pace around as he is struggling to deal with anxiety. This is often the result of an impending event, such as fireworks or you leaving for a trip (trust me, they just know). The problem is this kind of behavior can end up being quite harmful to your dog, especially if they are scratching themselves raw.

3. They Suddenly Forget Where to Go Potty

A common sign of stress or anxiety in dogs is peeing in the house in a particular spot even though they are completely housebroken. This is a major warning sign that something isn’t right and if you notice that your dog pees in the same place every time you leave them alone, it is a clear indication of separation anxiety. Please note: this is not the same as incontinence. If your dog isn’t capable of controlling their bladder at all, then you need to visit your vet ASAP as it could be the start of a serious disease.

4. Clingy Behavior

Some dogs need their own space while others love to cuddle close to you at all times. This is one of their lovable traits, as we rely on our dogs for reassurance and affection as much as they do us. But, if your dog has suddenly become super clingy and whiney when he can’t hop onto your lap, then this indicates a problem that needs to be addressed. Pandering to a dog’s negative behavior is only going to reinforce and worsen the issue, not improve it.

5. Aggression

If your otherwise docile pet suddenly becomes aggressive this could be an indication that he is in pain. Your first step should be to take him to the vet to rule out any serious injuries. If the behavior continues, but your dog isn’t sick, it is likely that the aggression is fear-based and could stem from anxiety.

There are many other strange behaviors that can indicate stress or anxiety, but the above are not as common as others and therefore are easily missed.

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How to Overcome These Issues

Now that you understand where your dog’s bizarre behaviors are potentially coming from, it’s time to decide what steps you are going to take to correct the problem. It is worth noting that a combination of tactics to alleviate stress and anxiety work better than using a single method.

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CBD Oil

CBD oil is an excellent natural remedy that has powerful healing properties when it comes to treating issues like pain or anxiety. There is already a substantial amount of evidence that shows it can alleviate a range of negative symptoms. Thanks to medical research and CBD oil’s increasing popularity as an alternative medicine, we can only expect more positive news regarding its therapeutic potential in the coming years.

Many dog owners are now choosing to treat anxiety in dogs with CBD oil as it is entirely plant-based and offers a wealth of benefits including anti-inflammatory properties. Many mainstream veterinarians are now advocating the use of CBD to treat a range of canine ailments, primarily anxiety.

Crate Training

If your dog has suddenly started chewing or destroying things around the house, then you could consider crate training. When done properly, it offers your dog a safe haven where they can go to seek respite from their stress. It will also stop them from engaging in destructive behavior that could harm them.

Behavioral Training

If you feel that your dog’s anxiety or strange behavior is getting out of control, it might be time to consult a behavioral therapist. Dogs are pack animals and they need to see you as their pack leader in order to listen and obey you when you tell them to stop baring their teeth or chewing up your favorite pair of shoes.

As always, before you take matters into your own hands, always try to seek professional advice on what you can do to eliminate your dog’s negative behavior.

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Author bio: Jennifer is the voice behind the FOMO Bones blog. She’s pretty sure she was a Great Dane in her past life, but her team at FOMO pegs her as more of a Labrador. Regardless of her breed, she’s a dog enthusiast with 15 years’ experience training dogs and owner.


Eight Signs of a Stressed-out Dog

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This article by Jennifer is originally published at FOMO Bones.

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After a hard day’s work, you may sometimes look at your pooch and wish you had it as easy as they did. After all, they get three (free) square meals a day, a comfy bed, ZERO bills and plenty of belly scratches. Ahhh, that’s the life, right?

And yet our dogs can suffer severely with stress and anxiety—so much so that if left untreated, it can lead to serious behavioral issues and persistent psychological problems.

At FOMO, we’re all for happy wagging tails. So here we present the top eight signs of a dog in distress (with some pointers along the way as to what you could and should do about it.

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1. Barely poops or, alternatively, gets all blocked op

Diarrhea and constipation can go hand-in-hand with anxiety. Like their owners, dogs have millions of receptors within their gastrointestinal tract. When a dog is stressed, these receptors react to the physiological response to fear by either speeding up or slowing down their digestive tract.

