Preparing for Separation Anxiety Post COVID-19


Separation Anxiety is described as when a pet is excessively attached or reliant on a member of the family or the family in general.  When separated from the owners they become highly nervous and display anxiety-related behaviors such as vocalization, destruction, or house soiling.

Separation Anxiety is described as when a pet is excessively attached or reliant on a member of the family or the family in general.  When separated from the owners they become highly nervous and display anxiety-related behaviors such as vocalization, destruction or house soiling. As we see States allowing some businesses to open, we are closer to leaving our homes for longer periods of time, either spending time back in offices and returning our “busy” schedules before COVID-19. Pet Experts and Professional Pet Associations warn we may see a rise in separation anxiety in petsas owners return to work and are no longer spending time at home, however here are somethings we can do to ease their anxiety.

Environmental Enrichment and Relaxation

For dogs,  having a bed, crate or a specific room where you can be taught that this is an area to rest, nap, play with his toys, or even sleep, can provide a secure area where your dog might settle when you are not home. Additionally for all pets, toys and food stuffed toys, such as Kongs or Puzzles, can be time-consuming for your pet. They should only be given in this area and only when you are leaving.  This helps your petto associate the space and you leaving as a good thing. Audible cues such as music, audible books, radio, or TV sounds can help provide entertainment as well as relaxation. You can find some of the Music recommendations on our Blog Post on Music For Your Pets.  Additionally, a worn piece of clothing or blanket with your scent can bring additional comfort.

Establish A Predictable Routine

Start out small by leaving your pet alone for just five minutes and building your way up. You can go outside for a walk by yourself or drive around the block. Establish, or reestablish, a daily routine so that your pet can begin to predict what they can expect throughout the day. Be mindful of any triggers that may warn your pet that you are about to leave and when you will return.  This can be grabbing your car keys or setting the house alarm. Make your comings and goings low-key with little or no lot of greeting. Ignore your pup for the first few minutes after you get home.

Exercise

Make sure your pet gets a variety of different exercises every day, not only does this help keep your pet fit but for dogs, in particular, having a tired, happy dog will be less stressed when you do have to leave. Exercise, play, socialization, and being outside help stimulates the senses, mind, as well as the body.

Medication

There are currently several types of medication, both holistic(such as CBD Oil for pets) and traditional, that can help ease your pet’s anxiety. Always talk to your Veterinary first about your pet’s needs and symptoms that they are experiencing and follow instructions for proper dosage and use. Remember when introducing any type of new medication, treat, or food that it will take time to work into the system and be effective.

Schedule Daily Visits with a Dog Walker or Pet Sitter

Hiring a Dog Walker, or Pet Sitter, for daily visits can provide a break during the day for your pet while you are away. Dog Walkers and Pet Sitters can help provide enrichment, exercise, socialization, and companionship for your pet, while you are away. They can also refill treat toys, water, change out toys in their relaxation area and notify you if there is something wrong with your home or pet.

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