Here at Animal Medical Center of Wyoming, we care just as much about your pet’s mental health as we do their physical health. It’s important to discuss these things during annuall wellness exams. During these visits, our team will spend time examining your pet from nose to tail. If we find it necessary, we’ll evaluate your pet’s internal health by listening to their heart and lungs, making sure everything is functioning just as it should. Depending on age and medical status, we may also recommend a number of diagnostic tests to help us further assess your companion’s overall health.
Wellness visits are also a great time to discuss other important components of your pet’s health care plan. During your wellness exams, we’ll go over your pet’s vaccination schedule, parasite prevention, proper nutrition, and weight control to keep your companion fit, and anything else deemed necessary in keeping your loved one as happy and healthy as possible. This includes any personality traits or issues you may be dealing with. An important trait to consider is anxiety. Yes, pets can get anxiety, too!
Separation anxiety is a frustrating condition for pets and owners, especially when the kids go back to school and leave the house empty. Here are three tips to help manage your pet’s back-to-school blues.
- Divert with distractions
Distract your pet from an empty home and keep her mind off her loneliness and on the fun she’s having without you, by adding a variety of objects to her routine, such as:
- Food or treat puzzles
- Long-lasting chews
- Interactive toys
With separation anxiety, your pet experiences a brief burst of fear immediately following your departure—usually within the first 20 to 30 minutes of her being alone—so use a treat or toy to occupy her mind during this period.
- Practice peaceful greetings and goodbyes
We love our pets and treat them like family members. Showering them with love and attention, especially during greetings and goodbyes, demonstrates that bond, but the heightened emotions when you walk through the door can increase your pet’s anxiety. Instead, stay calm. Simply walk out the door when you leave, tossing your pet her favorite distraction. When you return, be tough, and ignore your pet until she’s calm. Reward her with a pat once she’s sitting quietly on the floor. Ditch the high-pitched baby talk and the exuberant hugs and help your pet relax.
- Assert independence
Nothing warms your heart more than a pup who follows you as closely as your shadow. That tight attachment may be adorable, but it doesn’t help your pet build confidence and learn to be content while alone. To expand your pet’s independence, start slowly. Distract her with a treat placed on the opposite side of the room, and gradually increase the distance between you. Keep adding distance until your pet can relax in a room without you.
Whether your pet is upset that the children have gone back to school or they absolutely hate it when you go to work, we can help! If you have further questions or the anxiety is becoming a larger problem, please contact us today!