Im-paw-tant pointer: With this indicator, it’s worth understanding that diarrhea or constipation is usually more likely to be linked with illness or food intolerance—so any persistent stomach upsets should warrant an urgent trip to the vet (when we say persistent, we’re talking for more than 48 hours or so). This is especially true if you spot blood in their vomit or stools.

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2. “Favorite dog treat? No thank you” —Your dog’s appetite dramatically decreases

This one can be a big red flag. After all, what dog would willingly turn their CBD dog treats or food down? In the most basic sense, a loss in appetite in dogs can be compared to how a human loses weight during stressful times of their life. If this has happened with your dog, think about whether there have been any new stressors recently—such as moving home, a new baby, or a change in routine. You should also think about giving your vet a call—just to ensure there’s no underlying illness that could explain their dip in appetite.

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3. “Just leave me alone!” —Your dog isolates himself

It’s pretty natural for any dog to want to spend time alone occasionally. However, when this becomes more regular with your pup removing himself from human or canine company for hours on end, it could be an indicator that they are anxious or sick. To rule out illness, it may be worthwhile to check in with your veterinarian.

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4. Your dog destroys… EVERYTHING

In more boisterous breeds, dogs routinely attempt to calm their nerves themselves by chowing down on furniture, shoes, toys, and even by biting or licking their own body! If you spot these signs, consider the immediate circumstances leading up to this behavior: Had they been left alone for a long time? Has an unfamiliar guest popped round?

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5. Yawning—Yup, it’s not just a sign of tiredness

It might seem odd, but yawning can be a symptom of stress. When a dog feels anxious, their body enters flight or fight mode.

Their heart rate increases, they breathe more quickly, and their muscles tighten. To assist these processes, your pup’s body needs more oxygen, which is gained by taking deep, protracted breathes in the form of yawning.

A stressed yawn is typically observed alongside other behaviors, such as isolation and…

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6. Pinned ears and panting

Some dogs seem to look worried—a key indicator of which can be pinned ears, where their ears pull back and sit flusher to their head. They may also pant in reaction to fear, anxiety, or stress.

A warning sign to look out for in a stressed, panting dog is when they suddenly close their mouth; this could be a signal that they’re reaching peak stress, and preparing to bite.

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7. “Pass me the brush!” —Your pup sheds his hair

Ever noticed how much fur your dog leaves behind at the vet? You may have thought that you didn’t notice just how much they shred until you were under the bright vet lights. But actually, shedding hair is a reaction to anxiety. This can be as immediate as being in the vet’s waiting room, or it could be more gradual in response to a big life event, such as moving, adopting another pet, or a family member moving out.

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8. Licking (and licking and licking!) their nose and lips.

Dogs are forever attempting to communicate using body language, it’s just that most humans aren’t clued up as to what action holds what meaning.

In the case of a dog who excessively licks their nose and lips, they are showing you that they’re feeling a bit uneasy.

So, those are the signs of a stressed-out pup. You could probably do with something to ease his frayed nerves. Which, luckily enough, is right about where FOMO Bones’s rather special bones step in. All-natural FOMO Bones are packed with anxiety-eradicating CBD, which eases canine anxiety and relaxes your furry friend.

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Author bio: Jennifer is the voice behind the FOMO Bones blog. She’s pretty sure she was a Great Dane in her past life, but her team at FOMO pegs her as more of a Labrador. Regardless of her breed, she’s a dog enthusiast with 15 years’ experience training dogs and owner.


Severe Separation Anxiety in Dogs: When Is It Time to See the Vet?

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This article by Jennifer was originally published on FOMO Bones.

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If your dog has started acting out or is visibly stressed out when you leave him alone, then you are more than likely dealing with one of the most common issues when it comes to having a dog: separation anxiety! It is essentially defined as a problematic type of behavior that is accompanied by symptoms such as whining, pooping, excessive barking, scratching the walls and doors, chewing things up, or other destructive behavior. In more severe cases, separation anxiety could cause your dog to try and escape through the room they are in at any cost! Even crate training may not always work.

