For severe anxiety when animals become sick or may harm themselves:
Consult a veterinarian about anti-anxiety medications.
Try out the medication prior to the trigger event to determine appropriate dosage.
Try a lower dosage, if a pet appears too dopey or “flattened” by meds.
Consult a vet about increasing dose or combining with a second medication, if dosage appears ineffective.
Don’t sedate pets. That only creates a sleepy pet that is still traumatized.
Dr. Nelson says pet owners shouldn’t feel as though the “quiet room” is banishing a pet away from an owner’s comfort.
“I think if you look at it that way, then your pet is going to sense that from you,” she says.
Dogs, for example, are den animals.
“They really do like having that safe protected sort of closed-in environment, that’s why kennels are very effective for many dogs that suffer from anxiety. If you have a dog that loves his crate that’s probably the best place for him,” Nelson says.
Also, the “quiet room” doesn’t have to be a bathroom.
“You might have a large walk-in closet, or some other area that you think they might be more comfortable in,” Nelson says.
Also, Nelson stresses that pet owners should not act sad, ashamed or guilty when putting a pet in or taking them out of the “quiet room.”
“If you don’t make a big deal about it then they’re going to feel like: ‘OK, my human isn’t worked up, so I guess is shouldn’t be worked up either,’ and it’ll help them to get through it a lot better,” Nelson says.
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