Pet Page | Separation Anxiety in Pets Post Lockdown

Pet Page | Separation Anxiety in Pets Post Lockdown

Pet Page | Separation Anxiety in Pets Post Lockdown 2000 1521 The Flyer Magazine

One of the few benefits of the COVID-19 lockdown is getting to spend more time with your pet. Once the lockdown is over, there is a risk some pets may suffer from separation anxiety when we return to our normal routines. Separation anxiety isn’t just seen in dogs, a recent study shows that more than 1 in 10 cats display behaviours that may indicate separation anxiety (roughly the same figures are seen in dogs).

The good news is that there are things we can put in place whilst we are at home to reduce the risk of our pets struggling when we return to work.

Keep a routine: If your routine has drastically changed during Alert Level 4 from what it was like pre-lockdown, try to bring back a similar routine to the one you were previously in and the one you are likely to return to – Get up at the same time, feed your pet at the same times, provide them with their quiet time when they’d normally sleep and take dogs on their walk(s) at the same sort of time each day.

Play it cool: Try not to give into temptation and give your pet far more attention than you would in a normal day. Otherwise, it will be harder for them to get used to being alone once you’ve returned to work.

Alone time: Try to give your pet time alone during the day, start with a few minutes and build up time. This could be in a crate or in a different room to you.

Environmental enrichment: Provide your pet with lots of independently self-reinforcing activities that don’t involve you, such as homemade or commercial puzzle feeders, chews, Kongs, and some of their
favourite toys.

Leave the House: Try to leave the house a few times a day without your pet, even if only for a few minutes. The lack of your constant presence in the house will help your pet to maintain its confidence when it is alone.

If your pet is showing any signs of anxiety contact your vet who will be able to discuss environmental enrichments, rule out any medical conditions, recommend therapy that can help relax your pet, and refer you to a qualified pet behaviourist if a more hands on approach is required.

Cutest Pet Award

Meet Karla’s kitten Freddie, camouflaged snuggling into his big sister, 10-year-old Labrador, Indie. They are best buddies and love to cuddle in the sunshine together.

Does your pet have the ultimate cute factor? Email
[email protected] with a pic and a small blurb to feature your pet here.