If you are among the thousands of devoted pet parents who have to deal with the negative effects of your dog’s separation anxiety, then you will be pleased to hear there are several highly effective remedies you can try at home to soothe your pup.

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Why Do Dogs Get Separation Anxiety?

What the majority of pet owners don’t realize is that separation anxiety in dogs, especially when left for longer periods, is often encouraged by overly adoring dog owners. Because we love our four-legged friends so much, it is just too tempting not to make a huge fuss and smother them with kisses and cuddles when we get home after being at work all day. And while we think that this will give them the reassurance they need to know that we will always come back after a few hours, dogs do not have the ability to rationalize as humans do. Every time your dog experiences the anxiety of being away from you and you reward this stress with attention on returning home, you are provoking him to continue acting out. Also, dogs are pack animals and they see us as their pack leader which they want to be with 24/7, so leaving them in a crate while you go to work for short periods may have a serious effect on the pet.

The root cause of separation anxiety in dogs can’t be pinned on one general factor. Some experts indicate that a lack of exercise and overall boredom can cause our dogs to become more stressed, while many others believe that some breeds have an inherently nervous disposition compared to others. Regardless of the cause of the separation anxiety, it is something that needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later with behavior modification.

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How to Overcome Separation Anxiety in Dogs

A change in routine including mental stimulation is thought to be one of the factors that contribute most to your pet experiencing an onset of separation anxiety. In order to start minimizing these bouts of stress, you have to establish a balanced sense of confidence, patience, and obedience in your dog. This happens by ensuring you take a consistent approach to never rewarding negative behavior. For example, if every time you leave, and you hear your dog whining and go back to comfort him, it is going to teach him that by barking and whining more, he is going to get you back quicker. Any kind of discipline and training involves patience and consistency and the same is true of helping your hound to feel better about being left home alone.

There is also a range of entirely natural and healing products you can use as tools to accompany your chosen “training” regime, such as CBD dog treats. These organic treats are infused with just the right dose of CBD oil to ease your dog’s anxiety and many dog owners who found that nothing seemed to work with regards to their dog’s separation anxiety are having excellent results. Not only will the CBD dog treats calm your dog down, but they also work to cure ailments like arthritis, epilepsy, and pain.

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When Is It Time to See the Vet?

Separation anxiety in dogs is a common issue that almost every pet will experience to some degree, thus it is usually normal. However, there are some warning signs that indicate you might need to go and see the vet or veterinary behaviorist. These include…

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Aggressive Behavior

If you notice that your dog is demonstrating aggressive or possessive behavior all of a sudden, then it could be he is experiencing severe separation anxiety. Many dogs try to overcome their feelings of being left alone by clinging to our sides during the time we are with them. In theory, there is nothing wrong with this, but if your dog starts guarding you and showing aggressive behavior or similar problem behaviors to others wanting to get close to you, then you need to see the vet as soon as possible in order to rule out any underlying illness. Your vet should also be able to recommend an animal behaviorist who can help you get your dog’s attitude in check.

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Extreme Panic Attacks

Most people think that panic attacks only happen to humans who are under extreme amounts of pressure. Unfortunately, that is simply not the case, and our dogs can experience panic attacks that can cause them to act out through pooping and even eating parts of the furniture, shoes, etc. If your dog’s anxiety seems to be through the roof, then you should consult your vet about what you can do. Many vets will promote natural remedies, so be sure to ask if they think CBD treats could be a feasible option for your pup.

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Obsessive Eating

A couple of years ago, my own dog went through such a bad case of separation anxiety he ate part of the curtain. I came home to find him choking and rushed him to the vet. Fortunately, she told me that he wasn’t choking—he was having an anxiety attack. Because dogs don’t understand what anxiety is, when they feel overcome with a negative sensation, they will often take comfort in trying to eat the proverbial lump in their throat away. Some dogs will obsessively eat shoes, cushion stuffing, and toys, while others will literally try and chew their way through doors. Aside from the cost of having to replace and repair everything, if your dog ingests plastic or wood it could cause them major stomach problems.

