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Drugs - Do They work For Separation Problems?

The drug specifically licensed to treat separation anxiety is called clomipramine hydrochloride. This medication may help to reduce the amount of anxiety some dogs feel when left alone. However, it is not a cure by itself and should always be used in conjunction with a behaviour treatment programme.



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Drug therapy may only be necessary for the most severe of problems and, in particular, for those problems that cause the dog to be anxious when left.  If the problem is severe, it is recommended that you seek help from a qualified pet behaviour counsellor (see ).  This medication will not help if your dog behaves unacceptably for reasons that have nothing to do with anxiety.


A programme of behaviour therapy designed to treat the cause of the problem is needed whether or not medication is used.  This allows for the medication to be withdrawn as the behaviour therapy begins to take effect. 


It should be remembered that all drugs have side effects and so should not be given without careful thought, especially as dogs cannot tell us how they feel or make a choice about whether to take the drug.  In addition, psychosomatic drugs don’t work in the same way for all dogs and may not work at all in some cases.   




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