The effects of separation anxiety on your pet cat or dog cannot and should not be underestimated. In the short-term, a pet experiencing anxiety can become a destructive force inside your home (read April 2 and April 9 articles for more information). Long-term, your pet’s behavior may permanently change if you don’t help them out.
The bottom line is that you cannot just sit back and watch as separation anxiety continually affects your pet. You need to help them work through what they’re feeling so they can adjust better to your new schedule.
In this article, we will highlight some of the best things you can do to help your pets combat their anxiety. Please feel free to check them out and see how they effective they are for your companions.
Turn Feeding Time into a More Engaging Activity
As we all know, food has a magical effect on pets. Food works as a great pick-me-up for pets who had a rough day. You can even use food to train your pet and teach them some new tricks.
Food can also be used a distraction. If your pet is focused on food, they may not be weighed down too much by their anxious feelings.
So, how do you go about distracting your pet by using food? You can pull that off in a few ways.
The first thing you can do is to give your pet a puzzle feeder. Puzzle feeders present the food to your pet in a variety of ways. It’s up to your pet to figure out how the feeder works if they want to get to their favorite treats.
You can quickly find puzzle feeders online or even make one yourself. This article from Purina outlines specific methods for creating different puzzle feeders.
Another thing you can do is hide food around your home. Grab your pet’s favorite treats and place them close to spots that he/she frequents.
Distracting your pet with food will take their mind of the fact that you aren’t home. As they get more used to feeding that way, they may also grow less anxious about being alone for a big chunk of the day.
Keep Your Pet’s Favorite Toys Nearby To Help With Separation Anxiety
Many of us had that item we drew comfort from when we were growing up. Maybe it was an old blanket or a stuffed toy that we brought along with us everywhere.
Your pets have those comfort items too and making good use of them can help if your pet is currently experiencing separation anxiety.
Get your pet’s favorite toys and make sure he/she can access them easily. Leave them in places where your pet will be able to see them. Playing around with those toys could help your pet get through the day better.
It’s also worth looking into buying some new toys for your pets. Giving them some variety when it comes to toys will keep them better engaged.
Carve Out Playtime with Your Pet
Speaking of toys, you may also want to use them during playtime with your pet. Playing with your pet helps them relax more and unload pent-up stress. Make it a regular thing and you should be able to manage your pet’s anxiety more effectively.
Reserving playtime for your cat or dog is easier said than done though. Ideally, you want to play with your pet before you leave for work in the morning. That way, they can have fun and expend some energy while you’re away for the day.
To do that, you’ll obviously have to set your alarm earlier. Getting out of bed so early is no fun. Still, making that kind of sacrifice is more than worth it for your pet.
Give Your Pet Some Much Needed Exercise
Exercising also works great for distracting and expending your pet’s energy early in the day. If you have the time for it, take your pet on an early walk. By the time you’re ready to leave, they will also be ready to get some sleep.
You can also enlist the help of professional dog walkers if you often find yourself rushing early in the morning. That way, your pet can get the exercise he/she needs while you focus on the workday ahead.
A pet exhibiting the symptoms of separation distress can be destructive. Keep them from causing damage inside your home by relying on a sitter or dog walker. Partner with us at TAILored Pet Services if you need either of those professionals. Call us at 425-923-7791 or browse our website to find out more about how we can help.