The above points are just a few examples of when it could be time to see a vet to get further advice on how to deal with separation anxiety in dogs. As a rule of thumb, you as a devoted dog owner will sense in your gut when something is wrong, so it’s always better to get a professional second opinion from a reputable vet to help you treat your dog’s anxiety properly.

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Author bio: Jennifer is the voice behind the FOMO Bones blog. She’s pretty sure she was a Great Dane in her past life, but her team at FOMO pegs her as more of a Labrador. Regardless of her breed, she’s a dog enthusiast with 15 years’ experience training dogs and owner.


Separation Anxiety Tactics for 6 Dog Breeds

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This article by Jennifer is originally published at FOMO Bones.

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Separation anxiety is something that every dog owner will likely have to go through at some point. And while it isn’t breed specific, there are some breeds that seem to be more prone to suffering from separation anxiety according to recent studies. Just as some breeds can be more likely to have stubborn temperaments or develop ailments like hip dysplasia, some seem to be prone to developing worse separation anxiety than others.

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What Is Separation Anxiety?

Separation anxiety in dogs is basically an extreme version of missing you, and it is often accompanied by destructive behaviors like chewing, urinating in the house, or even escape tactics like trying to break the door down or bolting out the yard through a minuscule hole in the fence. The exact cause of separation anxiety in dogs hasn’t been pinpointed, but if your dog is among the breeds that are very people-orientated or he is a rescue pup that has been through abandonment, then it makes sense that he will be anxious when you are away from him as, ultimately, how will he know when you are coming back?

If you are considering adopting a puppy, or you have a particular breed in mind that you want to add to your family, then there are separation anxiety tactics for dogs that you need to adhere to. There are six breeds, in particular, that are prone to separation anxiety and fear, as well as stress, and require mental stimulation or it could have behavioral issues, such as destructive behavior or similar behavior modification. Failing to plan is planning to fail, so make sure that you are fully prepared to deal with separation anxiety before you bring a new pet into the family.

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Labradors

Many dog owners all around the world hail Labradors as the best family pet. Their temperaments are usually docile and they are known for their strong familial bonds, especially with children. Due to the fact that they love nothing more than to be at their human’s side, a Labrador can often be prone to separation anxiety. They often start demonstrating signs of separation anxiety from a young age and due to their size, as they grow their behavior can become destructive when left alone.

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Hungarian Vizsla

This stunning breed of dog was originally bred for hunting purposes and they form such a strong bond with their owners that they are known as “Velcro dogs” that are permanently glued to your side. A Vizsla is a high-energy dog, so daily exercise is an absolute must, in order to prevent continuous whining and howling and power chewing that often happens when they are left on their own.

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Pitbull Terrier

Pitbull and Staffordshire bull terriers have unfortunately been given a very unfair reputation as highly aggressive dogs due to owner exploitation. This is simply not true, as they are naturally very loving and human orientated and they are prone to severe separation anxiety when they are forced to be apart from their owners. It is true that they are powerful dogs and can be destructive when their separation anxiety causes them to act out, which is why many owners of this breed choose to crate them when they are left alone.

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German Shepherd

When you imagine a strong and noble German shepherd, you probably wouldn’t think that they would be prone to anxiety. In fact, they are one of the primary breeds that experiences separation anxiety due to their loyalty and pack mentality. They often see their humans as their pack leader (one of the many reasons they are frequently used as police dogs) and when they are left alone, they feel as if their whole world is falling apart.

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Bichon Frise

These cute little lap dogs usually have big separation anxiety problems and issues with behavior as a result. The Bichon Frise was bred with the sole purpose of being a companion to its human counterpart, so while they are happy being snuggled up on their owner’s laps, panic sets in when they are left alone. Fortunately, there is only so much destruction a little dog can cause, but negative behavior associated with separation anxiety still needs to be dealt with, as they could cause themselves harm.

