March is officially pet anxiety month.
As we know dogs are very sociable animals, much the same as us humans. As a result of another lockdown, many dogs have become increasingly attached to their owners and vice versa. Very soon the restrictions will be lifted and our lives will return to normal (or at least a new kind of normal) and the unforeseen separation could be confusing for dogs.
Are you already worried about your dog’s reaction?
Separation anxiety is a common problem and the number of dogs affected increased after our initial lockdown. You may be wondering why some dogs suffer from separation anxiety?
Separation anxiety happens when a dog becomes too attached to his/ her owner and becomes anxious when they are apart. Because of the current situation, dogs have grown used to having their owners at home pretty much all the time. And for a puppy bought during the lockdown, it’s the only situation he or she knows. This puppy (or adopted dog) gets undivided attention and creates a strong bond with his humans. And unfortunately, he does not learn how to cope with the possible situation of being alone.
Each dog is different and the symptoms of separation anxiety may be different from dog to dog.
Separation anxiety can manifest in any of these ways:
Barking or howling
Increased heart and breathing rate
Panting and pacing
Running away and/or cowering in the corner of a house
Self-harm, like excessive licking or chewing
Urinating more frequently
A general inability to settle
As well as introducing periods apart from a puppy or dog, aromatherapy can help a dog to cope with separation. I specifically designed Comfort Blend with separation anxiety in mind. The bonus is that Comfort Blend also works for Canine Cognitive Disfunction (doggie dementia) and grief etc. too!
Comfort Blend provides natural relief from anxiety because it contains useful oils such as neroli, bergamot, basil, and ylang-ylang. These oils help in many of these cases and can bring dogs peace and help them to relax in periods of stress.
You may wonder how actually essential oils work? How come they can calm my dog and me down ?
Volatile molecules interact with chemical receptors in the nose that transform messages into nerve impulses. These are then directed by the olfactory bulb to various areas of the brain and influencing the limbic system.
The limbic system is the part of the brain involved in our behavioral and emotional responses. Especially when it comes to behaviors we need for survival: feeding, reproduction and caring for our young, and fight or flight response. And same for our dogs.
The messages also influence psychological and hormonal activity.
After inhaling calming essential oils the behavioral changes can occur in seconds, as electrical nerve impulses travel much faster than the circulatory system.
Fascinating, isn’t it?