Reducing Pet Separation Anxiety
Dogs and cats can be affected by the school year just as much as your kids. After having their best friends around all summer, the sudden return of the kids to school can leave pets feeling blue. To help your pet cope with this change, our animal hospital has come up with some useful tips! Read on to learn more about reducing pet separation anxiety!
How to Help Your Pet Cope with Being Alone
When the kids go back to school and you’re off to work, your pet is left all alone, something that they may not be completely comfortable with. This can cause some anxiety, which often manifests as destructive behavior. Tearing up furniture, shoes, and pillows, making escape attempts by clawing at doors or windows, and howling/barking excessively are all signs of pet separation anxiety. To help your pet better deal with their alone time, use the following tips:
- Leave the radio or TV on so your pet has something interesting to listen to or watch.
- Give your pet a special toy or treat in a food puzzle for them to enjoy only when they’re alone. Give it to them when you’re about to leave and be sure to take it away when you come back home so they only associate it with being alone.
- Don’t make a big deal out of goodbyes and hellos. When you leave, do so with little to no goodbye and when you come home, ignore them until they have fully calmed down. Trust us, you won’t hurt their feelings!
- Make sure to exercise your pet before you leave for the day. A tired pet is much less likely to have the energy to be upset and would likely rather eat and take a nap!
- Likewise, give your pet some exercise and special attention in the evenings. Having your kids play with them can give them something look forward to at the end of the day!
These tips can be very helpful for pets with mild to moderate separation anxiety, but for those with severe anxiety, they may need a bit more help. Talk to your veterinarian about possible anti-anxiety medication as well as ways you can counter-condition your pet to accept their alone time rather than be fearful of it. Contact us today at (614) 836-3222 for more information or to schedule an appointment!