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Border Collie

This herding breed is one of the most highly regarded working dogs today. They are always up for a challenge, they learn quickly and they never seem to run out of energy. Mental and physical stimulation is of prime importance when it comes to this specific breed because, should they get bored, they can become destructive and prone to separation anxiety. Border Collies see pet owners as their leaders, which is why many farmers are always seen with their loyal companion at their side and, ironically, this loyalty can also be their biggest shortcoming as they can’t cope with being left alone for extended periods of time—even short periods at first can prove to be a challenge.

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How to Ease the Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Your Dog

Sometimes, a dog will have a valid reason for extreme bouts of separation anxiety. Either they have been abandoned in the past, they have been separated from their mother too young, or they simply just don’t like to be on their own, and the dog’s behavior is apparent. Sometimes, however, there is no explanation for it. Whatever the cause of your pup’s anxiety, you can take certain steps to minimize their “pain” by ensuring that they are well socialized, well exercised, and distracted with treats or toys. CBD oil is an effective, natural way to minimize symptoms of anxiety in dogs and many “destructive dog” parents have had excellent results from it.

Crate training can also be a good option for larger breeds, as can doggy daycare. If you feel that your dog’s separation anxiety tactics are getting out of hand, then it is time to start exploring your options and our advice would be to start giving your pup a daily dose of high quality, organic CBD oil to calm them and get them in the right frame of mind for further training that you can undertake to prevent anxiety related issues.

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Author bio: Jennifer is the voice behind the FOMO Bones blog. She’s pretty sure she was a Great Dane in her past life, but her team at FOMO pegs her as more of a Labrador. Regardless of her breed, she’s a dog enthusiast with 15 years’ experience training dogs and owner.


CBD for Dog Anxiety Symptoms (Shaking and Panting)

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This article by Jennifer was originally published on FOMO Bones.

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If you have ever suffered from an anxiety attack, you will understand exactly how horrific it can be at the time. While you struggle to breathe or focus, you usually find it in you to vocalize your need for help, so just imagine how much worse it would be if you couldn’t even ask anyone for help. Unfortunately, dogs that suffer from anxiety have to go through exactly that each time they feel nervous. Whether it is separation anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or one of many other anxiety disorders, they feel completely panicked but are unable to tell us—the pet owners—what is wrong and what they need. Fortunately, canine anxiety will often manifest itself through symptoms that usually include shaking, panting, and whining, which is what alerts us to help them overcome their disorder.

Stress and anxiety can be really tough to deal with and there aren’t many options available to both dogs and humans that offer relief without some form of negative side effects. This is one of the main reasons that people are turning to CBD oil as a remedy for these times of crisis—both for personal use and for their furry friends.

A dog’s anxiety can be triggered by a number of things, many of which you can figure out in advance so that you can better prepare yourself for an episode of panic (fireworks, thunderstorms, etc.). In addition, CBD oil, hemp oil, and many other CBD products are packed with loads of other benefits for your dog aside from treating his presenting anxiety.

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How Does CBD Work for Dog Anxiety?

The benefits of CBD are slowly starting to show up in studies and it is fast becoming one of the most important aids to combat the symptoms that a dog experiences when he is feeling stressed or anxious. It is especially well regarded as a pain reliever for chronic pain and an anti-inflammatory agent when used to treat common problems like arthritis.

CBD is one of two crucial elements found present in a cannabis plant that is compounded into oil for medical use. CBD itself has less than 0.3 percent of THC when properly extracted, which is important to know as anything over that amount could be toxic for dogs. CBD works to cure anxiety in dogs via their natural endocannabinoid system to trigger parts of the central nervous system responsible for dealing with feelings of panic and fear. Through the same process, CBD triggers the release of serotonin in the brain, which, in turn, will calm your pooch down and free him from feelings of anxiety.

