The latest research into canine behavior suggests that dogs can feel anxious and uncomfortable when their owners leave them, even if they’re in the same room.
Separation anxiety in dogs is a condition that can affect many different types of animals. It’s often the result of being left alone too much, but it can also be caused by separation from their owners or other loved ones.
With some workplaces resuming normal operations, our days of working on the sofa with our dogs at our feet may be limited. While you may be ready to ditch your elastic waist jeans in favor of real clothing and Zoom in favor of a conference room, your pet is likely to disagree. Even the most stoic of puppies may be thrown off by major changes in habit. (And, yeah, maybe a cat.)
If your pet was one among the many fortunate creatures acquired during the epidemic, the adjustment may be even more difficult. After all, they may not have known a life without constant company. We asked the experts how to assist our dogs deal with being at a loss for extended periods of time to keep their stress levels (and yours) low.
First and foremost: What is companion animal separation anxiety? Dr. Gary Richter, veterinarian and creator of Ultimate Pet Nutrition, says, “Separation anxiety occurs when a dog is extremely connected to their guardian and therefore feels significant anxiety and tension when left alone.” “On top of that, they can’t find comfort on their own.”
It’s still a mystery why some canines are affected more than others. Dr. M. Leanne Lilly, a vet behavioral expert for Dutch, states, “Behavior is a complex interaction between genetics, early life events, and learning.” “We do know that it’s strongly linked to noise phobias. If a terrifying noise occurs when you are alone at home, the dread of the noise may become linked with being alone.”
She says that dogs who have been rescued or bought at pet stores are more susceptible to it than those that have been obtained straight from a professional breeder.
According to Richter, anxiety may show itself in a variety of ways that varies from dog to dog. However, he warns of the following warning signals to look out for:
- In the home, urinating and defecating
- Howling and barking incessantly
- Chewing, digging, and other harmful behaviors are all examples of destructive behavior.
The first step, according to Richter, should always be to consult with your veterinarian. That is the most effective method to determine if your dog’s anxiety is becoming a more severe problem and to get assistance in identifying potential causes. He continues, “Your vet can also rule out any potential medical problems that may be causing your dog’s symptoms.”
If you have a few weeks before you return to work, Richter suggests using that time to ease your dog into the new schedule. He suggests leaving the house every day and progressively increasing the amount of time you spend outside.
If you seem angry about the issue, separation anxiety may increase, so minimize your departure. Dr. Karin Sullivan, medical director of the Arizona Animal Welfare League, adds, “This means not spending too much time saying goodbye before you leave.” “Give your dog time to adapt when you return.”
And, whatever you do, never chastise a pet for anything they did while you were away from home. “That will exacerbate your anxiousness, which will further exacerbate the behavior you’re trying to stop,” Lilly argues.
Our feline companions, contrary to common perception, also dislike seeing us go. Dr. Christine Sellers, Person who is fond of cats’s veterinary adviser, believes that cats, like dogs, miss their people. She adds, “Dogs are group creatures that rely on one another for survival.” “In a colony environment, cats hunt alone yet seek out other cats for friendship. Cats want for our attention and affection. It’s simply that they’re not like dogs, who are always looking for acceptance from their ‘pack mates.’”
All of these symptoms have been seen in cats suffering from separation anxiety, according to Sellers:
- Aggression, particularly just before your scheduled departure time
- Urinating on your shoes, purses, coats, or anything else you bring to work is a way of letting people know you’re “taken.”
- Urinating in front of windows, outside doors, on the sofa, near a fireplace, or in your bed – your cat believes this defends the house from invaders while you’re away.
Sellers offers guidance that is distinct from canine best practices. Lay out clothes that you sleep in or wear often for your cat to snooze on before you leave. If you listen to music at home, take your headphones with you to work and listen to the same music. “Then, before you do anything else, always welcome your cat when you get home,” Sellers stresses. Finally, your cat does not need the companionship of a “friend.” Many cat owners believe that bringing home a second cat would alleviate loneliness, but Sellers cautions that “this will simply raise the tension in the household.”
With all of that sound advise in mind, here’s a list of sensible buys that may help both of you get through this trying time. Lilly explains that the aim is to make your pet “comfortable eating, drinking, and sleeping when home alone.”
Through the Ears of a Dog
This three-CD collection of classical music with an acoustic touch is particularly attractive to dogs, according to Sullivan. She claims that it has been proven to decrease tension and anxiety.
Petcube Cam is a webcam for pets.
A simple home video camera, like this one, may provide you with peace of mind during your first weeks back at work. “You’ll know precisely what your pet is doing, and if indications of stress are detected, you’ll be able to track how well therapy is working,” Lilly adds.
