by Cindy Youngers
As more people adopt normal routines than at the beginning of the pandemic, I have noticed significant behavioral changes in the dogs we care for at Cara Mia Pet Resort. If you, too, are experiencing these changes at home, perhaps it is because dog is trying to tell you something. That something is that they are experiencing something called separation anxiety.
If your dog has separation anxiety, he or she will feel more nervous when you get ready to leave the house, cry or act crazy when you get home, or destroy your belongings when you’re away. Your pet has simply grown accustomed to having you around all the time, and having you leave is a big change for them. According to pets.webmd.com, separation anxiety happens to dogs that are hyper-attached to their owner, causing them to get ultra-stressed when left alone.
Signs of separation anxiety include howling, barking, or wining excessively; having indoor “accidents” even when housebroken; chewing and destroying things; scratching at windows and doors or trying to escape; and drooling, panting, or salivating more than usual. Most often, your pet doesn’t act like this when you’re around. While a normal dog may do these things occasionally, one with separation anxiety does them nearly all the time.
The veterinarians at All Creatures Animal Hospital located right on our premises, suggest ruling out any medical problems in your pet first. For example, dogs sometimes have accidents at home due to infections, hormone problems, other health conditions, incomplete housebreaking, or pet medications. However, if your pet has mild separation anxiety, here are some tips.
1. Give your dog a special treat each time you leave (like a puzzle toy stuffed with peanut butter) to ensure that your dog is cognitively and physically stimulated while you’re away. Only give them this treat when you’re gone, and take it away when you get home.
2. Make your comings and goings low-key without a lot of greeting. Ignore your pup for the first few minutes after you get home.
3. Leave some recently worn clothes out that smell like you.
4. Consider giving your pet over-the-counter natural calming supplements.
Remember, dogs are incredibly social, and love spending time with you. When you are home more, they get accustomed to spending more time with you enjoying extra walks, playtime, and cuddles, so being separated from you causes them distress. So be patient and consult with your veterinarian for tips on how to help your pets conquer their anxiety. You can also talk to me!
Cindy Youngers is the owner of Cara Mia Pet Resort, located at 6429 Transit Road, East Amherst, NY 14051. Call 716-568-2272 to talk to Cindy directly. Cara Mia is open daily from 6 am to 7 pm, with drop-offs available from 4 am. Services include day care, a canine and feline hotel, pet salon, fitness center and pool, a pet boutique, and much more. Special care is available for pets with special needs, and with All Creatures Animal Hospital located on the premises, immediate veterinary care is just a moment away.