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It Will also Tackle Other Problems

Many often hail CBD as a miracle oil because it can also be used to treat a range of other problems that could also be contributing to your furry friend’s anxiety levels. Many medical professionals—both for humans and animals—now advocate the use of medical marijuana, including CBD oil, as it produces excellent results in a short space of time compared to other traditional medications. The best part is, there are zero side effects. There have been both scientific research papers and patient testimonials emerging in recent times that back the efficacy of medical marijuana to treat ailments such as:

  • Seizures
  • Cancer treatment and prevention
  • Pain relief
  • Arthritis and similar problems
  • Insomnia
  • Depression

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Using CBD as a Preventive Measure

Cannabis-based medicine has been used for thousands of years, way before it took its rightful place in the public spotlight. It is one of the few medicines on the planet that is not accompanied by any harmful side effects and it is virtually impossible to overdose on. It is for this reason that people are now turning to a daily dose of CBD for themselves and their pets, even if they are in perfect health. Many users of medical marijuana have reported that it contributes to their overall mood, positive frame of mind, and allows them to relax properly. Because our dogs can fall ill suddenly, all loving dog parents want to do everything possible to prevent unforeseen illnesses and as CBD oil’s popularity increases, it is widely used as preventive medicine for pretty much every sickness in existence.

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What Does Research Say?

Without delving into complicated scientific jargon, there is already a substantial amount of evidence that highlights CBD’s ability to treat illness in both animals and humans. There is still more testing to be done, especially with regards to CBD as a primary form of mainstream treatment rather than a complimentary supplement. However, the future is looking bright for cannabis-based products as more countries and states are legalizing its use and commercial manufacturing operations.

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Final Thoughts

If your dog has been suffering from anxiety for a while and you are finding yourself lost with regards to finding a product that will actually work without harming your dog, then you have nothing to lose by giving CBD a try. A good quality oil will be processed in a way that ensures it is entirely chemical free and pure. If you are worried about dosages, don’t be. There is currently no specific amount that you should be administering to your dog, which is another indicator that it really is safe to use. The reason for this is that a) you can’t overdose on CBD and b) it is still considered to be an experimental homeopathic medicine, which needs further research. You should always start with a lower dosage and gradually increase this dose if you don’t notice an improvement in your dog’s temperament. The taste can often be somewhat revolting, as reputable manufacturers will often use omega-3 as the carrier oil. So, unless your dog loves fish, you might want to consider mixing the oil into his food. Finally, you should consult your vet before using CBD oil to treat any kind of illness or disorder in your dog, just to be on the safe side.

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Author bio: Jennifer is the voice behind the FOMO Bones blog. She’s pretty sure she was a Great Dane in her past life, but her team at FOMO pegs her as more of a Labrador. Regardless of her breed, she’s a dog enthusiast with 15 years’ experience training dogs and owners.


6 Signs of Separation Anxiety in Dogs

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This article by Jennifer was originally published on FOMO Bones.

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Most dog owners will have experienced that feeling of guilt when leaving their four-legged friend alone even for just a short amount of time. While it is completely natural for dogs to miss us and want us to come home as soon as possible, some dogs suffer severe cases of separation anxiety on a different level. Not only does this make going out on our own somewhat of a chore, but it can also cause your dog problems—not to mention your couch, shoes, table…the list goes on. Fortunately, there is now a completely natural way to ease separation anxiety and reduce the symptoms of anxiety in dogs using CBD treats.

If you are a new dog owner, keep an eye out for these seven signs of canine separation anxiety so you can manage their nervous demeanor before it becomes too severe.

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Your Dog Suddenly Learns to Sing

Well, not quite. One of the primary signs of severe separation anxiety and distress in dogs is excessive howling or barking, as well as destructive chewing. While all dogs feel sad when they see their parents walk out the door, howling and/or scratching at the door trying to desperately follow you is a red flag that you need to take notice of.

