March 1, 2013
It’s sad to think the pets that bring us so much happiness could ever feel blue. However, Veterinarian clinics report that approximately 14% of dogs seen are suspected to suffer from separation anxiety. Since canines are naturally social animals, it’s no surprise that many develop increased attachment behavior to their human family members. The onset of these problems often coincide when there is a dramatic change in the amount of time the owner spends with a pet. Symptoms of separation anxiety can include increased activities like restlessness, pacing, and whining when the owner is not present. Depression and physiological changes such as panting or even vomiting can occur. But short of never leaving your pet’s side, how can you avoid increased anxieties in your furry friend?
Professionals report that medications should only be used in extreme cases, and there are many things owners can do to avoid serious situations. Ignoring attention seeking behaviors such as whining and nudging during training is important. Certain departure cues such as picking up keys and purses, or putting on coats and shoes should also be kept as low key as possible or even done in a different room until a pet is desensitized to these cues. Creating a big to-do when leaving a dog at home is common in humans, but this can increase the likeliness of anxieties in pets.
Upon returning, you of course want to play with your dog immediately, but it can be very helpful to wait until your pet has calmed down a bit to begin playtime.
Leaving your pets behind isn’t easy for anyone whether it be an hour or a day, but creating and maintaining a normal and low-key routine can make it easier on everyone. That’s why Fetch! Pet Care focuses on maintaining an animal’s routine through scheduled walks and in-home sitting instead of boarding an animal while the owner is away. Keeping a pet in its home environment under supervision is much more beneficial in avoiding separation anxiety. So the next time you take a trip, consider Fetch! pet sitting as a benefit to your emotional animals.