With COVID restrictions lifting, many people are starting to go back to work. However, many pet parents are concerned about leaving their animals after being home for over a year and dealing the difficult topic of separation anxiety. Let’s take a dive into what separation anxiety is, symptoms of separation anxiety, and treatment solutions to follow if your pet has this condition.
Separation anxiety is a serious condition your pet can develop where they express destructive or disruptive behaviors while you are absent for a long period of time. This problem for your pet is similar to a panic attack that humans can experience. These behaviors can include:
If your pet is experiencing the above symptoms on a regular basis, they may have separation anxiety. If your pet does have separation anxiety, then your goal as their guardian is to help resolve their anxiety by teaching them to tolerate or even enjoy being left alone.
There are many things that cause separation anxiety for your pet. Some of these things include:
There are two types of separation anxiety: minor and severe. Treatments can vary depending on what type your pet has. For minor separation anxiety, you can try the following:
For more severe separation anxiety, you can try the following:
It's important to understand that punishing your pet for having separation anxiety will not help you or them. It will make the situation worse. Additionally, separation anxiety cannot be 100 percent prevented, but with patience and a good attitude, you should be able to significantly reduce your pet’s separation anxiety. If you have tried some of the above ideas, or if you are planning to work with a professional trainer who specializes in treating separation anxiety, such as a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer or veterinary behaviorist, and nothing is working, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as your pet may have a more severe case of separation anxiety and may benefit from medication in addition to completing individualized training plan.
Preventing and treating your dog’s separation anxiety can be challenging. Learn more from the Humane Rescue Alliance about how to teach your dog to live well when alone or connect with our behavior and training experts today.
We'll send fresh, amazing content straight to your inbox so you can keep a pulse on your animal community.