Hi Meg - My dog has isolation distress (cant be alone/without other dogs
or people) which is the primary concern, and has leash reactivity
(secondary concern since that seems to be getting resolved
with training). I bought Home Alone, Fresh Start and Calm Balm.
I'm just confirming how to use... Spray 4 sprays of EACH of the sprays 4-6 times a day in the air
or on bedding every single day. And use the calm balm right
before i leave him alone? Looking forward to seeing a change in my little guy. Regards -
My Reply: Sounds perfect. Use the the sprays exactly as you are and the Calm Balm maybe 1/2 hour before you leave - use a calming word or gesture. Then use that same gesture or signal before you leave.
You can do a smudge under the chin, tips of the ears and / or tops of the paws. Let me know after first 3-5 days and see if we have to tweak anything. K?
Lastly and MOST important = when you leave... Lower your voice at least one octave, tell the Dog the truth of
1. where you are going and
2. when you will be back...
That is the most amazing thing you can do to alleviate fear and distress. And then LEAVE = don't over-explain, whine, or do worst case scenarios, etc!! See you are alpha and if alpha is worried... well... And if they don't know where you are going and when you'll be back then no one is in charge. Make sense? Even if it sounds wacky - try it.
Tall order to change but those 4 things done in order will drastically reduce stress levels. Trust me? Trust me!!!!
5 days later... Reply to me:
Ok so my dog has been using the sprays since Wednesday.
And Ive used the calm balm on him 3 times and leaving him for
60-90 mins each time. I'm Still giving him (pharma) and leaving
the tv on (hoping to get him off the (pharma) eventually).
But I didnt put a blanket under the door or do a load of
laundry these times (part of our routine to block external
noises). He seems MUCH calmer and showing no to minimal
anxiety each time (Via webcam). I will continue to increase
the time time I'm gone (I've never been successful over 2 hrs)
and then start decreasing the dosage of (pharma) until he no
longer needs it. Im feeling very optimistic. And funnily, i think our
conversations before I leave really do help. Who knew i adopted
a toddler instead of a dog?! Lol