A dog with separation anxiety.

With another summer break over and school back in session, your cat or dog might be wondering what the morning fuss and rush is all about and where everyone is going. Our furry sidekicks are creatures of habit, and they thrive on consistent routines. If your pet has become accustomed to extra TLC over the summer, he might experience separation anxiety when his schedule changes.

At Animal Medical Center, we understand that mental and emotional health is extremely important to your pet’s overall wellbeing. Our caring team has compiled some tips for helping your pet adapt to a new routine.

Signs of Separation Anxiety

First, let’s take a look at some primary symptoms of separation anxiety in pets:

  • Destructive behavior 
  • Inappropriate elimination on the floors or furniture
  • Loud, excessive vocalizing
  • Excessive grooming (cats) 
  • Excessive drooling or panting (dogs)

6 Tips and Tricks to Tame the Anxiety

The first thing to do if you suspect that your pet is experiencing separation anxiety is to schedule an examination so that we can rule out other medical conditions that could be present. Potty accidents, for example, can be caused by infections and other health conditions.

Once the veterinarian has ruled out medical reasons for your pet’s behavior, here are six strategies that can help:

  1. Keep It Low Key When You Leave

Try to not make a big fuss when you leave. Keep your goodbye brief and cheerful. You can even give your cat or dog a special treat that they will get only when you leave the house. 

  1. Rotate Their Toys

To keep them mentally stimulated, switch out their toys once in a while. You can also try putting your pet’s favorite treats inside some toys and hide them throughout the house for a flavor-filled scavenger hunt while you’re away! 

  1. Provide Your Pet With Soothing Background Noises

Leave a music station tuned to soft music. Try YouTube’s Relax My Cat or Relax My Dog for soothing sounds that aim to minimize separation anxiety. Or keep the TV tuned to a nature channel that features animals. 

  1. Help Your Pet Burn Off Nervous Energy 

Keep your cat active with cat trees, window ledges that face bird feeders, or even an outdoor catio (just be sure it’s shaded). And consider enrolling your dog in training classes or doggie daycare a few days a week so he can exercise and socialize with other dogs.

  1. Try Soothing Pheromones

Pheromone diffusers like Feliway can help cats cope when they’re alone. Similarly, Adaptil for dogs can curb stress-related behavior.

  1. Give Them All Your Lovin’

When it comes to our pets, there’s truly no substitute for quality time with their favorite humans. When you are home, make time for long walks with your pet, outdoor adventures, constructive play time, and plenty of cuddles.

How We Can Help

Be sure to contact us if you’re struggling to minimize your pet’s stress-related behavior. With compassion, patience, and some simple modifications, separation anxiety can be treated successfully.