28 Aug Setting and meeting the expectations of the anxious dog’s owner
This is a sponsored article from Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets. This article was written by Brenna Cherry, DVM, associate veterinarian at Animal Medical Center and Spay-Neuter Clinic in Mission Viejo, California.
Because I am always looking for additional ways to help my canine patients that display anxious behaviors, I was intrigued to learn about Purina® Pro Plan® Veterinary Supplements Calming Care and the potential for a probiotic supplement to help them. I initially recommended the product along with behavior modification for patients that came to the clinic displaying mild to moderate anxious behaviors, such as panting. The early results were positive, and I was pleased that within a few months both their owners and I noticed these patients seemed more at ease.
Expanding my scope of treatable cases
Following this initial success, I broadened my recommendations include dogs with other issues such as separation anxiety and noise phobia. In these cases, I prescribed Calming Care as part of a multimodal plan that typically included behavior modification and medication. I’ve also found Calming Care to be well-suited for owners who are interested in using a holistic approach to managing dogs that display anxious behaviors.
Setting the stage for a calmer dog
While complete elimination of anxious behaviors may not be possible, there is much we can do to help dogs maintain calm behavior. Use the following list to help owners understand their pets’ conditions and what they can expect from a management program.
Case in point: Putting an end to abnormal barking
Even well-socialized dogs can develop anxious behaviors. I had a young Golden Retriever come in as a new patient and noted that her anxiety from being at the veterinary clinic was manifested as incessant barking. Her family couldn’t expose her to anything new, have friends over or even take her on walks. They had concluded that her behavior was normal—“just her personality.” I explained that the barking was actually an anxious behavior and that we could help her develop normal responses to normal stimuli.
Along with behavior modification, I prescribed Calming Care. Six months later I saw the patient and was pleased to see that her anxious behaviors were managed. The barking had significantly decreased at home, and the strained human-animal bond was restored. Calm dogs make for calm owners!
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