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Articles About Dogs

---"I want to add my praise for WiggleLegs Frog toy.  My cat loves to play with WiggleLegs No other toy will do.  When I ask her to find WiggleLegs she goes right to it!  I just ordered 3 more as I'm afraid you will stop making them and then I don't know what we will do!"

---"Once again, you have provided excellent service with an excellent product. Thanks for the extra - it was a hit! My cats are totally addicted to the WiggleLegs Frog, so please keep plenty in stock!"

---"I just wanted to let you know that my cat, Molly, is absolutely addicted to your FlyToys. I literally have to hide them from her so she will go to sleep at night, but as soon as morning arrives she is sitting right in front of their hiding place waiting for them to come out and play."

Each MetPet FlyToy is handmade by skilled artisans with great attention to detail.  They come in the form of bugs, amphibians, mammals and more in three very reasonable price points.

---"I can't believe how your company understands cats so well"

Separation Anxiety in Dogs Page 3

The importance of training your dog cannot be overemphasized.  A well trained dog has something to fill his mind, has better control over himself and is more likely to respond to you when you tell him to be
calm and quiet.  If your dog is not trained, you can enroll him immediately in a training class, hire a professional trainer or home school him yourself. 

Place particular emphasis on sit-stay and down-stay commands.  A high strung dog will find it difficult to sit-stay or down-stay for any length of time.  This will teach him self-discipline.  If you can make him sit-stay or down-stay while you leave the room, this will make it much easier for him to stay calm when you leave the house. 

Make your dog stand on his own four legs.  Do not let him lean against you on the couch, sit in your lap or place himself on top of your feet or legs.  If you have a problem with this, make him down-stay in his own bed or place him in a crate while you are in the same room.  The assertive dog will learn that she cannot do everything she pleases while a fearful dog will develop the confidence to be on her own.  

Doggy daycare
In order to save your house and keep your sanity, you may want to take your dog to daycare while you modify his behavior.  You can then go about your day without having to worry about what awaits you at home. 

The advantage of daycare is that it helps socialize your dog and teach her that being without you can be enjoyable.  Since lack of socialization could have triggered the anxiety in the first place, day care may help hasten the behavior modification.  If your dog is around other happy and engaged dogs all day even when his family is gone, he can learn to be less anxious.

Initially you may have to take him every day that you are at work or away for any length of time.  Over time, you can balance out his time at doggy day care with a significantly increased exercise routine.  You can increase his regular exercise and decrease the time he spends at doggy daycare. 

Some dogs, especially as they grow older, may not be comfortable in a boisterous day care.  You may have to look for a human companion or a house sitter while your dog learns to be on his own. 


Medications: Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland in the brain of mammals.  Melatonin is thought to help regulate the natural rhythms of sleep and wakefulness.  Travelers use melatonin to reset their internal clock when moving from one time zone to another.  Melatonin is widely available in pill form at your local drug store or pharmacy. 

Melatonin, along with exercise and a meal beforehand, may encourage your dog to sleep while you are away so that he can match your working hours with his sleeping hours.  It does not work with all dogs and you should consult your veterinarian as to the dosage that is acceptable for your dog.

Medications: Clomicalm and Reconcile
Just as with people, there are an increasing number of drugs that are available to treat psychological problems in dogs.  Although many people are reluctant to medicate their dogs, if the alternative is to part company, then it is worth considering.   Medication, in conjunction with behavioral modification, can be just the thing your vet recommends.  Many modern psychoactive drugs are not sedatives and are not designed to "drug" your dog or make him sleepy or "dopey."

Clomicalm, from Novartis the maker of Sentinel and Program flea and parasite treatments, is one medication marketed especially for separation anxiety in dogs.  The active ingredient is clomipramine hydrochloride and it comes in tablet form by prescription only.  It is used in conjunction with behavior modification. 

Clomipramine is a seratonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) and is used in humans for treating obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).  It is similar to medications for humans such as Prozac. 

The newest drug treatment on the market is Eli Lilly's Reconcile (see press release).  This is the first FDA drug approved specifically to treat separation anxiety in dogs.   The active ingredient, fluoxetine hydrochloride, is also the active ingredient in Prozac.  It is a selective seratonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and is marketed as more specific for separation anxiety than Clomicalm

- Reconcile is a prescription-only, once-daily chewable pill
- The dosage is based on your dog's weight
- The range of responses from great responses to no response will vary with the individual dog
- Behavior modification is required in addition to the pill.  Eli Lilly provides a behavior modification regimen to go along with Reconcile
- These drugs may require several weeks to show an effect
- The recommended doses may not be sufficient for some dogs

Medications: General Information

Below are links to the Merck Veterinary Manual.  The first is a list of drugs that may help in behavioral therapy for dogs when other avenues are ineffective or insufficient.  The second link discusses general guidelines for drug use including what background information should be collected and what tests should be done.

Merck Veterinary Manual: Drugs for Canine Behavior
Merck Veterinary Manual: Guidelines for Behavioral Drug Use

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