A Word That Means To Treat Someone Like An Animal Separation Anxiety in Pets Is Manageable

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Separation Anxiety in Pets Is Manageable

How to manage your pet’s separation anxiety

Do you need to travel for work, or to see family?

There are so many things to consider before you leave home for a party or convention, or a night out, or…

… and, if you’re leaving behind a four-legged companion, you have a few extra considerations.

Imagine just leaving your young children alone without a word about where you’re disappearing to, when you’re coming back, or who’s going to take care of them while you’re gone.

There are no instructions on what to do – or not to do – or how to contact you for help if they need it.

You just left, not sure that their needs, questions and concerns were met.

Not good.

If you do this with your furry family members, they may experience separation anxiety, causing bad behavior and poor health.

But separation anxiety in pets is manageable and avoidable if you take the right approach.

It doesn’t even have to be a trip. It can be a change in your daily routine – like going to the office, then working from home for a few weeks, then back to the office.

Be aware that changing your routines without talking to your pet about it is like changing your shift rotation and not telling your husband and kids!

Pets, like the loved ones in your life, deserve to be “kept in the loop.”

They are relying on you and when you change your patterns and habits without any proper notice or assurance to them, they should try to change along with you.

Unfortunately, their coping mechanisms can be more destructive than what your family might be using…

Preventing separation anxiety in pets requires thought and care

You are your dog’s whole world… anxiety can affect them much more severely than other more independent-minded pets.

And while cats try to sell themselves as aloof and uninterested if you haven’t filled the food bowl or cleaned the litter box, they also care about your schedule.

You might think that boarding your horse at a farm across town is a better option than your little stall because of the space to roam and the company of other horses… but they are used to a certain pattern daily.

You are part of their herd. Time away from you can be stressful if they don’t know what’s going on or why, or have questions or concerns.

I’m not suggesting you can never change things in your routines, or leave your pet with a sitter or in a kennel… but they need to be told what’s going on and why.

Treat your pet like someone who deserves to know what you know

Separation anxiety in pets occurs when your pet feels as if it has been left in the dark. So before you make any changes to your schedule—permanent or temporary—make sure you give them the details.

This means, you need to tell them:

  • What to expect

  • When things will happen

  • Who is involved?

  • What do you need from them?

  • How you want them to behave

  • How long will you be gone or how long will this change last?

  • Whether they will be in a kennel or cared for in their own home

  • When you come back

Giving your pet the courtesy of an explanation of how their environment or patterns will change will prevent separation anxiety… and side effects.

Does your pet suffer from separation anxiety?

If you have a good relationship with your pet, they will be calm and content as you prepare for the change in your routines.

But if you haven’t taken the time to communicate with them about your shared experiences, they will show some very clear signs that they are anticipating something bad to happen.

1. Picking, zooming, peeing in all the wrong places.

Dogs will cool off after a good workout by panting. And zooms can be a sign that your pet is feeling happy and carefree.

But are they constantly panting, even though your house is at a comfortable temperature?

Are they uprooting the walls and furniture… every time you walk into the room?

Have they thrown their food at the door, or have they chosen a new bathroom that isn’t the litter box or the yard? Maybe your closet, pillow or behind the couch?

Many of these behaviors can be signs of an underlying medical condition, such as possible heart failure or an infection.

Of course, take them to a vet if things like bladder control or vomiting are a problem.

But then take a big step back and evaluate what your pet might be trying to tell you if you’re in the midst of a major life change.

2. Going full mannequin.

Resist the urge to think, “Wow, I can’t believe the dog has been quiet for so long. It’s great that they’re so disciplined.”

If you’re trying to identify separation anxiety in pets, complete stillness isn’t necessarily a sign of calmness…

It may be that your pet has ‘shut down’ and frozen due to its anxiety.

They are trying to reinvent themselves. Their seemingly good attitude and attention can be a sign that they are feeling extremely scared. They are not sure how to face their fears.

Like a deer in headlights, they are trying to process the situation and don’t want to move until they have a plan of action.

3. Going full Tasmanian devil.

Your anxious pet is feeling left out and, instead of retreating, they go on the offensive in an attempt to get your attention.

They suddenly start breaking the furniture, steal food from the kitchen counter, randomly bark at people walking by the house.

You are preoccupied with the changes in your life and this kind of bad behavior can lead you to conclude that you suddenly have a bad pet.

The anger you start to feel just creates a negative feedback loop.

Your pet was already anxious and now their human is angry… it’s a negative downward spiral into a nasty rabbit hole that can be hard to get out of.

Learning how to communicate effectively with animals can ease their stress… and yours

There’s no need for either of you to feel anxious about spending time apart.

Dogs, in particular, are very social animals. If you’ve found a good boarding place or day care for them to spend their time while you work or go on vacation, they’ll jump out of your car to race to the kennel.

And when you return to pick them up, they’ll be just as pleased to greet you and jump back into your car with the same enthusiasm and confidence to head home again.

Whether it’s your dog, cat, horse or bird, the key is communication.

It doesn’t take long for a pet to become very attuned to your sense of well-being. And… although it may seem wrong, they really want to ease your stress and pain.

They’re hoping you’ll pick up on the signals they send when they’re feeling anxious or distressed, too.

Word to the wise: Don’t let them down when they need you the most.

Whether you consult a pet communicator, invest time learning how to talk to animals yourself, or simply make an effort to read your pet’s signals with more intent, you’ll have a richer relationship.

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