Does your pet get anxious as you’re about to leave the house? Or do you come home to torn up pillows, chewed shoes, or other signs of destruction? They may have pet separation anxiety! This condition is more common in dogs than cats, and the reasoning is believed to be because of dogs’ social lives in the wild, as members of packs. If their pack abandons them, they are vulnerable to attack and hunger. So, when you experience a change in routine that leaves your pet home alone all day, such as the kids going back to school, your pet may be affected. To help your pet cope with their new alone time, our animal hospital has come up with things you can do to distract them and keep them from feeling lonely.
Tips for Reducing Separation Anxiety
- Exercise your pet before you leave for the day. A brisk walk or a game in the backyard can help your pet use up some energy so they are tired and hungry. They won’t have the energy to be upset about you leaving!
- Give your pet a special toy or treat in a food puzzle that they only get when they’re alone. This will help to distract them as you leave and to associate good things with being alone. Be sure to take it away as soon as you get home!
- Make sure the kids spend time with your pet when they get home, so your dog has something to look forward to every evening!
- Leave the TV/radio on so your pet has comforting sounds to listen to when they’re alone. Classical radio stations and nature shows are good picks for your pet.
- Bring your pet to our daycare! If you don’t want your pet to be alone and would prefer them to enjoy their day interacting with other people and dogs, then daycare is a great choice.
- For dogs with severe separation anxiety, talk to your veterinarian about anti-anxiety medication options. We can prescribe them something to cope with their fear while you continue to counter-condition them to be less anxious when you’re away.
Have any questions or concerns about pet separation anxiety or are you interested in our daycare services? Give us a call at one of our convenient animal hospital locations!