To Medicate Or Not To Medicate Your Dog

I’m not a doctor, I’m just a lady who loves dogs and has had dogs her whole life. I’ve adopted all my dogs from shelters and rescues and I’ve never come across issues like I have with my dog Betsy. She’s a Chihuahua mix.

dog-anxiety

I saw her on social media. She had come into a rescue with 4 puppies and all of the puppies found homes right away of course because they are puppies. I kept seeing posts about this dog who nobody seemed to want, this large Chihuahua with the crazy eyes — nobody was stepping up to foster her either. I lived in an apartment and already had 2 rescue dogs which was one more than my landlord allowed so I couldn’t even consider it, but as the months and yes YEARS went by I kept seeing posts about this dog that nobody wanted who was living in a crate in a vet’s office because she had nowhere else to go but kill shelters. Finally I called a friend at the rescue and said, “Bring me that dog.”

The next day Betsy was delivered to my apartment. She walked in, jumped into my arms and that was that. I took Betsy to many adoption events and nobody even looked twice at her. It didn’t help that she would cuddle up into my arms and ignore everyone who walked by, but she had made her decision that I was hers long before I realized it could even happen. Finally I got sick of spending afternoons at adoption events and just told them that I was keeping Betsy. Another foster failure. My landlord never said anything about it and life went on… but I started noticing odd behavior as the months and years passed…

Betsy would lick and squirm a lot. She never seemed to be comfortable. She licked the sofa cushions, the walls, the tables, the chairs, and would systematically go around the entire apartment licking all the dust out of the corners where the wall met the floor. I would stop her and bring her over to me, but as soon as I wasn’t paying attention I’d realize she was doing it again.

I took her to the vet and he diagnosed her with anxiety and put her on doggie anxiety pills. I gave them to her for a while but to be honest, I saw little change in her behavior so I just sopped. I just decided that I was going to live with Betsy’s anxiety as it was and not give her a pill everyday for the rest of her life. She has better days and worse days. I can calm her by inviting her into my lap where she sleeps like a baby, but then the minute I adjust myself for comfort she shoots up like a rocket and runs out of the room.

I just decided to accept Betsy for what she is — for who she is. The behavior seems to bother us humans more than it does Betsy. I’m not saying this is the right choice for everyone but it’s the right choice for Betsy and me. I’m curious if anyone else out there has a dog with anxiety problems and if your vet prescribed drugs? Did you take them? Did you notice a big difference? Do you still give them to your dog? How do you deal with your dog’s anxiety problems?

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