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Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety isn’t just something that young children encounter when their parents leave. It also occurs in pets, especially dogs, and can lead to negative and destructive behavior. At TLC for Pets in Reisterstown, MD, we offer treatment that can help pets stay calm when they have to be apart from their owners. You can learn more about separation anxiety and how it is treated below: 


What Causes Separation Anxiety in Pets?

There isn’t just one single reason why your pet may be experiencing anxiety as you are preparing to leave. For some adopted pets, it can often stem from a change of environment or lack of stability. If you have to leave your pet for extremely long work shifts, they can feel stress as they hear you pick up your keys. Changes in routine or the number people within the home can also trigger anxiety. Since there are could be multiple causes, it can be difficult to determine the reason for separation anxiety. Along with this, pets may also exhibit various behaviors as owners are leaving, such as barking or howling. Some cats and dogs might urinate or defecate all over the home, while may might chew and claw on any items within reach.

Diagnosing Separation Anxiety

Before providing treatment, our vets need to determine a diagnosis for separation anxiety. We’ll work closely with you and discuss your cat’s or dog’s behavior to rule out any other causes. For example, urinating around the home while you are away could indicate an incontinence issue or a medical condition. After a diagnosis, we can provide a personalized treatment plan for your pet’s condition.

Treating Separation Anxiety

Successfully treating pet separation anxiety will depend on their condition. Mild separation anxiety can typically be addressed fully through counterconditioning. This method includes associating your departure and absence with a pleasant experience.

Moderate to severe cases typically take more work. Counterconditioning will be included, but might need to be more intense and focus much more on desensitization. For example, it might require boarding your pet to help them become accustomed to your absence. It’s best to start slow with this process by boarding them for short periods in the beginning and gradually increasing the length of time. It’s important that you discuss potential treatments with our veterinarian first to ensure any steps you take are effective and harmless.

Contact us for Treatment Today

If your pet suffers from separation anxiety, let our team at TLC for Pets in Reisterstown, MD, help determine the most suitable treatment. Call us at (410) 833-1717 to schedule an appointment today and to learn about our services. We look forward to improving your pet’s quality of life!