In the last post I mentioned two things that we were working with to help with Avery’s separation anxiety.
One is an herbal supplement called L-Theanine and the other is a brand new crate.
L-Theanine is an all natural herbal supplement derived from tea leaves. It helps to promote mental relaxation.
Here is a link that goes into more detail. And here is a link that gives a great overview about all the different kinds of drugs (both natural and prescription) there are to use for anxiety issues. If you are dealing with any kind of anxiety with your dog, I highly recommended checking out and bookmarking that link.
We’ve been giving Avery L-Theanine, one 100mg pill, a day in his morning breakfast. I noticed a difference right away when taking him out on walks. He doesn’t get nearly as anxious/reactive around other dogs. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a reaction, it just means that his reactions are a lot more mild than before.
When we do a test run and leave him in his crate, he will be getting another L-Theanine pill along with some rescue remedy. The vet who we chatted with about this said that the two work in great combination with each other.
I also bought a calming CD for dogs, called Through A Dog’s Ear to try as well.
We also purchased Avery a brand new soft crate. (I don’t have a good picture of Avery in his crate because the crate creates such a dark den like environment that you can’t see Avery when he’s in there!)
Happy to report that he loves his crate. The day it arrived and we set it up, he immediately went in there to check it out. He took to this new crate right away.
For the first couple of weeks we had it set up and I let him go in and out of it on his own. Each time he went in, I gave him a treat. After about two weeks, I started crating him during meal times for us because the crate is right next to our dining table.
He’s now at a point where he will go in there automatically when we sit down to eat. He also goes in his crate all the time to play with his toys or to take naps. He definitely considers it his safe spot and he loves his little “den”.
This is exactly what we were hoping to achieve with this. That he would establish a good relationship with is crate and that he feels safe and comfortable in there.
We are at the stage now where we need to start working towards crating him and leaving to see how he does. We of course will start off very slowly by only walking out the door and leaving him for five minutes. We plan on setting up a way to record him so that we can see exactly what is going on.
We are first going to do this without the extra calming meds just to see if the new crate makes a difference at all. Then we’ll try it again the following day with the meds and see how that works.
We are taking everything slowly so that we can set Avery up for success and not set him up for failure. Here’s hoping our approach works!
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