Separation Anxiety In Your Pets
When you brought your pet home, your furry friend formed a bond with you. As a result, your pet likely feels their best when you’re around. Oftentimes it’s difficult for pets when their owners leave, even if it’s just for a few hours or possibly minutes. Some pets don’t pay attention or mind when their people leave, but some are very sensitive. If your pet suffers from separation anxiety, they likely begin to feel scared, abandoned, and even lonely when you leave. So how can you help them feel better when you leave?
It is difficult to gauge when something is wrong with our pets because of their inability to tell us. Instead, we have to look for symptoms or signs to better understand what’s going on inside your pet’s head. Separation anxiety has many different signs, and they can differ depending on your animal. Common signs of anxiety include:
- destructive behaviors
- attempted escapes
- excessive grooming
Display of these behaviors does not mean your pet is not properly trained; rather, they could be nervous. The first step in fixing the problem is looking for symptoms. If your pet displays any of these behaviors, contact your veterinarian.
There is never one distinct reason that causes separation anxiety. Some animals are born with more attached personalities, while others can acquire it along the way. According to ASPCA, even though there is no distinct reason for separation anxiety, certain situations could trigger it. The following situations have been associated with the development of separation anxiety in pets:
- Change of guardian
- Abandoned or surrendered to a shelter
- Abrupt change in schedule like owner returning to work after being home for months
- Moving to a new residence
- Sudden absence of a household family member
If you feel your pet furry friend is suffering from separation anxiety, contact your vet. Your vet might have specific insight or recommendations that align with your pet’s personality. One way to help your pet with mild anxiety is by creating a positive connection between being alone and something they enjoy. For example, if your dog gets upset when you leave for work, try leaving out special food. You can put your pet’s food in a maze bowl or toy that will distract them while you quietly leave. It’s better to be casual about your departure than bringing attention to it. Please don’t make a scene when you leave by excitedly talking to them or playing with them. Once you do this and then you leave, your pet will likely feel confused and upset. If your pet suffers from extreme anxiety, medication and further training might be a good option. Some other treatment ideas include:
- bringing your pet to work
- having someone check on your pets while you’re out
- doggy daycare or sitter
To learn more about separation anxiety, contact Andes-Straley. We offer a variety of services to help meet your pet’s needs. You can find more information online here or by calling us at (423) 378-4443 today!