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How to Handle Pet Separation Anxiety

Jordan Walker wants to help pet owners in many ways. Hence, he decided to share his passion for animals by writing regularly for Coops and Cages and other blogs. In this article, he shares some tips on how to handle pet separation anxiety.

If your pet appears worried whenever you reach for the door, ruins stuff when you head out of the house, goes insane when you arrive from work, and keeps an eye on you suspiciously in case you leave, he might be experiencing separation anxiety.

Then again, that’s no reason to panic. There’s always a solution to that. Here are several ways to ensure your pets remain calm and happy while you are away.

1 Talk to the vet.

It’s always a great idea to seek advice from the vet first, especially if your pet shows odd symptoms like vomiting and aggressiveness. These behaviours might just be related to certain medical conditions that should be taken care of.

2 Avoid leaving departure hints.

Your pets can easily pick up hints of departure like getting your car keys or putting on your shoes. So, to help them adjust quickly, get rid of those cues by not letting them know what’s happening. Pick up the keys and just put them in a box. Wear your shoes, but just stay at home. Whenever you have a business trip, leave your suitcase at home to make them think you won’t take long.

3 Prep them with short absences.

Even if you intend to stay at home, it is important to give your pets enough time to adjust for separations. If you leave them without prior approaches, it will be difficult for them to adjust. Separations could be short like going to the grocery or checking the mailbox outside the house.

4 Offer them a wide assortment of toys.

As part of responsible pet ownership, when you leave, make sure you keep your pets busy. Leave their favorite toys to keep them entertained. Provide them with a place to relax, such as cat beds or dog kennels.

5 Create perching areas.

Cats enjoy high and vertical places, where they can have a better view of the world. Thankfully, cat scratching posts can provide such kind of view for them. By providing these places, they could relax and sleep whenever they need to, especially when you are not at home.

6 Keep departures and arrivals unnoticed.

Whenever you prepare for departure, don’t leave a hard goodbye to your pets. Instead, make it low-key. It should not involve heavy emotions. As you arrive, greet them only when they stop seeking your attention. Attend to them once they are calm, such as when they’re sitting or lying.

7 Give him a challenging task.

If you leave, give them a challenging task like food puzzles. That way, they can associate your absence with something enjoyable and fun. Then again, use a variety of puzzles so that they won’t get bored. You can hide tiny bits of food around the house for a scavenger hunt game. If you plan to leave for a longer period, ask the persons at home to hide treats at least twice a day in different areas.

8 Provide them entertainment.

Are you willing to leave your television on while you’re out? If yes, then do so. Leave it tuned to a pet-friendly channel or play videos that your pets will love to keep them entertained.

9 Create a peaceful environment.

To soothe your pets, play good music while you’re away. Doing so will promote calmness and relaxation. Also, you might want to leave your shirt near your pet’s resting areas. That way, they will feel you’re near even if you’re not.

10 Hire a trustworthy and reliable pet sitter.

If your budget permits, you can hire a reliable pet sitter to look after your pets when you are not at home. He or she should keep them entertained in your absence. If you plan to go out of town for weeks, consider someone stay with them for weeks for a more regular interaction.

11 Consider obedience training.

Many believe that the cure for separation anxiety is discipline and obedience training. Through this approach, your pets understand what is expected of him when you are not around. So, if you have time, bring them to training classes. Show them what you want them to do in the house if you are out of their sight. Let them know their daily routines.

12 Teach them the importance of crates.

When you are at home, have your pets familiarize the importance of the crate. This is especially important for dogs. Have them start with short periods and gradually increase the time span. Feed them there and don’t forget to give their favourite toys to keep them occupied.

At the end of the day, you must remember that pets are family. Hence, if possible, do not leave them. Take them with you if you are planning to go on a vacation. For sure, there are plenty of pet-friendly destinations in the vicinity that would keep you both entertained and relaxed.   

Jordan is the lead content curator for Coops and Cages as well as a couple of other pet-related blogs. His passion for animals is only paired with his love for “attempting” to play the guitar. If you would like to catch more of him, you can by following his Twitter or Facebook accounts.