Marguerite Kelly’s June 12 Family Almanac column, “Don’t give up on a dog with separation anxiety” [Local Living], was way out of her area of expertise, and she should not have given advice on the subject. The reader asked about children’s reaction should their parents give up their dog, not how to “fix” the dog.
While some of her suggestions were useful, vets are not the resource to consult. A good, positive-based trainer or a dog behaviorist should be called to deal with an anxious pet. Also, options such as doggie daycare or a mid-day dog walker should be considered. Leaving a dog, especially a young dog, alone all day each workday is cruel. Kelly’s suggestion of 30 minutes of playtime once a day does not offset eight-plus hours of loneliness and boredom.
An electronic fence does not solve the problem of separation anxiety, either. It’s a Band-Aid solution. Dogs left outside all day are prime targets for dog thieves, or even for well-meaning neighbors who feel sorry for the dog.
Leslie Grabowski, Oakton