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How To Deal With Separation Anxiety in Pets

22 Feb 2023 | Written by Tori Holmes

It’s safe to say that as pet parents, we’d love our pets to be with us all the time – and for many pets, the feeling is mutual. Pets that were adopted in the last few years have had the benefit of their pawrent spending more time at home during the workday. Previously, pets would have had to learn to spend long periods alone but this is no longer the case. While this new way of life has many benefits, it has unfortunately caused a rise in the instances of separation anxiety in pets.

What causes separation anxiety in pets?

There’s no one event that causes separation anxiety in pets – each pet’s response to stressors is different. However, there are three common changes that a pet could experience that could trigger the development of separation anxiety.

While these are three common situations that cause separation anxiety in pets, there could be other situations so it’s important that you’re familiar with the signs your pet may display.

Signs of separation anxiety in pets

Just like there’s no one cause of separation anxiety in pets, not every pet shows the same signs. The most common signs of separation anxiety include:

If your pet displays any of these behaviors when left home alone they likely are experiencing separation anxiety, but please note that some of these signs are similar to those of other health issues. This is why it’s important that you schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

How to overcome separation anxiety in pets

Once your pet has been given a clean bill of health, you can look into ways of helping them manage their separation anxiety. For pets that have mild separation anxiety, it can be helpful to try the following methods:

If your pet’s separation anxiety is not resolved by any of the methods above, you’ll want to speak to a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist. They will be able to assess the severity of the separation anxiety in your pets, or pet, and develop a plan to help them deal with it. Usually, this involves counterconditioning, which is a process that helps change your pet’s anxious reaction to a relaxed one. This is done by teaching your pet to associate an anxiety-inducing situation, such as being home alone, with something positive, such as their favorite toy or treat. Over time, their feelings of anxiety will be replaced with more positive ones.

We hope that these tips help you deal with separation anxiety in pets. If you have any further questions about separation anxiety, schedule a call with your vet. They’ll be able to answer any of your questions and work with you to come up with a plan to help your pet feel more comfortable being alone.

Responses to this Post

Sarwar Abdullah
25 Feb, 2023 at 07:02 am
Gradually increase the time away: Start by leaving your pet alone for short periods and gradually increase the time you're away. This can help your pet adjust to being alone and reduce their anxiety.

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