April 13

Pet Anxiety: Is that really a thing?

Humans have anxiety...

Pet's have anxiety.

Wait, pets have anxiety? Yes, pets really do have anxiety.  The Green Bay and Allouez Animal Hospital is seeing an increase in calls for pet anxiety symptoms. As pet adoption exploded last year and more people were working from home, they got used to their owners being home. A recent study from Veterinary Naturals found that over 50 percent of America’s dog owners were dealing with separation anxiety. 

One of our client’s, Bear, recently started refusing to go into his kennel. He was terrified and would follow his owners everywhere. He would whine and excessively pant which prompted his owners to call the clinic and get help from Dr. Becky. 

Here are some other symptoms of separation anxiety:

  • Whining, pacing or trembling
  • Drooling and panting
  • Peeing indoors
  • Excessive barking or howling
  • Destructive behaviors like chewing, scratching, and ripping things apart
  • Escape attempts – some can cause serious injury
  • Not eating their food or treats

Dr. Becky says “it is important that pet owners understand the symptoms and how to care for their pets because this can be very traumatic for the pet and owners.”

So, what do you do if your pet has separation anxiety? 

Here are some tips:

  • Call your veterinarian. This should be first on the list. 
  • Don’t make a big deal about leaving and coming back. Ignore your pet for a few minutes and be calm.
  • Leave them with an article of clothing that smells like you. 
  • Establish a word or action when you leave so your pet learns you will be coming back.
  • Play music or leave TV on, especially if this is something they are familiar with when you are home.
  • Stick to a schedule. 
  • Put your pet in isolation so they get used to being alone. It is important to leave the house without your pet, so they get used to knowing you will return. 
  • Increase the amount of time your pet is alone as you get closer to returning to work.
  • Put your pet in their kennel or another room alone at different times during the day.
  • Encourage them to enjoy independent activities with food puzzles and toys. These can provide them with much needed brain stimulation.

Lastly, when trying out these tips make sure to try to stay calm if your pet becomes agitated. If your pet is exhibiting some of the symptoms above and what you are trying at home is not working, we are here to help. Reach out to us via Facebook or call. 


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