Pet parent shares 6 things that helped her dog deal with separation anxiety
To ensure the well-being of your furry friend, it is recommended to establish a structured routine for them as well as spend quality time.
It's usual for working professionals to feel guilt about parting from their pet child for an extended period of 8-10 hours. Their concerns regarding the well-being of their furry companion are reasonable. Especially post Covid times have been hard for pets who were used to being around their humans for several months. However, the good thing is that creating a structured routine, providing them a support system, and spending quality time with them before and after office hours can play a huge role in easing this separation anxiety. (Also read: International Dog Day: 6 reasons why dogs are the perfect companion for humans)
"It's widely understood that most pets thrive on human companionship and can experience stress or boredom when left alone for extended periods. To ensure the well-being of your furry friend, I recommend establishing a structured routine to spend quality time with them. Alternatively, you could consider enlisting the assistance of a professional pet sitter or dog walker. Creating a comfortable environment is crucial in promoting relaxation. This entails providing cozy bedding, a selection of toys, ample water, and proper ventilation," says Dr Anubhav Kumar Mishra, Veterinary Consultant at Plum Telehealth.
"Monitoring your pet's regular habits, such as their eating patterns, activity levels, and weight changes, is a valuable practice. These observations serve as key indicators, alerting you to any alterations that might signal underlying health issues. If you do detect any changes, promptly consulting a veterinarian is advisable to address the situation effectively," says Dr Mishra.
Shweta Shridhar, a pet parent shared her personal story about how she helped her pet deal with separation anxiety when she resumed work after Covid lockdown lifted.
How Shweta met her pet buddy
I'm really touched thinking about how things changed on my 26th birthday. I got a call from a group that rescues dogs via WhatsApp. There were 6 hurt puppies near a construction site that needed help, and I couldn't say no. When I got there, a puppy named Midge hopped on my lap, and that was it – I was smitten. Even though people warned me about how much work having a dog is, I couldn't resist Midge's charm. It was like love at first sight.
That special day was September 1st, 2019, when I brought a tiny 2-kilogram ball of fur home, and life changed forever.
Then the pandemic hit, and we were stuck at home. While it was a tough time, I saw Midge grow into a smart dog. We became really close – keeping each other company through thick and thin.
But eventually, I had to go back to work, and that was hard for both of us. We had gotten used to being together all the time. So, we had to learn how to handle being apart and adjust to a new routine.
Things that helped her pet to deal with separation anxiety
Here are some things that helped me and could help other working professionals to be able to keep the dog from emotional damage:
Sticking to a routine: Having a fixed schedule helped Midge know what to expect. We spent quality time in the morning and when I got back from work. This made her feel secure.
Not feeling guilty: It's easy to worry about leaving your pet alone. I felt that too. But I realized it's okay because I have responsibilities, and Midge understands that. Checking on her with a camera isn't the best idea because it distracts you from work.
Special toys: I gave Midge specific toys for when I wasn't home. This helped her know it's okay to be alone when she played with those toys.
Making them comfortable: I made sure she had enough space, water, food, and air when I was away.
Emergency plan: I gave my phone number to the security guard in case Midge got upset or distressed when I wasn't there.
Quality time: Spending lots of time together when I was home, especially on weekends, was important. We went for long walks and did things she enjoyed.
Despite the challenges, being a pet parent is the best thing I've ever done. Midge has brought so much joy and love into my life. Our journey together has been incredible, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Here are other tips from Dr Mishra that can help
Engaging in regular grooming sessions with your pet offers more than just a tidy appearance. It facilitates the early detection of skin problems or the presence of external parasites, allowing for timely intervention and treatment.
Considering the health of your pet, spaying and neutering are essential considerations. Spaying significantly reduces the risks of uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, and mammary tumors in females. Neutering, on the other hand, mitigates tendencies toward aggression and wandering in the neighborhood, contributing to a safer community and a more content pet.
Veterinary care plan
A well-structured veterinary care plan should be part of your pet's routine. This encompasses essential aspects like vaccinations to safeguard against preventable diseases, deworming to control internal parasites, managing external parasites, and comprehensive general check-ups. This routine ensures the proactive maintenance of your pet's health and helps catch any potential issues before they escalate.
"By implementing these recommendations, you're taking significant strides in safeguarding the health, happiness, and overall well-being of your beloved pet," says Dr Mishra.