This smart toy may seem simple, but don’t be misled by its simplicity. It can contain up to 1.5 cups of dry dog food, allowing your dog to graze while engaging in interactive play. Boredom-busting mental and physical stimulation for the win! “Food toys are a wonderful way to keep dogs engaged in a good manner,” Lilly adds. She cautions us, though, to keep our total food consumption in mind, since an additional “meal” five days a week may quickly add pounds. She also emphasizes the necessity of letting your pet play with it under your supervision before leaving it alone.
This elevated, deliberately shaped dish is ergonomically intended to place your cat in a natural feeding posture while also keeping their whiskers from becoming irritated. The lengthy tray that collects errant nibbles, as well as the fact that it comes apart to put in the dishwasher, will appeal to neatniks.
Sullivan likes this unique garment, which derives its name from the fear that dogs feel during thunderstorms. This innovative design uses moderate, consistent pressure to help anxious puppies relax. Despite being soft and machine washable, the fabric will keep its shape. That also applies to the cat version.
Tuft and Paw are a few of words that come to mind while thinking
Cat Tree with Fronds
According to Sellers, your cat’s climbing inclination requires vertical perching places such as cat trees, shelves, and window hammocks. She explains that getting off the floor enables them to scan their surroundings and feel safer. Perches on this contemporary take on a cat tree may be adjusted in height. The center pillar is sisal-wrapped and serves as a scratching post.
Chew on antlers of an elk
“Give dogs something to chew on so they have something to do,” Richter suggests. This cruelty-free antler “split” comes from North America and is softer than you would expect. It’s ideal for tiny pets and elderly people. Try the Deer Antler Chew if you have a large dog or one that chews a lot.
Original Calming Donut by Sheri’s Best Friends
Is it possible to get one in our size?! This soft cuddler will provide pleasant dreams to dogs and cats that like curling up. The rim provides head and neck support as well as a feeling of security. The silky shag hair resembles that of a mother dog. This will be their happy spot when they can’t be with you.
Playful by Nature Cat Toys Leaps & Bounds
Distract your cat with…awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww Simply plan ahead of time. “Bring one out before you go to work, but don’t keep it out all day. Sellers recommends rotating the toy on a weekly basis. This six-pack is inexpensive and ideal for dispersing over the period of a month and a half.
Toy for Dogs by Kong
Many admirers of this flexible natural rubber toy know that it can withstand the chewing and playing of woofers. Fill one with a combination of peanut butter and dog kibble, then freeze it overnight for a long-lasting, chewy stress reliever, according to Sullivan.
Silk Cactus Dog Bed
Talk about a spoiled canine. This beautiful, soft resting place will be perfect for your little darling. Women in Marrakech handcraft it from Saharan Aloe Vera Cactus silk. Soft and sturdy, the fabric is cool in the summer and toasty in the winter.
Kibble Chase by Petsafe
This hybrid toy-feeder will keep your dog moving while you’re away, which is a fun solution for a dog that eats all of his food too quickly. It saunters about the floor, dropping nibbles here and there. Your canine companion must keep up in order to receive the next morsel.
Automatic Cat Feeder Petlibro
While you’re gone, Sellers recommends using a timed feeder to deliver a reward every two to three hours. This well-reviewed companion guarantees that cat is well-cared for while you are away. It’s clog-proof and lockable, and it can dispense up to six snacks each day.
Frisco Road Trip Dog Toy is a puzzle toy for dogs.
Puzzle toys, according to Sullivan, are a godsend for a bored dog at home alone. A cute bag filled with crinkly, squeaky clothing seems to fit the description. Your dog will enjoy removing each item of their holiday “wardrobe” from the hole. It’s large enough to avoid annoyance yet tiny enough to be a challenge.
Cozy Cave for Pet Makers
Cats are drawn to anything that resembles a cave, according to Sellers. She says it should be the same size as the cat and no bigger. “They yearn for the safety of a tiny space.” Knowing this, it’s simple to imagine any kitty curled up contentedly in this cozy, secure hideaway. Inside, there’s a detachable cushion with one soft side and one smooth side.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you desensitize a dog with separation anxiety?
How can I help my dog with separation anxiety in his crate?
There are a few things you can do to help your dog feel more comfortable in his crate. First, make sure that the crate is large enough for your dog to stand up and turn around in. You should also get him used to being crated by leaving him in there with some toys or treats while youre at work.
Does exercise help separation anxiety in dogs?
Yes, exercise helps with separation anxiety in dogs. It is recommended that you take your dog for a walk every day and play with them outside to help ease their stress.
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