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On Sunday 28th April 2013 the Herald Sun newspaper, ran an article “Mind Problems Grow”. Psychological problems have leapt ahead of muscle and bone injuries and are now the leading reasons for claiming Disability Support Pensions. (A jump of over 1500 people in the last 2 years).

824,042 people on Disability Support Pensions cost Australia $15 billion.

In suburban dogs we see all sorts of anxiety: and seem to be seeing more.

Some common reasons:

•Not enough exercise


•Not enough boundaries set producing uncertainty

•Noise pollution, including extreme rain and thunderstorms

•Junk food / high Glycaemic food

• Loneliness

•Misunderstanding from owners

•Not enough dog-dog time in the first year

•Genetic disposition: dogs with very loving natures tend to worry about their owners.  Staffy’s and Golden Retrievers frequently may have acute anxiety.

Ely holds on tight looking very anxious.

Things to do:

1.Boring walks are OK, but not exciting adrenaline producing stimulation before you leave for work.

2.Feed your dog in the morning – ideally with a bone or a chew toy to carry on with when you are gone.

3.When you first start to leave your dog, do it for short absences.

4.Explain to your dog that you will be away for only a short time and that it must guard the home.  Jobs are good!

5.Hanging toys from trees or verandas is good so they can “rough them up.” This is good solitary play.

6.A view out on the world is desirable. Outside is better than inside if there is no dog door.

7.Develop dog friends if possible.

8.Talk to your vet if anxiety persists.