How to help cats and dogs cope with separation?

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By JeraldDossantos

It’s clear that our pets love us being at home with them. Separation anxiety can develop when our routines change and we return to work. The veterinarian will explain how to help your pet transition.

One of my coworkers learned about a kitten who was orphaned and needed a home months ago. He didn’t hesitate in adopting it. His new companion made the COVID-19 isolation at his home less stressful, he said.

  • He’s not the only one. In recent months, animal shelters and breeders all over the country reported record numbers in cat and dog adoptions.
  • My coworker said that his kitten began urinating on the kitchen countertop while he was gone.

Another friend is concerned about her dog’s reaction when she returns to work. Her Labrador retriever Labrador follows her everywhere. Even to the toilet. The Labrador retriever sits at the back door waiting for her return, whining when she leaves for a quick run.

  • Sudden changes in routine are a problem
  • Separation anxiety can be caused by a change in routine for both cats and dogs.

Separation anxiety can cause more than just a little bit of whimpering as you go out the door. This is a major, unwelcome behavior that occurs every time you go away.

This can be a problem for cats and dogs. It could mean excessive barking, howling, excessive pacing, or whimpering when you are getting ready to go. Sometimes it may mean that your pet is urinating and defecating all over the house. This can be on carpets or bedding, as well as destroying household belongings. Another sign is extreme clinginess and neediness.

What to avoid?

It’s important to realize that this is not about you. It’s about your pet. Your pet cat or dog is not trying to learn from you or take revenge. Animals aren’t out to get you.

It’s an indication of extreme distress and frustration, which should be treated like any other medical condition. Separation anxiety is not something your pet wants to experience.

Punishment is not the solution. Your pet will not associate the punishment with something that occurred hours, or even minutes, earlier. Punishment can only worsen your pet’s anxiety or stress.

Behavior change is a way to treat separation anxiety

This is about your behavior. Your absence should not seem so big of a deal. It’s not a good idea to make a fuss about your pet when you go away or return home. Your pet will soon learn to behave the same way if you treat it as a routine.

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You can use this information to help you identify the moment when your pet is experiencing anxiety. For example, if your pet starts to panic when you pick up their handbag, then practice picking it up and putting the bag back down several times in a short time. Similar to the above, dress up and put on your shoes earlier than usual. However, you should not leave home immediately. Start your car and turn it off before walking back inside.

Change the environment

Boredom can make separation anxiety worse. Your absence will be less stressful if you provide your pet with something to do while you are gone. This could include a puzzle toy filled with treats or hiding treats around your house. You can also get collars or plug-in devices for cats and dogs that release calming hormones.

Supplements and medication

Sometimes medication or supplements may be required in extreme cases where the animal causes injury to itself or property damage. They alter brain neurotransmitters and create a feeling of calm.

Although some medications are available without prescription, it is a good idea for you to consult your veterinarian to find the best and safest options for your pet. The pet can learn new coping skills by taking medication to reduce anxiety. This problem can be managed by a behavior modification program that is used in conjunction with medication.

Separation anxiety can be difficult for both you as well as your pet. A few small changes can make all the difference in restoring some sense of normalcy to your life.