Tips To Alleviate Separation Anxiety In Your Pets

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By Robbi Hess ~ Managing Editor Pet Calendar, Crimeless Cat Executive Story Editor, Chief Cat Herder

When my eleven-year-old Poodle, Henrietta, got injured playing with our extremely large, extremely enthusiastic Goldendoodle, Murray, she suffered a life-altering hip injury. She underwent a couple of surgical procedures to put the hip back in place; it didn’t work. Because of her age and my nervousness at her undergoing another — this time — major surgical procedure and being under more anesthetic,

Tips To Alleviate Separation Anxiety In Your Pets

I opted for the treatment which has been a little life-altering for me. Henrietta is on restricted movement — from now until forever. This means she can no longer walk up and down stairs or jump off the bed or the furniture or race around the house with her big brother, Murray. It also means that if I leave the house, and I rarely do unless I can find her a family member who will sit with her, I have to put up a baby gate and keep her in my office. My office has nothing in there she can jump onto or off of and it seems the safest room in the house. She is too short to get over the gate. I give her treats when I leave, but I still worry.

Here are some ways I help alleviate her separation anxiety (and mine!):

  1. I will be getting a Furbo Dog Camera. With this device, nothing can stand int he way of our being together. I will be able to see what Henrietta is doing and it will alleviate my anxiety. With the two-way audio and barking alert, I can interact with and comfort my furbaby straight from my phone when she is home alone. #BestGiftEver  @furbodogcamera was on the #EllenShow. As seen on Ellen’s #12DaysofGiveaways, don’t miss your last chance to fetch the No.1 doggy gift -Furbo- at $169. With the code” FURBOGIFT” you can get extra $15 off.  
  2. I keep the radio on. I am not certain if it comforts the animals, but we have a radio system that goes throughout the house and I feel better knowing it’s not dead silence for them when we are away.
  3. Henrietta gets special treats that she only gets when I am leaving the house.
  4. I don’t make a big deal about my leaving. In the past I would hug and kiss and baby-talk her before I left and I discovered that leads to more anxiety. Now I keep the baby gate up all the time so it doesn’t seem as though the gate is only up when I am leaving. I calmly put her special treats in her bed, hug her once then walk out the door. I used to walk out saying, “I’ll be back honey.” I am certain my voice had a tinge of stress in it and that pushed her into a barking frenzy.
  5. Homecomings are calmer as well because I don’t rush in and pick her up and snuggle her and kiss her while she is barking frantically. I discovered that only fed into her barking frenzy. Now I wait at the gate, where she can see me, and when she sits down and stops barking I pick her up and then snuggle into her fur and give her all of the love she wants.

What tips do you have to alleviate separation anxiety in your pets?

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Larry Kay is the award-winning coauthor of Training the Best Dog Ever, which became a #1 best seller in dog training on Amazon Kindle. He is Leader of the Pack at Positively Woof, which helps shelter dogs get adopted by making videos and raises awareness and funds. Larry is an award-winning dog filmmaker and has been a frequent contributor to the American Animal Hospital Association and Dog Fancy magazine.
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