Drug-free device helps dogs with separation anxiety

Every pet owner has been through it. You come home from work only to find your century-old couch just became your dog’s newest chew toy.

But rather than sacrifice for the sake of your dog’s sanity, a new drug-free alternative developed by a veterinarian in North Carolina could soon become the newest relaxation technique.

“We started to look into the research that was being done in humans and the products available that offer that technology for humans to treat mood disorders,” said Dr. Judy Korman, a veterinarian with Assisi Animal Health.

It’s called targeted pulsed electromagnetic field therapy—or targeted PEMF—which has been successful in helping people with anxiety and depression, according to Harvard University. So researchers at Assisi Animal Health decided to try the therapy on dogs.

About 13 million dogs in the U.S. suffer from separation anxiety when they’re away from their owners. But Korman said the device, a collar that sits on top of the dog’s head, is a non-invasive way for these four-legged pups to be OK with staying home for extended periods of time without their master.

“It tells how powerful this technology can be and how easy it is for the owners to use,” Korman said. “It also tells how safe it is.”

The pilot program for Calmer Canine was held last year on 10 different breeds of dogs, from pointers to Maltese mixes. After just one week, all 10 of those breeds showed a decrease in separation anxiety.

Although Calmer Canine is fairly new on the market, hundreds of dog owners across the U.S. have purchased the product from the American Kennel Club.