Labradors are companionship dogs who loved attention from their owners. They appreciate quality time with their owners and like most people, they also get depressed or anxious whenever they are left alone for so long. This is the usual cause for Labrador Anxiety.
Have you ever tried leaving your Lab home alone? Were you surprised to find your couch chewed and ruined when you get back from a trip? Even with Labrador obedience training, these instances cannot be avoided.
Signs and Causes for Labrador Anxiety
When you got home from an out-of-town vacation, have you noticed that your Labrador has an excessive greeting behavior? They pester you non-stop and demand greatly for your attention. This situation indicates that your Lab is suffering from Labrador Anxiety. Exhibiting unusual behavio...
rs is your Labs way of letting you know how distressed it is when you are not around.
Other indications for this condition include distressed howling, barking and whining. If your Lab do not practice house breaking and urinate or poop anywhere, this is also an indication of anxiety. When suffering from Labrador anxiety, your pet would most probably exhibit destructive behavior such as chewing, digging, scratching of walls and doors. Furthermore, anorexia, inactivity, too much licking of hair coat, unnecessary pacing and circling, overexcited attachment, manic salivation, and breaking through windows and doors may also be observed in your Labrador.
Are you wondering what triggers Labrador Anxiety? Labs get used to daily routines easily. When you notice a change of behavior in your family dog, then you should take note of the following points. Often, when your daily activity with your pet changes or there has been alteration of your daily schedule, Labradors may take it differently. Among the usual causes of Labrador Anxiety, the most common are situations such as Marriage, moving to a new house or environment, arrival of a new baby or family member, sudden schedule changes, improper nutrition, allergies and loss of a family member which your Lab is most attached to.
Other than separation anxiety, your Lab may also suffer from different types of anxiety. Your Lab may also react differently in cases such as loud noises (fireworks or thunderstorms) and traumatic history like the fear of abuse or abandonment. Whenever a frightening experience is not dealt with properly, it may lead to unpredicted circumstances such as biting.
Reducing or Treating Labrador Anxiety
Most Lab owners may not be able to understand how their well-behaved Lab has changed so much after being left home alone or after being exposed to new situations. You can reduce or treat your Labradors anxiety by:
Each Lab is different from one another; hence it is difficult to determine whether your Lab is really suffering from Labrador Anxiety. So the first and most recommended thing for you to do is to bring your Lab to the veterinarian and have him undergo diagnosis through a thorough history examination and physical exam. This is necessary in order to know the exact condition of your Lab.
Once confirmed of anxiety, you can go through the next steps in treating it. Treatment for Labrador Anxiety involves Medical, Natural and Training treatments.
In cases of severe anxiety, your veterinarian may recommend pharmaceutical treatment that could decrease or reduce the level of anxiety that your Lab is experiencing. Often, they offer clomipramine, fluoxetine (Prozac®) or amitriptyline (Elavil®) and Valium. Regarding the right medication to give your Lab, consult your most trusted veterinarian.
You may not be open to Medical Treatment because of the side effects it may result to. Hence, you prefer the natural way of solving your pets anxiety. There are Herbal remedies available in many natural pet food stores. It can calm your pet without having to diminish its alertness.
This is the type of treatment where, as owner, you must also do your part. In most cases, anxiety in Labs can be cured through behavioral modification that involves mental stimulation, desensitizing and counter-conditioning. For instance, if your Labrador is experiencing separation anxiety, you can train your dog by taking short leaves from home, extending the duration a little every time. This way, your Labrador will get used to the idea of you leaving often.
Treatments for Labrador anxiety require time and effort to be effective. As owner, you must understand the condition of your pet and must be patient in handling things. It is unnecessary to punish them or bring them to animal shelters after exhibiting unusual behaviors. At times, it is only your attention that is needed to bring back the healthy and happy pet you once knew.