We’re almost four months into quarantine and people are finally returning to the office. Companies are re-opening across the country as more states begin relaxing their guidelines on COVID-19. This means that many of our pets will now be alone after being in our presence all day, every day.
After spending more than four months with our furry friend by our side, our return to normal office life can lead to pet separation anxiety. Cats and dogs with separation anxiety can experience increased stress and agitation when their owner leaves for a longer period of time than usual.
You might be thinking, my dog already has this issue, they whine and cry whenever I leave the house. However, pet separation anxiety is much more serious than a few whimpers and whines whenever you leave. The condition can turn into a serious issue where the pet physically harms itself in an attempt to see you again.
Being with your pet 24/7 for the past few months in quarantine can definitely increase severe separation anxiety. Thankfully, there are a few different ways you can help your pets acclimate to this new reality.
In an effort to combat severe separation anxiety, Prudent Pet Insurance covers any medication prescribed by a vet for stress-related issues.
Signs of Pet Separation Anxiety
Now that you know what separation anxiety is, the next step is identifying the signs and symptoms It’s crucial to be aware of the most common cat and dog separation anxiety symptoms before the problems worsen.
Your furbaby is most likely experiencing separation anxiety if they emulate any of these behaviors:
Try to escape from the house
If you notice your pup or kitty devising a plan to escape from the house through a window or door as soon as you are preparing to leave, they could have early separation anxiety. Trying to escape can cause pets to get injured or get lost in the process. This is a massive sign that your pet misses you so much they can’t stand to be without you; it sounds cute and cuddly but it’s serious business.
Clawing on windows or doors
Scratching on any window or door in an attempt to open it, can be a sign of stress in animals. Think of those poor whales and dolphins in the SeaWorld aquariums, they’re known to hit the walls and doors to escape. They desperately try to get out when they’re trapped and separated from their family. The same is true with cats and dogs; they may even injure their paws by clawing screen doors or wooden window sills.
Coprophagia is the process when a pet defecates and proceeds to eat their own feces. If you notice this, take your pet to the vet immediately. It’s most common in dogs who have spent some time in a shelter or displaced from their home.
Pace in a distinctive pattern
Distinctive pacing is another sign of stress in all animals. Pets normally don’t pace around their owner, so when they pace in isolation, it’s another sign of separation anxiety. We also see this in zoos across the country where caged animals will pace back and forth in the same pattern for hours.
Excessive chewing or digging
Constant chewing and digging can lead to destruction not only for your home, but also for your furbaby. Excessive chewing can lead to teeth and gum issues, while digging can leave their paws sore to the touch.
Treatment for Pet Separation Anxiety
After you have identified the problem with your pooch or kitty, you need to begin treating this serious condition. The solutions for cat and dog separation anxiety are clear, but leave it to the professionals.
Step One – Speak with Your Vet
The signs and symptoms listed above can also be caused by hormonal issues or infections. It’s important to speak with your vet to make sure their behaviors are likened to cat or dog separation anxiety. Symptoms of separation anxiety can also be caused by medicine your furbaby is taking.
Step Two – Schedule a Check-Up
If you notice anxiety symptoms in your furbaby, schedule a check-up with your local veterinarian immediately. They will be able to tell the difference between a minor behavioral situation and actual separation anxiety.
It’s also a good habit to visit the vet every year, it can only help the health and wellness of your pet. Annual exams are actually needed to keep your pet safe and healthy, we highly recommend them.
Ways to Cope with Separation Anxiety
Some vets might prescribe anti-stress or anxiety medication to cope with your pet’s anxiety of being left alone. However, these are not full-proof. We suggest taking precautions to lighten the anxiousness of your furball, as some medications can actually be the cause for stress and anxiety.
Don’t be fooled, these animals are smarter than they appear. Your pet will start to notice patterns associated with you leaving them alone. For example, whenever you pick up your car keys, your dog may start to whimper because they know the action that correlates with you leaving.
Try these simple tips and tricks to make your furry friend more comfortable when you leave:
- Crate train your pet to acclimate them
- Give your pet a cuddly blanket or piece of clothing
- Feed them their favorite treat before leaving
- Play some soothing background music while you’re gone
- Show increased affection towards your pet before leaving
Instead, practice these actions like you’re going to leave, but don’t. Simply pick up your keys and sit on the couch while showing your pet lots of affection. This will train their mind to associate these acts of leaving with positive memories instead of the previous negative ones.
Pet Separation Anxiety and Insurance Coverage
You might be wondering, will dog separation anxiety go away?
Sadly, there is no cure for pet separation anxiety. As owners, we can only practice the tips we are given in hopes of some improvement. Medicine can be provided for anxiety and improve the situation; however, it can be costly. If you’re worried about the fees associated with managing pet separation anxiety, dog and cat insurance can be of great help.
Prudent Pet reimburses you up to 90% of your vet bills, which can include prescribed medication or vet visits to help combat separation anxiety. Get a quote today so you can start focusing on what’s important: getting the help your pet needs to live a stress-free life.