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Help dogs and cats cope with separation anxiety when humans return to work

January 12, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 15.6%. 1 min read.

While animal shelters and breeders have reported record numbers of pet adoptions while people stay at home during the pandemic, dogs and cats may go through separation anxiety as their humans eventually head back to work.

A change in routine, such as suddenly being alone for many hours every day, is a major cause of separation anxiety for both dogs and cats.

As a clinical veterinarian and professor, I am often asked to help people find ways to ease their pets' anxiety.

Your pet doesn't want to experience separation anxiety any more than you want to experience its consequences.

And punishment may only exacerbate your pet's anxiety and stress.

Similarly, going to the opposite extreme by praising or giving affection when your pet is suffering anxiety also will make the problem worse.

Treating separation anxiety with behavior change

Making a fuss over your pet when you leave or arrive home only makes matters worse.

Providing an activity for your pet while you're gone, such as a puzzle toy stuffed with treats, or simply hiding treats around the house will make your absence less stressful.

Medication can help reduce the anxiety, making it easier for the pet to learn new coping skills.

Separation anxiety is difficult for both you and your pet.

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