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Please Don’t Go! Coping with Separation Anxiety in Pets

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Leaving your beloved pet behind when you go on vacation can be just as stressful for him as it is for you, but there are steps you can take to make it easier for everyone. Here’s a great story — with lots of tips – from dog behavioral specialists at the ASPCA.

When your dog suffers from separation anxiety, leaving the house can be just as stressful for you as it is for him. No one likes to see a beloved pet upset—plus, any time away from home might be spent worrying what kind of mess awaits your return. Will your pooch tear up the sofa? Chew the walls? Pee on the carpet? Shake, drool and bark for hours?

Overcoming disorders like separation anxiety takes time, patience and consistency, but it can be done! Don’t wait any longer: take control of your dog’s happiness—and your own—just in time for summer travel season. Follow the advice of ASPCA animal behaviorists, and next time you drop off Fido at a friend’s house or the boarding kennel, you’ll feel sweet relief knowing that you miss him more than he misses you.

  • Doctor Knows Best
    The first step in tackling behavior issues is to rule out any underlying medical problems that might be causing your pet’s behavior. For example, if your pet is urinating in the house, he might be suffering from a urinary tract infection, bladder stones, diabetes or kidney disease.
  • Keep It Mellow
    All greetings—hellos and goodbyes—should be conducted in a very calm manner. When saying goodbye, just give your dog a pat on the head, say goodbye and leave. Similarly, when arriving home, say hello to your dog and then don’t pay any more attention to him until he’s calm and relaxed.
  • Dogs Need Jobs
    Providing lots of physical and mental stimulation is a vital part of treating many behavior problems, especially those involving anxiety. Exercise can enrich your dog’s life, decrease stress and provide appropriate outlets for normal behavior. Plus, a tired dog doesn’t have much excess energy to burn when he’s left alone!

Visit the Dog Care section of our website to read our complete guide to tackling separation anxiety.

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