We've all been there – it's time to leave for work but your pet doesn't want you to go. It can be stressful on you and your pet, but thankfully there are some steps you can take to help your furry friend feel more comfortable about being home alone.
How can you help your pet feel less anxious when it's time to go?
For some cats and dogs, knowing you're about to leave home can be a source of anxiety. Some pets may pace, hide or whine when they perceive that you're about to head out the door. Even though you'll be back, it can be heartbreaking to see your buddy stressing out. As with other stressful, but necessary parts of pet life (nail trims, anyone?) one of the best ways to relieve the tension is to turn your daily departure into an opportunity for fun. For cats, one of the best ways to offer distraction from stress is with automatic, interactive laser toys. Some even offer modes that activate after you've left for the day. Those of us with dogs know that treats are often the best way to our buddy's heart. Combining treats with toys gives your pup an engaging challenge that will take his mind off your absence. By making these happy moments a regular routine each time you go, you can train your pet to actually look forward to watching you prepare to leave.
How can you ensure your pet has everything they'll need when you're not home?
One worry many of us have when leaving our pets for the day is that they may have to wait for dinner, especially if our schedule is unpredictable or if traffic holds us up. Erratic routines can stress our pets out too. One of the best ways to help maintain a healthy daily routine is to provide your pet with an automatic feeder. These feeders allow you to schedule your pet's meals in advance, so you never have to worry about them going hungry if you're stuck in traffic for a few hours. Some feeders even allow you to feed your pet any time from your smartphone. Giving your pet a consistent daily meal routine will help relieve some anxiety for each of you. Add a pet fountain to ensure your pet always has fresh, flowing water to drink all day long.
What can you do to help your pet be more comfortable while you're away?
Do you ever wonder where your pets spends most of their time when you're not home? We all like to make sure our pets have a cozy place to spend those hours. But some pets, especially smaller or older ones, may have trouble getting to their favorite spots if you're not there to help them. A handy set of pet steps can provide your buddy the boost he needs to get up onto the couch to look out the window. Many styles fold up for storage, so you can put them away until the next time you leave. And if your pet loves to snuggle under the covers, a sturdy bed ramp will allow him to get up and down easily if he feels like having a nap while you're gone. Many pets are comforted by being close to your bedding or your favorite chair while you're away because it smells like you. In addition to naps, potty time is an important activity for your pet whether you're home or not. A pet door will give your buddy the freedom to go when nature calls, with options for outdoors or for privacy using the litter box.
What if you get the chance to bring your pet with you?
The best way to prevent anxiety from being at home alone is to simply bring your pet along! Traveling with pets can sometimes be stressful in and of itself, but there are ways to ensure a smoother ride for you and your passenger. A booster seat will let your pet see out the car window while being safely buckled in. A dog barrier will help you keep your pet safely confined to the back seat, no matter how excited he may be to get out and about. We know there's nothing better than having your pet by your side, whether you're home or away.
A happy pet is a calm, confident, relaxed pet. Remember, separation anxiety can be a serious issue for some pets. If you are concerned that your pet struggles with anxiety while you're away, please consult with your veterinarian. The solutions provided here can be great to help alleviate stress, but they'll be most effective when combined with advice from a trusted vet.