Apr 07

Helping Your Pet Overcome Separation Anxiety

Pets often find it challenging when their routine abruptly shifts, particularly if they’ve become accustomed to constant companionship that suddenly diminishes. Whether your furry companion has been part of the family for years or joined during the pandemic, it’s crucial to address any signs of separation-related distress they exhibit.

Here’s how you can help your pet cope with spending time alone:

Gradual Alone Time Introductions
Start by gradually increasing the time you spend away from your pet. Move out of their direct line of sight, spend time apart in different rooms, or take short trips outside while they remain at home. Slowly increasing distance and time away helps them adjust more comfortably.

Make Alone Time Fun
Encourage your pet to enjoy their alone time with fun activities and distractions. Provide food puzzles or chew toys filled with treats to keep them entertained while you’re away. For dogs, consider hiding treats around the house for them to find. Cats can benefit from having multiple hiding spots and climbing opportunities to explore.

Recognise Signs of Distress
Be vigilant for signs of separation-related distress, such as panting, salivating, pacing, vocalising, hiding or inappropriate elimination. Video monitoring can be a useful tool to observe your pet’s behaviour while you’re away and detect any signs of distress.

Consult Your Veterinarian
If your pet shows signs of distress, consult your veterinarian. These symptoms could indicate underlying medical issues or severe anxiety that require professional attention. Your vet can provide guidance on behaviuoral strategies, medication, and supplements to help your pet cope better with separation anxiety.

By implementing these strategies and seeking appropriate veterinary support, you can help your pet navigate the transition to spending more time alone with confidence and ease.

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About The Author

Claire is a QLD graduate with 19 years experience as a neighbourhood Veterinarian in Australia and the UK. Animal lover and the founder of VetChat, born from a passion to help pet carers everywhere access trusted advice earlier, for healthier, happier pets. Grateful to be carer to her beautiful Red-dog.