Skip the production – If your pet is giving you the “sad eyes” as you begin to jingle your keys and head for the door, it will be your natural instinct to shower them with love and affection to pacify their separation anxiety. However, for your pet, this only reinforces their emotional state. Instead of putting on a big show, give your pet a simple “See you later!” The same should be done when you return home. We have really been working on this when my husband comes home from work, currently the dogs go ballistic!! At first it was a bit funny, but now it's just madness.
Tire them out – Before heading out for the day, ensure you take your dog on a minimum of a half hour walk, depending on the breed. This will help ensure your pets aren’t antsy while alone. We make sure the dogs are in the backyard long enough in the morning while we are getting ready, then they get their long walk after dinner.
Stimulate the mind – In the morning, instead of feeding your pet from their regular bowl try using interactive food dispensing toys, which can be found in many major pet stores. Your cat or dog will have to try and figure out how to get the food out. This will not only keep them entertained, but will tire them out for the afternoon. We've done this in the past with peanut butter, will have to look for one again!
Kitty and Doggie Daycare/Walkers – Pet day cares and dog walkers are a great alternative to keeping your pets busy and active. Whether you are hiring a walker or leaving your pet in a care center, you must make sure that you trust the people you are leaving your pet with. Do not be afraid to ask questions, check credentials and references. I've heard of many people using dog walkers, I think it's a great idea, we used to take our dog to a doggie daycare.
TV and Music – Music helps calm the body and believe it or not that goes for your pets as well. Tune the radio to a classical station and keep the volume low as dogs and cats have very sensitive ears. We often leave the TV on for background noise, I think it help the dogs not bark at every little noise as well.
Practice Patience – Getting over separation anxiety can be a big hurdle for you and your pet. For a while, your pet will truly believe that you are leaving forever. With proper pet parent patience, your pet will soon regain the confidence that you will return. Practice makes perfect! Great tip!
Walks are always great, but do not forgo the most important part of the day for your pet: playtime. Engage together in fun activities when you arrive back home. This will give your pet something fun to look forward to at the end of each day.
Do you have some upset furry friends at home this time of year?
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