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Grinny cat and smile dog
I have some questions about my pet dog/cat situation. My cat was named Gracie but he changed his name to Grinny, and I think he will probably keep the name Grinny unless I make him. The dog is a little over a year old and I don't think I know her name. I got her from an animal shelter. When I got her, she was so scared that it was difficult to get her into the house. My sister helped me move her into the house, and she didn't seem too worried. I did a lot of trning and feeding her in a small space to help her adjust to being in a new environment. After about two months, she finally seemed to be adjusted. She still has anxiety sometimes, but she's gotten much better.
My dog doesn't seem to have any anxiety. She is still very friendly and wants to be around me all the time, but if I leave her outside, she will jump up on the deck, or she will just go and wt there until I come back in. I got the dog because she was so good around my cat. When I would go for a walk, the cat would go outside and lie around on the deck. I would be gone for half an hour, and the dog would be outside wting for me to come back. They were really close.
Now I've taken my cat to the vet, and he thinks she has separation anxiety. The vet gave her something to calm her down for a few days. The problem is, after she got that, she didn't seem to be overly anxious, and she did some bad things in the house agn. My vet suggested keeping her outside while I'm at work and then I can come home and let her in. I don't want to do that because she might go into the house and do bad things.
Right now, I let the dog out on the deck, and she will either wt there until I come home, or she will go and wt there until I come out. What do I do? Can I force her to be less anxious when I come home and let her in? I don't want to have to keep her outside and make her stay outside.
Doing too much too soon
In the case of the dog, I would start by separating the dog from the cat as soon as possible, i.e., right after getting the prescription for the anxiety meds. Separation of the cat from the dog (though some separation anxiety in the dog is inevitable) is stressful and the dog will probably not be willing to stay with the cat without your supervision. If the dog is comfortable with separation, it will be better able to tolerate her own separation, which will make the adjustment to home a bit easier.
On the other hand, in your case I would avoid too much separation at once. The dog has had too much time with the cat during the last few weeks and therefore is not ready for a major change. If you start the separation too soon, the dog might get even more anxious about the separation. Instead, just start getting the cat out on the deck for short walks or shorter walks, which does not put the dog in a really stressful situation. Just have the dog follow the cat out and then stay with the cat out.
Not understanding the cause of the anxiety
You mention that the dog is not eating, but you don't mention whether the dog is eating out of hunger or anxiety. It's possible that a more severe separation would be worse in part because the dog is actually hungry and not eating because of anxiety. I would not necessarily make the dog suffer to be happy, but I would probably make the dog suffer to be healthier. The dog doesn't have to be happy about getting on the deck, she just has to get out there.
I would start by getting her used to the fact that the cat is going outside. Try to get her used to the idea that the cat is going to leave the house. This will reduce her anxiety about the entire thing. Next, I would suggest walking out and having the cat leave as soon as the dog is comfortable with it. Be sure to take your time and don't force the cat to leave in front of the dog. Just lead it outside.
Don't walk the cat out, just lead her outside. Don't even let the cat out yet. Take it one step at a time. I would think that the dog would be more afrd of going outside and leaving you than being left by you. If you do let the cat leave first, the dog will be able to get used to the idea that she won't have you all the time. If the dog does get anxious or uncomfortable the next time you take the cat outside, just take your time and try agn.
I'll answer from a different angle. If your dog is really worried about the cat going outside she won't be able to enjoy playing with her friend in the outside any more. If you just want to put the cat outside to ease your dog's anxiety then that is fine, but if your dog's anxiety is really bad you may want to think about talking to your vet. If it really is an issue for your dog to go outside then having her on a lead might help a bit.
It might help to trn your dog to enjoy playtime with a furry friend. I agree with @Dannii, that if your dog really is stressed by this and is unable to play with the cat while outdoors, the only way to do this is to keep the cat inside all the time. The next time you take them outside, the dog will be able to enjoy playing with the cat, knowing that it will never be alone (not that she'll be able to enjoy play time outside without it, she won't. It's just that the dog doesn't have to deal with the emotional and behavioral issues).
But, there's another option that can help a lot in my opinion, is to have your dog meet another friendly dog, preferably a furry one, maybe a husky or a beagle. With her or her playmate, the dog will have a lot less stress while meeting a new dog and will enjoy the outdoor play time.
For the latter, I suggest you to have a dog walker who has this kind of dogs and who knows how to help the relationship of the dogs, like I know someone who is taking care of a husky that doesn't understand that this dog is also his playmate and needs attention (the husky was rescued, and has no family and is pretty stressed out), but the dog walker helped him to realize that other dogs do need to be handled carefully, just like him. So if your dog is stressed by the cat, and you don't have a friend that can teach her how to socialize with another dog without being stressed by the encounter, then by using a dog walker will be helpful.
The most important is to choose a dog walker that is experienced in this type of dogs, so that he can understand the needs of the husky and what to do when it's being playful, or when it is stressed by being approached and played with.