Tips for Managing Pet Separation Anxiety
It’s back to school time for the students of Holmdel! That includes not just students, but teachers and administrative staff, too. While returning to school can be a bummer for kids and adults alike, pets feel the stress of this change much more acutely. With their human playmates and family members gone all day, dogs can develop severe anxiety that harms their emotional and physical well-being. Consult with our animal hospital to banish your pet’s blues and keep them happy day in and day out!
Signs of Separation Anxiety in Pets
Some of the most common signs of stress in pets include:
- Abnormal clinginess
- Barking, whining, and howling
- Chewing up the furniture (and sometimes the house itself)
- Having accidents in the house
- Eating less
Tips for Helping Your Pet Adjust
There are many different things you can do to ease your pet’s stress and keep them busy while you’re gone. Some strategies may take time and lots of practice, but they can also give you and your pet tremendous peace of mind.
Keep Them Entertained: Leave on the TV and/or radio while you’re gone. Background noise and visual stimulation from the television can dispel your pet’s fears by making them feel less alone and giving them something to focus on. You might want to try subscribing to DogTV, entertainment created specifically for your pooch.
Keep Them Active: Taking your pet for a brisk 30-minute walk each morning before you leave, or engage them in a rigorous game of fetch. If your dog has any sporting ability, you may want to tap into that as well. Exercise helps your pet burn energy, stay fit, and relax during their downtime.
Make Your Exits and Entrances Uneventful: When you get ready to leave, gather your things and walk out the door without making a fuss. Over time, your pet should learn not to get too excited when you start pulling on your shoes and grab your keys. Likewise, don’t get your pet worked up when you return home. Be calm and deliberate with your actions and don’t fuss over your pet. Greet them after they’ve had a few minutes to relax.
Get the Kids Involved: If you have kids, make sure they get in some play time with your pet after they come home from school. And if possible, try to encourage your kids not to get your pet too excited when they come home. Often, the best way to modify your pet’s behaviors is to modify your own, and help your family do the same.
Try Treats: Use food/treat puzzles and/or hide treats around the house to provide enrichment for your pet.
Sign Them Up for Daycare: Consider enrolling your pet in a daycare program. Your pup will need to be evaluated first to ensure that they’ll play nicely with others. Daycare is a great way for pets to socialize and burn off energy during the day so they can come home tired and content. It also gives them something to look forward to!