Pet Separation Anxiety in Ocean Springs
Can Pets Have the Back-to-School Blues?
Pet separation anxiety is a problem that many families deal with, especially if their pet happens to be a dog. When their two-legged playmates and companions head off to school, a dog’s days can suddenly become long, boring, and most of all, lonely. Some dogs have a hard time coping with this change in their lives and become anxious and depressed. If you sense that your pet has a problem, you should reach out to our animal hospital so we can help!
What Do Pets Do When They’re Anxious?
Every pet deals with anxiety a little bit differently. They may act out in various ways, including eating less, being unusually clingy when you’re home, and possibly even tearing up the house in your absence. Whatever they do, it isn’t just bad for their own health—it can also become a source of stress and frustration for you and your family.
How to Alleviate Your Pet’s Separation Anxiety
There are many different methods you can employ to minimize the effects of the back-to-school blues on your pet. What you choose depends on how severe their anxiety is, and what works best in accordance with your lifestyle and your pet’s.
Here are some things we’d like to suggest:
- Staying calm: Whether you’re walking in or out the door, try not to make a big deal out of it. Getting your pet excited when you leave or return home will likely increase their anxiety when they’re left alone. Stay calm and don’t make a fuss, and your pet will pick up on your behavior. This might take practice, so be patient!
- Use TV/Radio: Background noise can be calming for pets and help them to feel less alone. Keep the radio playing while you’re gone, or turn on the TV so your pet can have both auditory and visual stimulation. There is also a program called DogTV that features engaging visuals and sounds designed specifically for canine sensibilities.
- Exercise: Try to spend at least 30 minutes a day walking, jogging, or playing with your pet so they can burn off energy and get in some quality time with you. You might want to do this early in the morning before you leave work, so your pet will be happy, tired, and more relaxed when you leave.
- Tasty distractions: Food is a great motivator for pets, and it can be a helpful tool for banishing the blues, too. Hide treats around the house for your pet to find, or set out one or more food puzzles that they can use to stay occupied. Mental enrichment is just as important as physical exercise!
- Daycare: If this is a viable option for you, we’d strongly recommend looking into daycare for your pet. Most dogs are all about socializing and having their “pack.” Better yet, they’ll be kept active while under the supervision of experienced dog daycare staff.