So you have had an incredibly stressful day at work and come home to find a trail of feathers from one end of the house to the other. Something tells me that your stress level would probably shoot through the roof at that very moment! That very feeling you are feeling at that very moment is the same type of anxiety and stress your four legged best friend feels the moment you closed the door behind you to leave.
No matter how much you try to prepare your pet for periods of separation, many pets (especially dogs) will experience “separation anxiety”. Their little hearts start pounding, their breathing becomes erratic and at that very second the chaos and pandemonium switch is flipped – the house is open game! Pillows become the obvious victim and Lord help the cat! Anything and everything from toilet paper to rugs; from plants to novels of Shakespeare fall into the jaws of death. Which I might add, only complements your already wonderful day on the planet.
Don’t panic or start calling the closest shelters! Fido doesn’t have mental issues or has become demon possessed. He is displaying his frustration and fear of being left behind. Dogs by nature are designed to be in “packs.” They are very social members of animal society and love being with others of like kind or human companions, thus comes the term “wolf pack” from their ancestors.
Instead of running off to the vet to get whatever medication they have to fix this apparent problem, try some other solutions first. When leaving for any period of time longer than a couple of hours have a game plan. Place your pet in a safe area in the house where the least amount of destruction could occur.
- “Dog proof” the area so he won’t shred, chew, claw or swallow objects that are harmful.
- Leave fresh water
- Make sure your pet has chew toys to keep him occupied
- If paper trained, leave an area for them to potty
- Some dogs do well with being crated while others it will heighten their levels of anxiety which leads to injury.
Many times this will help to elevate the panic mode for your furry friend. But there are many time anything just short of human contact will not suffice. There is another alternative that is gaining popularity as the increase in pet ownership increases each year, a Pet Sitter service.
A pet sitter is not necessarily someone coming to your home to sit all day with your pet. They are generally only there for a couple of hours a day to provide your pet with companionship and a means of exercising to burn off their extra energy to remain calm until you are able to be at home.
This industry has proven to be extremely beneficial especially to condo and apartment dwellers. Just think when you come home from work late or tired, the pup has had physical exercise that day. (which does not mean they still don’t need that one on one attention from you)
The pet sitter industry is a very professional group that is mostly insured, bonded and many times has some kind of pet related certification with animal issues. When medication doesn’t have to be the first plan of choice, try a local pet sitter to help both you and your dog to enhance your home life.