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You Come Home to An Accident

If your dog is already potty trained and provided you are meeting their bathroom needs and taking them out frequently, they shouldn’t feel the need to pee inside. Understandably, if you are gone for hours and hours, then an accident here and there is bound to happen. However, if you are normally only gone for an hour or two and you always come home to a pee or poop on your white sheepskin carpet, then something is definitely up. This is a common symptom of separation anxiety in dogs and we suggest consulting a dog behaviorist or professional dog trainer for further advice, treatment, and possible medication.

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Destruction and Devastation

The strongest warning sign of separation anxiety and distress—and without a doubt one of the worst—is destructive behavior while you are out, even for short periods. If you regularly come home to find your furniture chewed up and your shoes destroyed, it won’t be hard to pinpoint the culprit. Many dog owners choose to crate train their dogs and they still often come home to find that Fido has broken free and destroyed his crate and everything around it.

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Frantic Panting

Dog lovers will all agree that fireworks and thunderstorms are two things that the world could do without when it comes to the effects they can have on dogs. Think back to the last time you snuggled up by the fire with a glass of red wine in hand, all ready to settle in for the night to the sound of thunder… and then your dog just completely freaked out, panting excessively, hiding, crying—all of the things a pet parent never wants to see! The same is true with many dogs when they experience separation anxiety; they start panting like crazy usually just as they see you putting your shoes on to leave.

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Pacing

Another sign of anxiety in dogs can be repetitive pacing in the same pattern. Your dog might sometimes do this when you are home. However, if you notice that your pooch is frequently pacing more often than normal, you need to address it.

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Clingy Behavior

There is a saying about dogs that goes something like this: “you will never pee alone again!” This is definitely true for the majority of us dog lovers and is usually completely normal behavior. What isn’t normal is if your dog suddenly starts being ultra-clingy and possessive. While almost every dog wants to be by our side, most do have a small degree of independence at times. This can be something as simple as laying by the side of the bed instead of on it (and on top of you!) or in their own bed while you are sitting on the couch. A major telltale sign of separation anxiety is if they have to be on top of you all the time or they start barking or crying.

If you’re realizing that your dog has separation anxiety, here are a few pointers to try and soothe them so you can leave the house with a clear conscience and not worry about leaving them alone in the future.

  • Speak to a dog trainer about crate training and overcoming problem behavior
  • Start by leaving them alone for just 15 minutes before returning and increase the time gradually so they know you are coming home
  • Consult your vet to rule out any underlying health issues
  • Ensure they get plenty of exercise every day
  • Make sure they have their own “safe” place to comfort them
  • Try leaving an item of your clothing in their bed while you are out

The above list is quite basic and, of course, there is no guarantee that any of those things will work and if your dog’s separation anxiety is getting worse, then keep reading.

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Using CBD to Treat Anxiety in Dogs

Fortunately, if your pup is experiencing separation anxiety for long periods and you have tried everything under the sun but nothing works, there is a solution—and a downright effective one at that! Along with mental stimulation, CBD treats are a tasty way to curb your dog’s separation anxiety. It has been proven that giving your dog a treat as a part of positive reinforcement can hugely strengthen your already rock-solid bond while also giving him an all-natural, therapeutic way to ease his nerves and anxiety. CBD oil has been proven to treat a wide range of emotional and physical ailments. These natural and completely organic CBD dog treats are worth checking out, as thousands of dog owners around the globe are tuning into the fact that CBD dog treats actually work when nothing else seems to.

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Author bio: Jennifer is the voice behind the FOMO Bones blog. She’s pretty sure she was a Great Dane in her past life, but her team at FOMO pegs her as more of a Labrador. Regardless of her breed, she’s a dog enthusiast with 15 years’ experience training dogs and owners.


4 Steps to Treat Canine Separation Anxiety

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This article by Jennifer was originally published at FOMO Bones.

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As a dog owner, dealing with canine separation anxiety and distress can sound like a daunting task. When you become a dog parent, you never think about the potential behavioral issues that might arise. The thought of having a dog that struggles with anxiety might even seem slightly absurd. The reality is: At one point or another during doggy parenthood, you are going to have to deal with some issues, and one of the most common is learning how to correctly and effectively treat separation anxiety.

