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Woof Wednesday: Soothing Separation Anxiety
Old fogie dogs are much more likely to develop separation anxiety than youngsters--lots of care tips here!

Fafnir w-ball

When a dog or cat can't bear to be left alone they may "act out" and damage your belongings, or even hurt themselves. These pets aren't chewing up furniture, defecating on the bed, or breaking through glass windows to "get back at you." Think of separation anxiety as a form of grief. Cats and dogs miss you so much they can't help themselves.

Problems develop when the amount of time you spend with the pet changes, maybe due to a new job schedule or baby. Cats may not have problems for years, but often act out when owners go on vacation.

About 14 percent of pet dogs seen in veterinary clinics suffer from separation anxiety. Mixed breeds and dogs adopted from shelters or the streets are most commonly affected, and aging dogs (10 years and older) or puppies adopted before 8 weeks of age also have a higher incidence. Check out these tips for soothing separation anxiety in my latest Paw Nation article. As always, happy wags to Gina Misiroglu and Red Room for introducing me to the fine folks at AOL/Huffington Post!

You can help youngsters when you adopt them by offering lots of positive experiences during puppy socialization. To be good pets, puppies require early-age socialization. That’s a fancy way of describing how they learn to interact in a positive way with the world around them.

Dogs can be trained at any age, and continue to learn throughout their lives. But the prime socialization period is a narrow window during babyhood when learning the “wrong” lessons can emotionally cripple the puppy. Dogs not exposed to positive experiences with humans, other pets, important places and situations during this period may become fearful and bite out of fright. Here are 10 tips for socializing your new puppy. 

Woofs & wags,