You are here:

Dogs/separation anxiety


I have just said goodbye to my 10 half year old gorgeous Airedale on Friday.  I now have his sister on her own and she is finding it hard when we leave her crying and wetting I have left her in hour increments for 2 days today I left her for 3 hours my neighbour said she cried for a while when I sneaked back in she was asleep but had wet in the lounge room
is sedation the way to go as I really do not know what to do.


Hi Rita,

I'm very sorry to hear of your recent loss.

I know this problem all too well. After needing to put to sleep my two elderly dogs (a month apart!), my remaining dog who was raised with other dogs suddenly was "alone", and started having behavioral issues, very similar to what you're experiencing with Daisy.

Dogs do go through a mourning period, which only time can heal.
Is Daisy crate trained? If she is, putting her in her crate, rather than giving her the free run of your home, might be helpful. Being in the small contained space of a crate is usually a comfort to a dog who's been crate trained. If not, leaving her in one room, with the help of a childgate is a good substitute to crating. Using a kitchen or a room with tile or linoleum flooring makes cleaning any mistakes a little easier.  For a few weeks, make containment a new habit when you leave the house. Leaving a radio on might be helpful, as would giving Daisy a good long walk or run before leaving her.

Increasing the amount of exercise Daisy receives during this adjustment period while she is grieving is very important, and it works better than using a sedative. It can be as simple as one or two extra leashed walks every day. Exercise raises serotonin levels, which may have a positive impact on your dog’s behavior, just as it does for people. Along with exercise, take Daisy on more outings, if she enjoys going in the car. Let her ride along in the car when you have short errands to run.

Rather than using a sedative, try using a "Dog Appeasing Pheromone" (D.A.P) spray.  A mother dog's natural pheromones calms her puppies, and adult dogs retain the response of being calm and less anxious when they're in the presence of these pheromones. Pheromones are odorless to people and non-toxic, they are not a drug or tranquilizer. Brands to look for are Adaptil and Comfort Zone. D.A.P comes in the form of a collar which can be worn at all times, a spray (don't spray your dog with it), and a plug in diffuser. Other products that are known to help relieve anxiety in dogs are:

Virbac Anxitane (Suntheanine, and Composure Max Liquid): Non-prescription supplements that help pets keep calm & relaxed. Promote relaxation in pets exhibiting nervousness, anxiety or responding to environmentally-induced stress.

Supplements containing herbs including valerian extract, inositol, and chamomile. Brands to consider are Ultra-Calm Bites or Chews,  Composure SoftChews, Pet-Ease for Dogs, Complete Calm for Dogs, Relax & Calm Chews,  Vet's Best Travel Calm, Pet Naturals of Vermont Calming Dog Chews, and Rescue Remedy.

Because every dog is an individual, there's no way of knowing if the above solution will work, or how long it might take to work. When I went through this, nothing seemed to calm my dog when we left the house. Roosevelt, was crate trained since he was a puppy, but was unhinged when we left him in his crate, to the point of trying to chew his way out. When we left him uncrated in our kitchen, he tried chewing the wooden molding near the doorway. Finally, we found the big solution.... we got a second dog.

If weeks go by, nothing seems to be helping Daisy (and maybe things are even getting worse) then adopting a second dog might just be the way to go. If you don't want to go through puppy training, adopting an adult dog might just be the ticket. Be sure to evaluate the temperament of any prospective adoptee, to try to ensure a good match for Daisy.  Even if your Airedale was also a female, consider an altered dog of opposite sex this time. That one choice can greatly reduces the risk of problems.

After adopting Aldo, Roosevelt almost immediately returned to his calm and well behaved self... and we can hardly imagine life without our little Aldo, who just as sweet as pie.

I hope I've been a help.
Best of luck!



All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




To date, I've owned 7 dogs, all of which have lived into old age. Having cared for them in all stages of life, I feel I can offer sound advice to other pet owners, and people considering getting a dog. I am knowledgeable about the AKC (American Kennel Club) dog breeds, training and exercise, caring for sick and elderly pets, feeding, as well as many holistic treatments pets can benefit from. My only request is that you write me using standard English and punctuation.


My life experience in this field is more like "on the job training" rather than an actual degree in animal welfare. You may benefit from my experiences over the past 30 years. Aside from the dogs I've owned, I'm also involved in "breed rescue" and have fostered several dogs, all of which have been adopted to wonderful "forever homes". I find helping people who want a dog very rewarding.

Real life experience, based on over 30 years of dog ownership.

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]