Pet anxiety is a serious issue. As pet owners return to work and more time is spent away from home, it is not easy to explain such a concept to our furry friends, but we have to commit to trying our best. It’s important to remember that the pets in our lives may be experiencing separation anxiety while we’re rejoicing the small bits of normalcy we’re experiencing once again.
For most pets, having their humans home for the majority of the last year has been a dream come true. Most pet owners have certainly enjoyed more time with their pets as well. However, as the world starts to return to normal, that also means routines will be experiencing a big shift once again. Workforces are returning to the office and recreation is on the rise. Not only will this be a change for the humans in their lives, but pets are going to be dealing with an adjustment of their own.
“Our pets are really sensitive both to our routines and our moods,” Dr. Diane Krumanaker of Montgomery Animal Hospital said. “If we take the time to train them and teach them that these changes are going to be okay, that can go a long way to making the transition smoother for everybody.”
Setting Them Up For Success
One of the best things you can do when preparing your pet to be alone after so much time together is to ensure you are setting them up for success. As much as you may want to return to life like it used to be, your furry friend is going to need a little more time to adjust. A good place to start is spending time away from your pets while you’re still in the home.
“Even when you’re home – in fact, especially when you’re home – get your pet to settle in a bed or crate in a room that’s not within eye contact of you,” Dr. Krumanaker recommends.
They’ve learned how wonderful it is to be by your side full-time and would prefer to not have that change. It is important to remember to not reward their bad behavior by accident, and equally important to remember to reward good behavior too.
“What can happen is they bark to get our attention and we immediately talk to or go to them and what we’ve taught them accidentally is barking gets us back in the room and we want to make sure we get back in the room before they start any of those frantic behaviors,” Dr. Krumanaker suggests. As time passes, and you build up to longer periods apart, trips away from home will become less stressful for everyone involved.
A Little Extra Help
With Dr. Krumanuker’s suggestions in mind, Alpha Paw has several wonderful products that can help with easing pet anxiety. Our cozy calming bed is designed specifically to combat anxiety in pets . The shape and softness of the bed mimic the comfort of a mother’s fur so even if they are left alone, they can snuggle up in their bed. We also suggest getting a new toy for your pet so it can entertain itself. Dogs and cats are obsessed with our bouncy fish toy, and it will keep your furry family member occupied for a good amount of time.
Even after implementing the slow and steady process, some pets may need a little extra help with this transition. If your pet begins displaying behaviors such as tucking their tail, relieving themselves inside, or behaving out of character, it is important to consider that anxiety may be the cause. Luckily, veterinarians understand that pets can experience anxiety and have ways to help.
“You can’t learn when you’re frantic,” Dr. Krumanaker said. “You’re just too paranoid and upset to have any training happen, and so if we use a supplement or medication to take the edge off, learning can happen, and then the medication is just a tool you can gradually wean off as the training takes effect.”