Family enjoying with the dog

separation anxiety and your pet

Summer is usually an exciting season for pets. The sun is out, the weather is nice, and many of their favorite humans are home for the season. But now with kiddos back in school and their parents back in the office, many furballs are showing signs of stress. Or worse, acting out.  
If your pet is having a hard time with a quiet house, below are some pointers on what to do. 

Know the signs 

Here are a few clues that your furry friend is dealing with separation anxiety: 

  • Increased howling, barking, or whining
  • Trying to escape
  • Pacing 
  • Chewing things up 
  • Excessive drooling  
  • Indoor accidents 

A tired pup is a relaxed pup  

If you have a puppy or an energetic adult dog that’s experiencing anxiety, make sure you’re involving them in physical activity on a regular basis. Not only does exercise help tucker them out, it can also help with stress. Another tip: Enrichment activities such as using feeding toys and hiding food around the house can also help with mental stimulation and making them feel comfortable in their surroundings.  

Predictability is key  

Keeping a consistent routine can help pets predict what’s going to happen next and ease their worry. Also making your comings and goings low-key are a great way to help keep them calm. Tip: Try ignoring your pet for the first few minutes after you get home.  

Smelly clothing 

No one loves the smell of you more than your pet! Owners' scents are known to have a calming effect on their furry friends. Leave a well-worn but not irreplaceable article of clothing out for your pet, something large like a t-shirt or pants. You don’t want to leave out small articles of clothing like socks. If your dog eats a sock, it could obstruct their intestines. Owie!   

Ask a friend to pop in  

Another helpful tip is asking a friend or family member to check on your pet while you’re away from the house. Or, look into a dog walking service or doggie daycare in your community. By doing this, your pet will only have to be alone for a couple of hours versus a full work or school day.  

Avoid punishing  

If you come home to a disemboweled couch or inexplicable hole in the wall, fight the temptation to punish your animal. Your pet is stressed and anxious and punishing them could have an opposite effect. If you’ve noticed that your pet’s anxiety isn’t getting better and you’re at your wits' end, schedule an appointment with your Banfield veterinarian to discuss your concerns. Your vet can support you and your best friend on the road to recovery.