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Greyhound Care - Dealing with Anxiety

Separation Anxiety

It is extremely important to remember that your greyhound has never been left alone before.

 So if you have to leave him at home alone, he may be scared and confused.  He's wondering...... Where did you go?  Will you return?   Where am I?

Here are a few tips to help ease this common separation anxiety:

Practice leaving your greyhound

....for just a few minutes at a time to start with.  Don't make a big deal about leaving (if he thinks you're going somewhere and having more fun than he is, then he'll definitely be upset!) and just leave for 15 minutes at first.  If possible, gradually increase this time away to a few hours. He'll soon get the idea that you're coming back and his anxiety about you leaving him forever will be eased.  An item of worn clothing can provide comfort.

Dog-proof your home

Keep your windows unobstructed from knick-knacks and blinds.  Your greyhound will go to the window first to look for you and if there are blinds or other objects in the way, they could get eaten when he gets anxious!  Be aware of the danger that your greyhound may try to run through transparent glass in patio or other doors, unless the glass is obscured in some way.

Borrow an indoor kennel for the first few weeks

If anxiety is bad, then borrowing a good-sized indoor kennel for the first few weeks at home, can make a real difference. Your greyhound has always lived in a kennel, so it can be familiar and re-assuring for him, whilst making the transition from racer to pet.

The plan might be to place him in the kennel when left home alone, during the first 2 weeks.  Then, when he starts to know the family routine, he's again placed in the kennel, but now with the door left open, to give him the choice of whether to stay in it or not.  After 2 more weeks, the kennel can be returned as your greyhound will now have settled in properly.  But do wait to see how he fares at first before borrowing or even purchasing a kennel - he may be just fine!

Fireworks

Any pets, including Greyhounds can be terrified of loud noises.  Fireworks, storms, thunder and lightening may scare your dog. Don't leave them alone if possible.

During firework season, take your greyhound out for their walk before dark.  Draw the curtains at dusk and put the radio or television on.  Your greyhound will look to you for your response to the sounds so try not to react. Let your dog go to where it feels safe and do not keep pampering them - they will only respond more to the noises around.

DAP diffusers, available from your local vets are very good at calming your greyhound. This is a plug-in device which emits 'dog appeasing pheromones' similar to those produced soon after a puppy is born by it's mother. The pheromones create a 'safe feeling' for your dog and are very effective.  Alternatively seek medication from your vet, if the firework season causes undue distress.

Prior to the firework season, you can also prepare your greyhound by buying a 'Noise Phobia CD or cassette'.  This imitates the sounds of fireworks and should be played at a very low level for a couple of days.

Gradually increase the volume of the CD over a few days and your greyhound will become used to the strange noises and hopefully begin to show no fear when hearing them.  There are also Homeopathic remedies such as Kali-Phos, Bach Rescue and Serenity.


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