Just like raising a child, everyone has different styles of parenting when it comes to their dog’s behavior. Some people prefer to crate train their dogs to get them used to being in a safe place while their human is away, while others believe that separation anxiety is due to a lack of mental stimulation or exercise. Despite the differences in doggy parenting styles, when it comes to treating severe separation anxiety, distress, and behavioral problems, everyone has one thing in common: The desire to overcome it.

Here are four steps to help your dog to overcome separation anxiety so you can feel completely at ease when you leave them home alone.

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Step 1: Decide on a Strategy and Method

The very first thing you need to do is to determine when your dog’s unusual behavior or distress increases (i.e. is it right about the time you are getting ready to go out?). This is so you can pinpoint if your pup is acting out due to separation anxiety or if there is something else going on. If you are concerned, then you should contact your vet and schedule a check-up. Once you have been given the all clear, it’s time to create a strategy that you feel comfortable with. The most important thing to account for when it comes to treating separation anxiety in dogs is that you must be consistent, and you need to have patience. You won’t necessarily see an improvement overnight but stick with it and, before too long, things will get better.

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Step 2: Create a Safe Place

As humans, when we feel alone or panicked we may seek refuge in our safe place. Some people will retreat to their man caves for long periods while others will seek comfort in their favorite chair, and many people instantly start to feel better when they are snuggled up in bed with their favorite pajamas on. If your dog doesn’t currently have her own bed, feeding area, or toys, then she may feel unsettled. To create a safe space for your pup, find a cozy and warm corner where you can set down a few blankets that have your scent on them to reassure her when you aren’t there. Many people are massive advocates of crate training, as it not only keeps your dogs out of trouble when unsupervised, it can actually be beneficial for their safety. If you do choose to look into crate training, please make sure that you seek professional guidance to ensure you do it right, or it could backfire.

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Step 3: Natural CBD Treats

Cannabinoid-based products are appearing in media headlines every day thanks to therapeutic capabilities. With so many people starting to take CBD oil to alleviate a range of illnesses and issues, it’s no wonder CBD dog treats have also become extremely popular over recent years. The healing treats have been proven to significantly decrease the symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs, as well as having a range of positive benefits such as:

  • Reduces nervous or hyperactive behavior
  • Treats epilepsy and seizures*
  • Relieves pain*
  • Effectively treats arthritis*
  • Promotes a healthy immune system
  • Promotes organ health

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Step 4: Doggie Cinema

Many dog owners report that their dog is less anxious and displays fewer problem behaviors, such as destructive chewing, when left alone if they have some background noise to keep them company. And while it might sound a little ridiculous, leaving the TV or radio on while your dog is alone can help her to feel less alone. The next time you are getting ready for a night out, try putting on a movie to distract and entertain your dog, allowing you to enjoy your evening without the fear of coming home to chaos and destruction.

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Final Thoughts

Helping your dog overcome separation anxiety is not only going to allow your dog to have a well-balanced approach to life, but it will also benefit you as an owner. And if you want to successfully treat separation anxiety for good, then it is important to create a routine and stick to it. The good thing about natural remedies like CBD treats is that they can be used alone or in conjunction with any other method you choose. CBD is pretty much the only natural remedy that will allow you to see positive improvements fast, and the fact that there are so many other benefits means that your dog’s overall health will improve.

Separation anxiety in dogs will progressively get worse over time, which is why it is so important to take action as soon as you notice that something is awry. And as responsible dog owners, we should always approach the methods we choose with love and care, as changes won’t happen overnight. Patience and persistence is a key factor in ensuring that you are reinforcing a bond with your dog that is based on discipline and trust.

*Medical disclaimer: Clinical studies and research for these claims have not been provided. Please speak to your vet if your pet is having medical issues.

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About the Author: Jennifer is the voice behind the FOMO Bones blog. She’s pretty sure she was a Great Dane in her past life, but her team at FOMO pegs her as more of a Labrador. Regardless of her breed, she’s a dog enthusiast with 15 years’ experience training dogs and owners.