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01 Jul, 2022
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Separation Anxiety

Separation Anxiety In Pets – H&S Pets Galore

Helping Your Pet Manage Separation Anxiety!

separation anxiety
With the pandemic, came sudden unexpected changes in everyone’s routines, pets included. One of the major changes involved a pattern most of us are familiar with i.e. from not spending a lot of time at home to suddenly being confined for weeks at home and then again back to work. The weeks spent at home, gave pet owners and pets a unique opportunity to bond, a lot of pets got hyper-attached which meant following pet owners around the house and as cute and cuddly this moment appeared, little did pet owners realize that this was a recipe for disaster!  Even though our furry friends got a lot more attached as they received a lot more attention, once routines changed again, pets started behaving in a somewhat odd, unacceptable manner, which was only a consequence of the pet being super-stressed. Noticed your dog or cat behave in a bizarre, unexplainable manner every time you were out of sight, such as urinating or defecating outside their designated litter spots specifically in places where your scent may linger such as your bed or destruction of household items? Or have you
noticed your cat or dog exhibit signs of excessive pacing, barking or howling, whimpering, or self-grooming as you get ready to leave? If the answer is yes, then your pet has separation anxiety. Apart from the above, you may have also noticed that your pet appears super clingy and needy. This begs the next question, what should you do when your pet has separation anxiety? Keep reading to find out the answer!

How To Help A Pet With Separation Anxiety-

As pet owners, it is important to understand that Separation Anxiety doesn’t just disappear on its own, and in fact, it can be quite difficult to get rid of completely. However, the good news is that this can be managed but for this one needs to understand that it takes patience and love!

Here’s what pet owners need to do-

  1. You need to accept that this behaviour isn’t because your dog is trying to seek revenge or punish you, as animals never act out of spite and that’s just not a part of their nature. This behaviour warrants a signal of extreme distress and/or frustration and should be treated like any other medical condition.
  2. Never punish your pet as this is not the solution and will only worsen the anxiety and stress.
  3. Praising or showing affection to your pet during this ordeal will not help solve the issue.
  4. Create a balance in your relationship with your pet, so that your pet is able to be alone when you need to leave for work.
  5. Get your pet checked by the vet so that other health conditions can be ruled out.
  6. Include a properly balanced routine for your pet with exercise and games that involve mental stimulation. For example, for dogs, include a daily walk, you can even include a walk before you leave for work as this might have a calming effect. For cats, you could include a change of environment such as keeping it outdoors in a safe area.
  7. Use behaviour change to treat separation anxiety, where you the owner, doesn’t have to make a big deal every time you leave or arrive from work. Treat as well as teach it as a routine, so your pet can cope better.
  8. Practice short absences that can slowly become longer and longer and incorporate this into your pet & your routine. It’s important you practice this regularly so your pet can get used to the idea of not having you around.
  9. Change the environment as boredom can worsen anxiety. Hence it’s important to keep your pet occupied in your absence with things to do such as hide treats around the house, or have interactive toys etc.
  10. If the Separation Anxiety is severe, you may be required to use medication or supplements that will help alter your pet’s neurotransmitters in his/her brain to keep it calm on your vet’s advice

 

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