Dog Separation Anxiety
Dog separation anxiety: causes and symptoms
Dog separation anxiety is the most common behavioral disorder along with aggression, and a significant number of dogs suffer from it.
The symptoms are extremely varied, including excessive vocalization, inappropriate elimination, excessive salivation and, of course, a state of restlessness. Canine separation anxiety is very difficult to diagnose; not only due to these factors, but also and above all because it manifests itself in the absence of the owner. This disorder is influenced by numerous factors, including gender, race, behavioral problems, the degree of affection to the owner and also the dog’s origins. However, one factor is often excluded despite the fact that, as our studies show, it’s crucial: nutrition.
A difference compared with the past
Such serious behavioral alterations are attributed, as comes naturally, to genetic factors, errors in imprinting and environmental conditions; however all these explanations clearly are at odds with the experience of those who knew dogs in the 70s . Beyond what myself and many others have experienced, one merely needs to consult authoritative dog encyclopedias from that era to find descriptions of the most diverse races united by very different factors compared to modern times: all dogs, apart from very few individual exceptions or rare species, were serene, affectionate, sociable and totally reliable with children, yet ready to change their attitude when affronted with a scenario which presented danger to elements of their family. In practice, almost all dogs were mistrustful and aggressive only when necessary.
Every dog, in the past, easily learned to manage anxiety-related situations and, within a few days, was able to adapt serenely to situations that are objectively unacceptable, like being alone all day, living on a leash and having to deal with even unqualified owners, who often treated the animal as a mere work-tool and often using violence. Anyone of a certain age like myself can confirm this.
So dogs were able to effectively handle much trickier situations than today. There is not the slightest doubt that today's environmental factors (stress, noise, owners’ paranoia, poor life in the open air, difficulty in interpreting their language) are considerable anxiogenic factors, but given that dogs from before the 70s were able to handle much trickier situations effectively, this implies that currently something is determining this incapacity.
So what can we do?
It is imperative that the dog receives a proper diagnosis and treatment in the diseases’ early stages, since this disorder can negatively affect both the dog’s mental and physical health and the owner-dog relationship. Unfortunately, the daily difficulties in managing dogs suffering this disturbance bear heavily on the owner; this potentially leads to the all too common decision to deliver the dog to a shelter.
Ultimately, this disorder still requires future research concerning many aspects in order to improve the life of the dog and its owner.
An unsuspected cause of dog separation anxiety
Often the real cause of dog separation anxiety is the presence of toxic residues in the diet, which alter the nervous system’s controllers. But how is this possible, does nutrition influence behavior? Absolutely yes. The connection between food and behavior is very clear, in fact the latter is regulated by specific hormones and neurotransmitters, whose function is in turn also influenced by food.
In this regard, there is a clear and significant increase in adverse reactions to food, including food allergies and intolerances, and all SANYpet Research & Development Department studies clearly demonstrate a negative relationship between certain pharmacological pollutants and the exponential growth of the most diverse inflammatory diseases within dogs and cats.
These diseases are mainly represented by conjunctivitis, keratitis, otitis, dermatitis, gingivitis and stomatitis, gastritis, enteritis and colitis, in chronic and/or recurrent forms; however, somewhat surprisingly, they are also manifested by well-defined behavioral disorders, all attributable to anxious states.
A solution certified by two indisputable scientific researches
To study this phenomenon, the Department of Veterinary Medicine in Sassari (IT), in the person of Raffaella Cocco (one of the principal Italian experts concerning canine behavior), collaborated with SANYpet-FORZA10’s Research & Development Department, directed by myself.
The first research
In the first research, published early 2017 in the international scientific journal “Jove”:
- 69 dogs, suffering from various anxiety symptoms and fed with pet food based upon chicken meal, were clinically and scientifically tested;
- The presence of the Oxytetracycline antibiotic was verified in their serum.
The dogs, selected as they were suffering from anxious syndromes and all fed with food based on intensive farmed meat, showed, in their initial serum, strong alterations in the levels of neurotransmitters and hormones responsible for anxiety control (serotonin, dopamine, bendorfine, cortisol, noradrenaline).
The subjects were then switched to the FORZA10 Behavioral formula, characterized by:
- being totally free of meat and bone meal from intensive breeding;
- offering a pool of titled and standardized botanical extracts, with written proof recognizing their properties and benefits;
- the application of ocean caught anchovies as the single protein source;
- a significant amount of Omega3, optimally balanced with Omega6.
The use of FORZA10 Behavioral has shown, in 70% of treated subjects, the progressive reduction, and disappearance in less than 15 days, of the most various symptoms of anxiety, including the frustrating dog separation anxiety.
The second research
The second research, conducted on 24 subjects and published in the “Veterinary Record” Magazine, has highlighted, via the application of “Fitbark” collars, how a FORZA10 Behavioral diet normalizes both the dog’s physiological parameters of the anxiety control functions and its daily activity, reducing the anxious state up to its disappearance. It also permitted the verification of improved sleep-wake rhythms, a clear indication as to a state of superior well-being.
A solution to dog separation anxiety
It is mistakenly believed that the solution to dog separation anxiety is the administration of tranquilizing drugs, to keep the situation under control. Changing the food, on the other hand, eliminates the exact source of the problem, without sedating or surprising the animal. This provided you choose a food without pollutants, with clean ingredients and botanical substances.
Founder and Head of SANYpet’s Research & Development Department Veterinary surgeon and international expert in food based pathologies