Local veterinarian gives tips on preventing pet separation anxiety
MARYLAND – A local veterinarian is warning that your pets could experience separation anxiety once people start returning to work. “We’ve had a couple pet owners mention, is it normal that when I leave my dog barks or my dog tries to get past me to get out the door? Or if I don’t crate my dog, then they destroy things. Sometimes that’s separation anxiety, but it can also be separation boredom,” said Dr. Marianne Bailey of Queenstown Veterinary Hospital.
Dr. Bailey says that this could affect dogs more than cats. Some signs she says to look out for include excessive barking, drooling, or even destructive behavior like destroying things. “It can be anything from they just come home and they notice their dog was in a crate and it’s wet because they drooled a lot. So they were nervous and they were just panting and drooling excessively, to possibly destructive behavior. So, they chewed up something they normally wouldn’t have. They went to the bathroom in the house possibly because the person left and they panicked,” said Dr. Bailey.
Dr. Bailey says people shouldn’t be overly worried, but there are steps you can take to make sure your pet is prepared for the change in environment. “Even if you’re still in the house you can put them in a crate for their meals, just to make it a pleasant experience for them, then we’ll work up to put them in the crate or put them in that room while you go to the mailbox or walk down the street and walk back. Start with small increments and just see how they do,” said Dr. Bailey.
Dr. Bailey says that practicing leaving your pet alone can help them to become more used to when you start leaving the house again. She also says that if your pet is displaying destructive behavior – you should contact your vet to make sure your pet doesn’t hurt themself.